Ze Roberto helps give Santos opening win
RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Seasoned duo Ze Roberto and Antonio Carlos scored to give Santos a 2-1 win away to Gremio Barueri in their first game of the new Brazilian season on Wednesday.
Former AS Roma and Brazil defender Antonio Carlos, making his debut for Vanderlei Luxemburgo's team at the age of 37, grabbed the winner when he deflected Kleber's cross into the goal in the 87th minute of the Paulista championship match.
Midfielder Ze Roberto, 32, had put Santos ahead in the 70th minute, the former Bayern Munich and Brazil player scoring with an angled shot after exchanging passes with Fabiano.
But Marcos Dias snatched a shock equaliser for rank outsiders Gremio Barueri nine minutes later.
Corinthians put their troubled pre-season behind them as they kicked off with a 3-1 win over Ponte Preta.
Midfielder Roger opened the scoring direct from a corner five minutes after halftime. Finazzi pounced on a defensive mistake to equalise but further goals from Edson and Rosinei gave relieved Corinthians the points.
It was a welcome win for Emerson Leao's team, who lost both their recognised left backs Cesar and Gustavo Nery in the first two weeks of the year.
Corinthians are also involved in a complex legal dispute with striker Nilmar, who was led out of the club by his agent immediately after a training sesson last week.
Nilmar was reported to have agreed to return on Wednesday morning but did not face Ponte Preta.