Round 5 of the 2013 Brasileirão was completed this week as Brazil’s national championship takes a four week break to allow the spotlight to fall on the FIFA Confederations Cup being held in the country.

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Botafogo, who went top of the table after their win at Ponte Preta on Saturday, were deposed less than 24 hours later by the undefeated Coritiba, who went a point clear thanks to their 1-0 home win against second-bottom Náutico. Deivid scored what proved to be the winning goal in just the first minute, and although coach Marquinhos Santos would have hoped for a more comfortable scoreline, any disappointment would have been tempered by their surprise appearance at the head of affairs.

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Reigning champions Fluminense, who have already been one of Coritiba’s victims this season, had a mixed week. Playing catch-up on the fixture list they first beat Goiás at the Estádio Claúdio Moacir de Azevedo on Sunday but then lost on the road at Portuguesa; a result that leaves them in fourth place. Those three points lifted Portuguesa out of the danger zone and into mid-table, demonstrating just how tight things are at this early stage in the season. Just three points separate the top eight clubs, while the entire bottom half of the table are covered by only three points.

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Elsewhere, it was honours even between Grêmio and São Paulo and Santos came out on top in the battle of the basement with Atlético Mineiro on Wednesday. This was another game settled by a single, early goal. Cicero’s fourth minute goal leaves Ronaldinho and co rooted in the relegation zone. Coach Cuca has four weeks to come up with a plan to stop the rot before they welcome Criciúma to Belo Horizonte.

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Some of Round 6’s highlights include big city derbies as Santos butt heads with São Paulo and third plays fourth in Rio as Botafogo and Fluminense meet. Coritiba are also in Rio as their match with Flamengo kick starts the league schedule after it’s one month hiatus. Second place Vitória have the opportunity to keep the pressure on leaders Coritiba as they travel to Goiás 24 hours later. The season may only be five games old but it’s already shaping up to be a close affair and it would be a very brave man to pin their flag to any particular side for this year’s championship.

MARK GODFREY

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