SAO PAULO (AP) — Defending champion Corinthians has been eliminated from the Sao Paulo state championship after a goalless draw with minnow Penapolense on Sunday.
The draw, along with Sao Paulo's 1-0 home loss to Ituano, sealed Corinthians' elimination with one round left in the qualifying stage of the traditional regional championship.
The results mean that Corinthians, the 2012 club world champion, will not be among the eight teams playing in the knockout stage.
The elimination of the popular Brazilian club comes as a surprise because the top four Sao Paulo teams easily advance to the competition's final stages nearly every year. Sao Paulo, Santos and Palmeiras had already secured their spot in the round of 16 several rounds ago.