- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 8, 2014

SAO PAULO (AP) - A second-division team in Brazil is resorting to hypnosis to try to avoid relegation.

Portuguesa this week announced the hiring of a hypnosis specialist to work with the players, hoping he will help them improve their performance and lead the team out of last place in the standings.

In Portuguesa’s first match with the specialist, however, the team lost 1-0 to Vasco da Gama at home on Tuesday.

With 10 rounds left, Portuguesa is 12 points behind the first team out of relegation zone.

Portuguesa dropped into the second division last year after a sports tribunal stripped points from the club for using a suspended player in the competition’s last round. The ruling benefited Rio de Janeiro club Fluminense.

Portuguesa was runner-up in the top flight in 1996.

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