Soccer-Flamengo open 2021 league campaign with win over Palmeiras

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RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Defending Brazilian champions Flamengo opened their 2021 campaign with a deserved 1-0 win at home to Palmeiras on Sunday.

Pedro got the winner for Flamengo with a quarter of an hour remaining when he finished off from close in after superb work from Bruno Henrique on the left.

The three points were well deserved for the Rio side, who dominated possession and had twice as many shots on target as their opponents.

The late winner was one of two on the opening weekend of the national league season. Ceara scored in stoppage time to record a surprise 3-2 win over Gremio.

Sao Paulo drew 0-0 with Fluminense on Saturday and two newly promoted clubs, Cuiaba and Juventude, shared the points with a 2-2 draw.

Fortaleza won 2-1 at Atletico Mineiro on Sunday and Bahia beat Santos 3-0 on Saturday.

(Reporting by Andrew Downie; editing by Clare Fallon)