FORMER Oxford United boss Ramon Diaz is celebrating saving Brazilian side Vasco da Gama from relegation.

Diaz was named head coach of the Brazilian Serie A team in July, after the club suffered a slow start to the season.

However, Diaz secured the side’s safety on the final day of the season with a 2-1 win at home to Red Bull Bragantino, with midfielder Paulinho and winger Serginho netting for the Rio de Janeiro-based outfit.

Former West Ham United playmaker Dimitri Payet and ex-Cardiff City midfielder Gary Medel were among those in the starting line-up for Diaz’s side.

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The bottom four sides of the 20-team division are relegated from the Serie A, with Vasco finishing 15th, just two points above the drop zone.

Former Argentina striker Diaz led the U’s between December 2004 and May 2005, and prior to Liam Manning’s success in September, was the last United boss to win a divisional manager of the month award, doing so in January 2005.

Diaz quit the club when negotiations over a new contract broke down.