Former Brazil midfielder Elias struck a second-half equaliser to earn Atletico Mineiro a 1-1 draw with Flamengo in the opening round of the Brazilian Serie A football championship.

Flamengo midfielder Matheus Savio opened the scoring at the Maracana Stadium on Saturday evening with a curling 30-metre shot that floated over the visitors’ defence and eluded Atletico Mineiro goalkeeper Victor, reports Xinhua news agency.

Elias equalised for Atletico Mineiro just before the hour mark by combining with former Brazil striker Fred, lashing a first-time shot into the top-right corner.

Flamengo’s 16-year-old Real Madrid target Vinicius Junior made his professional debut when he came on in the 82nd minute.

In Saturday’s only other match, Chapecoense drew 1-1 away to Corinthians after Wellington Paulista cancelled out the hosts’ 22nd-minute opener by former Manchester City striker Jo.