Latin America

Sao Paulo ends winless streak

Luis Fabiano
Luis Fabiano opened the scoring for Sao Paulo during the 2-1 win against Fluminense.
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SAO PAULO (AP)

Sao Paulo defeated defending champion Fluminense 2-1 on Sunday to halt a 12-match winless streak in the Brazilian league.

Former Brazil striker Luis Fabiano and defender Reinaldo scored a first-half goal each to give Sao Paulo its first win since the second round. The result was not enough to get the six-time national champion out of relegation zone, but now it's only three points back from those escaping demotion.

Fluminense, which got its lone goal through substitute Eduardo in injury time, is closer to the danger zone after the loss, its eighth in 16 matches.

Cruzeiro took the tournament's lead after a 2-0 win at Ponte Preta on Saturday and stayed ahead after Clarence Seedorf's Botafogo fell 2-0 to Atletico Paranaense on Sunday.

On Saturday, 16-year-old sensation Gabriel, already being touted as Neymar's replacement, scored his second professional goal in Santos' 2-0 win over Vitoria. Peru striker Paolo Guerrero scored in Corinthians' 1-1 draw at Vasco da Gama on Sunday, while Argentine midfielder Jesus Datolo scored the winner in Atletico Mineiro's come-from-behind 2-1 win over Portuguesa.

Sao Paulo got its first victory in nearly three months in front of more than 50,000 fans at the Morumbi Stadium. Luis Fabiano opened the scoring in the 26th and Reinaldo added to the lead just before halftime. Eduard pulled Fluminense closer at the end but Sao Paulo was able to hang on until the final whistle to move to 14 points from 15 matches.

Sao Paulo opened the tournament with two straight wins but hadn't succeeded since then. The last victory had been a 5-1 rout of Vasco on May 29.

Fluminense, which has only 18 points, played without star striker Fred, who was suspended after elbowing an opponent in a recent match.

Cruzeiro picked up an important away win against Ponte Preta thanks to goals by defender Dede in the 23rd and striker Borges in the 73rd, reaching 31 points from 16 matches.

Botafogo was stopped by Atletico Paranaense, which got two goals by striker Ederson to extend its unbeaten streak in the league to nine matches. It moved to fourth place in the 20-team standings with 27 points.

''We knew it would be a difficult match here, they have been playing well for a long time,'' Seedorf said. ''We have to move on and try to rebound in the next round. We are still near the top.''

Botafogo has 29 points, one more than Hernan Barcos' Gremio, which defeated Flamengo 1-0 at the Estadio Nacional Stadium in Brasilia on Saturday for its fourth win in a row. Defender Para gave Gremio the victory with a free kick shot early in the match.

Club world champion Corinthians dropped to fifth after the draw with Vasco in Brasilia. Guerrero opened the scoring in the first half and Vasco equalized in the second with striker Andre.

At halftime, police had to use pepper spray to separate fighting between fans from both clubs at the stands. No one was reportedly injury.

Internacional missed a chance to move near the leaders after a 3-3 home draw against Goias. World Cup veteran Juan, striker Leandro Damiao and Argentine playmaker Andres D'Alessandro scored for Inter, which erased a 3-1 deficit.

Teen sensation Gabriel, nicknamed ''Gabigol'', scored again in Santos' 2-0 win against Vitoria at the Vila Belmiro Stadium. Gabriel had scored his first professional goal on Wednesday to ignite the comparisons to newly signed Barcelona striker Neymar, who was about two months older when he netted for the first time with the senior squad.

Also Saturday, sixth-place Coritiba, still without injured former Fenerbahce midfielder Alex, lost 2-1 at Criciuma to extend its winless streak to four matches.

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