Cruzeiro took over at the Brazilian Campeonato summit on Wednesday night courtesy of a 2-1 victory at Criciuma, taking full advantage of a last-gasp equaliser holding Botafogo to a 2-2 draw at Atletico Mineiro.
Bruno Lopes had looked to have secured a point for Criciuma when he notched midway through the second period to cancel out Vinicius Araujo’s first-half effort, but Ricardo Goulart had the final word seven minutes from time.
The win saw Cruzeiro end the day level on points with Botafogo – but top on goal difference – after Atletico Mineiro twice came from behind to secure a point.
Botafogo went ahead through Elias after 15 minutes and then again just before the hour through Nicolas Lodeiro after Ronaldinho had levelled, but the 16th-placed hosts were not to be denied their point.
There was also late drama at the Estadio Nacional de Brasilia, where goalkeeper Lauro’s stoppage-time header salvaged a 1-1 draw for 10-man Portuguesa against Flamengo.
Joao Paulo had given the hosts a 68th-minute lead and the three points looked certain to be theirs when Ferdinando was sent off three minutes from the end, but the visitors made light of the numerical disadvantage to get back on level terms in the 93rd minute in the most dramatic circumstances.
Lauro, who had joined the attack for a right-wing corner, rose highest to nod in from around eight yards although his effort ought to have been cleared off the line by Leo Moura.
Paulo Baier grabbed the game’s only goal nine minutes from the end as Atletico Paranaense nicked a 1-0 triumph over Bahia, who lost Madson to a red card on the stroke of half-time.
Santos and Corinthians battled out a 1-1 draw in a match which saw both sides end with 10 men. Willian’s 55th-minute strike got the hosts back on level terms after Paulo Andre’s early opener, with both goalscorers then given their marching orders in the second half.
The game between fourth-placed Vitoria and Fluminense also finished 1-1, Fred’s 84th-minute leveller denying the home team victory after Maxi Biancucchi had given them a sixth-minute lead.
Finally, Walter scored a goal in both halves to lift Goias to a 2-1 success against bottom club Nautico Recife, for whom Auremir had equalised 10 minutes before half-time.