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Corinthians returns to first division in Brazil

 Argentina's Argentinos Juniors' Nestor Ortigoza, top, fights for the ball with Brazil's Palmeiras' Jefferson during a Copa Sudamericana soccer match ...
 Argentina's Argentinos Juniors' Sergio Escudero, left, celebrates with teammate Nestor Ortigoza after scoring during a Copa Sudamericana soccer match...
 Argentina's Argentinos Juniors' Gabriel Hauche, left, fights for the ball with Brazil's Palmeiras'  Gladstone during a Copa Sudamericana soccer match...
 Argentina's Argentinos Juniors' Nestor Ortigoza, right, fights for the ball with Brazil's Palmeiras' Jumar during a Copa Sudamericana soccer match in...
 Argentina's Argentinos Juniors' Sergio Escudero, top, celebrates with teammate Nestor Ortigoza after scoring during a Copa Sudamericana soccer match ...

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Argentina's Argentinos Juniors' Nestor Ortigoza, top, fights for the ball with Brazil's Palmeiras' Jefferson during a Copa Sudamericana soccer match ...

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Argentina's Argentinos Juniors' Sergio Escudero, left, celebrates with teammate Nestor Ortigoza after scoring during a Copa Sudamericana soccer match...

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Argentina's Argentinos Juniors' Gabriel Hauche, left, fights for the ball with Brazil's Palmeiras' Gladstone during a Copa Sudamericana soccer match...

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Argentina's Argentinos Juniors' Nestor Ortigoza, right, fights for the ball with Brazil's Palmeiras' Jumar during a Copa Sudamericana soccer match in...

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Argentina's Argentinos Juniors' Sergio Escudero, top, celebrates with teammate Nestor Ortigoza after scoring during a Copa Sudamericana soccer match ...

Midfielder Douglas and defender Chicao each scored for four-time Brazilian champion Corinthians to beat Ceara 2-0 and return to the Brazilian league's first division on Saturday.
In the topflight, Fluminense routed Palmeiras 3-0 to leave the relegation zone, while Cruzeiro missed an opportunity to move closer to leader Gremio after a 1-0 loss to Atletico Paranaense.
One of Brazil's most popular clubs, Corinthians was relegated last year following a dismal campaign and a controversial split from its partnership with London-based Media Sports Investments.
Douglas netted in the eighth minute and Chicao in the 49th at the packed Pacaembu Stadium in Sao Paulo, helping the 2000 club world champion clinch a spot in the top league with six rounds left.
Unbeaten in 15 matches, Corinthians has 70 points from 32 matches, 14 points more than second-place Avai and 19 more than fifth-place Barueri. The top four clubs are promoted to the first division. Corinthians also has all but secured the second-division title.
The traditional club has won 20 matches, drew 10 and lost only two so far. In addition, it has the competition's best offense with 67 goals scored and the top defense with only 22 allowed.
Corinthians won its fourth national title in 2005 after MSI invested heavily in the club and acquired international stars such as Argentina's Carlos Tevez. But the money flow dried up amid accusations the fund was using the club to launder money, and debt-strapped Corinthians was forced to sell its top players.
Corinthians is Brazil's second-most popular club, behind Flamengo.
In the first division, Corinthians rival Palmeiras had its winless streak extended to four matches with the 3-0 loss to Fluminense at Maracana. The result dropped the four-time national champion to fifth in the 20-team standings, out of the top four which will earn a Copa Libertadores berth next season.
Following its second victory in 10 matches, Fluminense, which scored all three goals in the first half, reached 34 points to place 14th.
Cruzeiro had a chance to stay only two points behind Gremio, but it fell 1-0 to Atletico Paranaense at Arena da Baixada in Curitiba. Rafael Moura scored a second-half winner for 18th-placed Atletico.
Gremio remained atop the table by defeating Sport 1-0 at Olimpico Stadium on Thursday. On the same day, defending champion Sao Paulo jumped to second place, three points off the lead, after a 2-1 win over Vitoria at Morumbi Stadium. Flamengo moved to fourth after a 5-0 trouncing of Coritiba at Maracana. Flamengo goalkeeper Bruno scored a penalty goal in the second half.
On Wednesday, Flamengo rival Vasco beat Goias 4-2 in Goiania to leave last place in the standings. Ipatinga was now last after falling 3-0 to Botafogo in Ipatinga on Saturday.
In other results on Saturday, Santos beat Figueirense 3-0 at Vila Belmiro Stadium in Santos, while Atletico Mineiro drew Internacional 2-2 at Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte.
No matches will be played on Sunday because of nationwide municipal elections.


Updated : 2021-06-24 11:05 GMT+08:00