SAO PAULO (AP) — Defending champion Cruzeiro came back with three second-half goals to beat last placed Criciuma 3-1 and keep a five-point lead over Sao Paulo in the Brazilian league Sunday.

Criciuma opened the scoring three minutes into the match at the Mineirao Stadium, but Cruzeiro came back with goals by Bolivian striker Marcelo Moreno in the 60th, Ricardo Goulart in the 63rd and Willian in the 90th, reaching 67 points from 33 matches.

Sao Paulo stayed close with five rounds remaining thanks to a 2-1 win at Vitoria with goals by former Brazil stars Luis Fabiano and Kaka. Gremio jumped to third place with a 4-1 home win over Porto Alegre rival Internacional, leaving Luiz Felipe Scolari's team 10 points from the lead. Andres D'Alessandro's Internacional dropped from third to sixth on the table.

The top four clubs will guarantee a spot in next year's Copa Libertadores, Latin America's most important club competition.

Fourth-place Atletico Mineiro beat Palmeiras 2-0 at the Pacaembu stadium on Saturday, while fifth-place Corinthians edged Santos 1-0 at its Itaquerao stadium on Sunday with a seventh-minute goal by Peru striker Paolo Guerrero. Santos, coming off elimination to Cruzeiro in the Brazilian Cup semifinal, played without Robinho because of a muscle injury.

Atletico Mineiro, also 10 points behind Cruzeiro, rested several regular starters against Palmeiras after it eliminated Flamengo in the other Brazilian Cup semifinal last week, reversing a 2-0 first-leg loss with a 4-1 win in the return match. Cruzeiro and Atletico, fierce rivals in Belo Horizonte, will meet in a national final for the first time in their history.

On Saturday, seventh-place Fluminense had its four-match winning streak ended by a 1-0 loss to Coritiba at the Couto Pereira stadium in Curitiba, a result that allowed Coritiba to leave the relegation zone. Fluminense's rival Botafogo fell 2-0 to Atletico Paranaense at home, losing its third match in four rounds and remaining in 18th-place, in serious danger of demotion.

Salvador rivals Vitoria and Bahia, which lost 3-0 to Goias in Goiania, also are in relegation zone heading into the decisive rounds. Criciuma's loss to Cruzeiro was the team's fifth in a row, leaving it with only 30 points, six from the first team out of relegation zone.

Joinville and Ponte Preta have already secured their return to the top division, while four-time national champion Vasco da Gama, one of Rio de Janeiro's most traditional clubs, is also close.

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