Cruzeiro beats Inter, takes Brazilian league lead
SAO PAULO (AP) — Bolivian striker Marcelo Moreno scored a late goal to help defending champion Cruzeiro beat Internacional 3-1 and take the Brazilian league lead on Sunday.
Cruzeiro’s third win in a row left the club with 16 points from seven matches, one point ahead of Fluminense, which on Saturday defeated Bahia 1-0 for its third victory in four matches.
Internacional had its winless streak extended to three matches, dropping to eighth place in the 20-team standings with 12 points.
Internacional got on the board via Wellington in the 38th, but Ricardo Goulart equalized for Cruzeiro just four minutes later. Willian put Cruzerio ahead in the 70th and Moreno sealed the victory in the 87th.
It was Moreno’s fifth league goal, making him the championship’s leading scorer after the first seven rounds.
The match was played in the interior city of Caxias do Sul because Internacional’s Beira-Rio Stadium is already under FIFA’s control for the World Cup.
In addition to the 12 World Cup stadiums, FIFA and local organizers also took over 24 venues considered official training fields in the host cities. Nearly 30 league matches had to be altered for the last four rounds before the World Cup break, and 14 first-division teams are having to relinquish home-field advantage.
Also Sunday, Goias picked up its fourth win and moved to third in the standings by beating last-place Figueirense 1-0 in Florianopolis. Figueirense has scored only one goal in seven matches, and it came in a 1-0 win over Corinthians to spoil the rival’s debut of the Itaquerao Stadium last weekend.
Fifth-place Palmeiras had its three-match winning streak halted by a 2-0 loss at Chapecoense, which was yet to win a match. Palmeiras hired Argentine coach Ricardo Gareca this week but the eight-time Brazilian champion was still managed by interim Alberto Valentim on Sunday.
Sixth-place Corinthians snapped a three-game winless streak by beating nine-man Sport 4-1 at the Ilha do Retiro stadium in Recife. Sport had defender Durval sent off in the 53rd for a foul that prompted a penalty kick for Corinthians, and striker Neto Baiano was red carded in the 71st for elbowing an opponent. Striker Romarinho and midfielder Jadson scored two goals in each half to help the five-time national champion move up the standings.
Flamengo and Santos didn’t manage to get more than a 0-0 draw in Sao Paulo, keeping the struggling teams with only one victory in the first seven matches. Flamengo, which twice hit the crossbar, played the final 20 minutes with an extra man because Santos striker Geuvanio was sent off after a hard tackle from behind.
Flamengo was the home team but the game was played in Sao Paulo’s Morumbi Stadium because the Maracana is also under FIFA’s control for the World Cup.
Flamengo rival Botafogo also continued to struggle, allowing a second-half equalizer in a 1-1 result against Vitoria in Macae. The result left Botafogo with five points, in relegation zone.
On Saturday, seventh-place Sao Paulo beat fourth-place Gremio 1-0 at the Morumbi, while Fluminense beat Bahia 1-0 with a goal by 18-year-old striker Kenedy just three minutes into the match. Bahia is hosting matches at the Arena Barueri, just outside Sao Paulo, because the Arena Fonte Nova in the northeastern city of Salvador also has been ceded to FIFA.
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