RIO DE JANEIRO: Argentina forward Carlos Tevez converted a penalty while midfielder Fininho was sent off for insulting his own supporters as Corinthians beat rank outsiders Sampaio Correa 3-0 in the Copa Brasil on Wednesday.
Corinthians completed a 4-1 aggregate win in their first round tie after their second leg win but were given a huge let-off against opponents whose total monthly wage bill is around 60,000 Real (US$22,944) less than one fifth of Tevezs salary alone.
Television pictures showed that Corinthians goalkeeper Fabio Costa pulled the ball into his own goal early in the second half, when the game was still goalless, but managed to scoop it away without the referee noticing.
Five minutes later, defender Anderson headed Corinthians in front and two further goals from Tevez, who won and converted a penalty, and teenage striker Jo completed a flattering win.
The low point came when Fininho was substituted midway through the second half and stuck his finger up at Corinthians supporters who jeered him as he left the pitch.
He was sent off but still repeated the gesture.
Corinthians were not reduced to 10 men because they had already made the substitution.
Coach Tite said: He has to understand the greatness of the club. When he is applauded, he likes it, so he has to be mature enough to accept the other side.
The Copa Brasil is a nationwide knockout competition involving teams from the remotest parts of the vast nation.
Veteran Vasco da Gama striker Romario, 39, was excused the 11-hour plane and coach trip to western Brazil where the former South American champions were held 2-2 by Uniao Rondonopolis in a first leg tie.
Vasco stormed to a 2-0 lead in 10 minutes but let their lead slip in sweltering conditions.
Botafogo travelled even further to Boa Vista, near the borders with Guyana and Venezuela, where they beat Sao Raimundo 4-1.
They qualified automatically for the second round as return matches are not played if the away team win the first leg by two goals or more.
Bahia striker Viola, who played as a substitute in the 1994 World Cup final against Italy, scored the winning goal as his new club beat Gremio 2-1 in a first leg match while Cruzeiro striker Fred scored four goals in a 7-0 second leg drubbing of Sergipe. Reuters