Rio de Janeiro, Feb 14 (IANS) Ronaldinho set up both his team's goals as Atletico Mineiro opened their 2013 Copa Libertadores campaign with a 2-1 victory over Brazilian rivals Sao Paulo.
Playing in South America's leading club competition for the first time in 13 years, Atletico dominated the first half at their Estadio Independencia in Belo Horizonte Wednesday, reports Xinhua.
The first goal came when an unmarked Ronaldinho pounced on a long throw-in before crossing for former Manchester City striker Jo, whose first-time finish left goalkeeper Rogerio Ceni with no chance.
Rever made it 2-0 when he headed in another Ronaldinho cross from the right in the 72nd minute. Sao Paulo's Aloisio gave his side a flicker of hope late in the match when he struck with a low shot after Luis Fabiano's defence-splitting pass.
Atletico coach Cuca lavished praise on Ronaldinho, who returned to Brazil's national team for the first time since February last year in the Selecao's 1-2 defeat to England at Wembley Stadium earlier this month.
"Ronaldinho made the difference with his two crosses. He is intelligent. You can't expect him to do some things, like track back in defence, but his quality makes him a match winner," Cuca said.
In other Libertadores matches Wednesday, Boca Juniors suffered a 2-1 home defeat to Mexico's Toluca, Fluminense overcame Caracas away 1-0 and Penarol defeated hosts Iquique 2-1.