RIO DE JANEIRO: Japan international midfielder Keisuke Honda scored his first goal in Brazil’s Serie A championship to help Botafogo secure a 2-1 win at Sport Recife on Sunday.
Honda, who joined the Rio de Janeiro club in February, capitalized on an errant clearance from goalkeeper Luan Polli to lash an unstoppable 20-yard shot into the top left corner.
Caio Alexandre slotted in the visitors’ second goal after Kanu’s deft chip over Sport’s defence left him face-to-face with Polli.
Botafogo were reduced to 10 men just after halftime when Rafael Forster was shown a second yellow card for a rash challenge on Leandro Barcia.
Veteran playmaker Thiago Neves pulled a goal back for the hosts by nodding home after a Luciano Batista cross. Sport dominated the second half but squandered several chances to equalize as Botafogo secured their second consecutive victory to climb out of the relegation zone. Sport slipped to ninth in the 20-team standings.
In Porto Alegre, Thiago Galhardo and Abel Hernandez scored first-half goals to fire Internacional to a 2-1 victory over Athletico Paranaense. Renato Kayser was on the scoresheet for the visitors. Gallardo has now scored 13 times and provided three assists in 14 Serie A matches this season.
The result at Estadio Beira-Rio left Internacional second in the standings, two points behind leaders Atletico Mineiro, who have a game in hand.
Elsewhere, former Changchun Yatai forward Marinho converted two penalties as Santos upset Gremio 2-1 at home. Diego Souza was on target for the visitors.
In other fixtures on Sunday, Fluminense won 1-0 at home to Bahia, Atletico Goianiense overcame Bragantino 2-1 at home and hosts Ceara beat Corinthians 2-1.