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Cruzeiro beats Vasco 2-0 to stay in contention in Brazilian league

Cruzeiro beats Vasco 2-0 to stay in contention in Brazilian league

Midfielder Ramires and defender Thiago Martinelli scored a goal each and Cruzeiro defeated Vasco 2-0 to stay within reach of the Brazilian league lead on Sunday.
Cruzeiro has 51 points, nine less than leader Sao Paulo, which on Saturday got past Figueirense 2-0 to maintain its advantage.
Ramires opened the scoring at Sao Januario stadium in Rio de Janeiro with a one-timer from inside the area in the 15th minute, and Martinelli sealed the victory _ Cruzeiro's second in a row _ with a header off a free kick in the 75th.
"We are still hopeful of winning the title," Cruzeiro midfielder Kerlon said. "That has been our goal since the beginning and it's important the team is playing well."
The result increased Vasco's winless streak to five matches, and dropped the four-time national champion to eighth in the 20-team standings, 20 points behind the leader.
Sao Paulo kept its advantage by easily beating Figueirense in front of nearly 45,000 fans at Morumbi stadium on Saturday.
Defender Alex Silva put Sao Paulo on the board with a header in the 14th, and Leandro sealed the victory in a breakaway in the 29th. Silva's goal was Sao Paulo's 100th in 59 matches in 2007.
Sao Paulo was coming off a 2-1 loss to Argentina's Boca Juniors in the Copa Sudamericana on Wednesday, but the result Saturday kept the four-time national champion unbeaten in 15 Brazilian league matches.
Also Saturday, Copa Libertadores runner-up Gremio moved to third in the standings _ 16 points behind Sao Paulo _ by beating Santos 1-0 at Olimpico stadium in Porto Alegre. Striker Marcel netted the winner with a free kick just 10 minutes into the match.
Palmeiras moved to fourth by beating Corinthians 1-0 at Morumbi on Sunday, extending the rival's losing streak to four matches.
It was Palmeiras' third consecutive victory over Corinthians this year, a result that left the rival in 17th place in the standings, inside the relegation zone.
Defender Nem netted a 59th-minute winner for Palmeiras with a header off a free kick cross by midfielder Caio.
The top four clubs at the end of the Brazilian league will earn a berth in next year's Copa Libertadores.
Also Sunday, world club champion Internacional _ the Copa Libertadores champion last year _ drew Atletico Mineiro 2-2 after allowing two late goals _ in the 87th and 89th minutes _ at Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte. The result extended Atletico's winless streak to five matches.
Five-time national champion Flamengo _ 14th in the standings _ twice relinquished the lead in its 2-2 draw against Juventude at Alfredo Jaconi stadium in Caxias do Sul.
In Recife, midfielder Julio Cesar scored a pair of goals in Nautico's 2-0 win over rival Sport. The victory _ the team's fourth consecutive _ moved the recently promoted Nautico out of the relegation zone.
Striker Marcelo Ramos scored a pair of goals to lead Atletico Paranaense 2-1 over rival Parana in Curitiba.
Goias _ winless in five matches _ was held by last-place America to a 1-1 draw at Serra Dourada stadium in Goiania on Saturday. America _ recently promoted to the first division _ hasn't won in 14 matches, since a 2-1 home win against Atletico Paranaense on July 21.


Updated : 2021-10-22 16:01 GMT+08:00