Gremio hammer Botafogo to keep Libertadores hopes alive

RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Gremio scored a comprehensive 5-2 victory over relegated Botafogo on Monday to keep alive their hopes of a top six finish in Brazil’s Serie A.A top six placing guarantees a spot in next season’s Copa Libertadores, the South American equivalent of the Champions League, and the win lifts Gremio into sixth, equal with Fluminense, who have played a game less.Alisson and Jean Pyerre put the visitors 2-0 up before half time and Diego Churin made it three with a penalty kick after 53 minutes.Rafael Navarro pulled one back for Botafogo when he finished off a nice counter attack three minutes later but two goals from Matheus Henrique in the 75th and 78th minutes made it 5-1 for Gremio.Matheus scored a second consolation goal for Botafogo with eight minutes remaining. (Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Michael Perry)