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BRAZILIAN SIDE CRUIZERO RELEGATED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 98 YEARS

Cruzeiro fans rioted Sunday after seeing their side relegated from Brazil’s Serie A for the first time in their 98-year history

Goals from Ze Rafael and Dudu condemned Cruzeiro to a 2-0 home defeat to Palmeiras on the final day of the season and saw the game abandoned five minutes before full-time as supporters threw chairs and fireworks onto the pitch

The disorder forced the stadium to be evacuated as police arrived to deal with the unrest from supporters angered at seeing their side drop out of the top flight

Cruzeiro went into the game needing a win to stay up and hoping that Ceara, the team two points above them in the table, would lose away at Botafogo

However, Ceara managed a 1-1 draw and finished the season on 39 points, meaning Adilson Batista’s side go down along with CSA, Chapecoense and Avai.

Cruzeiro started the season strongly and won the Minas Gerais state league in April with a 3-2 aggregate victory over Atletico Mineiro.

But there have been problems off the pitch that have seen them go through four coaches in the space of five months in 2019.

Former Brazil national team boss Mano Menezes was sacked in early August after a 1-0 home loss to Internacional, while replacement Rogerio Ceni did not last very long in the Cruzeiro hotseat

Abel Braga took over from Ceni in September but departed in November and was replaced by Batista.

Yet Batista was unable to turn around Cruzeiro’s dismal form. The team did not manage a victory in their last 11 games of the season and lost their last five in a row to drop out of the top flight for the first time.

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