Brazilian League Roundup, Sep. 26

Argentine playmaker Dario Conca scored one goal and set up another to help Fluminense defeat Vitoria 2-1 and overtake Corinthians to lead the Brazilian league standings Sunday.

Corinthians dropped to second after allowing an injury-time goal in a 3-2 loss to Copa Libertadores champion Internacional. Corinthians, still without Ronaldo, had evened the match with a 90th-minute penalty but failed to hold on to the result in the thriller at Beira-Rio stadium.

Fluminense has 48 points from 25 matches, while Corinthians remains on 47 points from 24 games.

On Saturday, Neymar scored to help Santos rout Cruzeiro 4-1, while former Shalke and Galatasaray playmaker Lincoln netted to give Luiz Felipe Scolari’s Palmeiras a 3-1 win over defending champion Flamengo in Rio.

Conca put Fluminense ahead in Salvador by converting a penalty kick in the 58th, hitting the net with a firm shot into the lower right corner.

Striker Henrique equalized for Vitoria off a rebound from Fluminense goalkeeper Rafael after a powerful free kick taken by midfielder Bida in the 63rd.

But Fluminense kept pressuring, and two minutes later Conca passed to midfielder Rodriguinho, who sent a shot into the far corner from inside the area at the Barradao stadium.

It was Fluminense’s second consecutive victory following a three-match winless streak that dropped the 1984 national champion from the lead for the first time in 11 rounds.

Corinthians appeared set to earn a point in Porto Alegre after playmaker Bruno Cesar scored from the penalty spot in the 90th, but substitute midfielder Andrezinho gave Internacional the victory with a free kick shot that deflected off the wall and struck the post before going into the net three minutes into second-half injury time.

Midfielder Tinga had opened the scoring with a shot from inside the area in the 30th, completing a pass from Argentine playmaker Andres D’Alessandro.

Corinthians leveled the match for the first time with a curling shot by midfielder Jorge Henrique in the 66th, but substitute striker Alecsandro gave Internacional the lead again in his first play after entering the match, scoring with a diving header after another pass from D’Alessandro.

The penalty that gave Corinthians the equalizer at the end came after defender Ney handed the ball at the goaline after a header from Corinthians defender Paulo Andre. Ney was ejected in the play, as was Paulo Andre for the foul that led to Internacional’s winner.

The result moved Internacional to fourth place in the 20-team standings. It is seven points off the lead but also has a game in hand.

Corinthians, seeking its first league title since it held off Internacional at the end for the 2005 championship, was coming off three straight victories. It remains without Ronaldo, who is struggling to regain his fitness.

On Saturday, Neymar scored a goal to help Santos defeat third-place Cruzeiro 4-1 at the Arena Barueri, just outside Sao Paulo. The result snapped Cruzeiro’s nine-match unbeaten streak, leaving it with 44 points from 24 matches.

Santos, in sixth place and a game in hand, got the win despite playing a man down from the 64th after striker Ze Eduardo was ejected for a foul.

Scolari’s Palmeiras beat Flamengo 3-1 at Engenhao to win its second in a row. Striker Kleber scored twice in the first half and former Shalke and Galatasaray midfielder Lincoln closed the scoring with a late goal. Serbian midfielder Dejan Petkovic had scored for Flamengo with a penalty kick midway through the second half.

The result put the four-time national champion in eighth place with points 35 points, while Flamengo fell to 16th, just two points off relegation zone. A six-time league champion, Flamengo has won only two of its last 16 matches.

Fifth-place Botafogo, led by former South Africa coach Joel Santana, missed a chance to move closer to the leaders after allowing a 90th-minute goal to Atletico Paranaense at the Engenhao. Ecuadorean striker Joffre Guerron scored the equalizer for Atletico Paranaense, which is seventh in the standings.

Six-time champion Sao Paulo allowed three first-half goals in a 3-0 home defeat to Goias, dropping to ninth place. Goias, coached by former Brazil assistant coach Jorginho, is only 18th, inside relegation zone.

Avai routed Ceara 5-0 in Florianopolis on Sunday to win for the first time in 10 matches, while Gremio defeated Atletico Mineiro 2-1 in Minas Gerais, handing Atletico its 16th loss in 25 matches.

It was Atletico Mineiro’s first match without former Real Madrid coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo, who was fired Friday after failing to get the team out of relegation zone. He was replaced by Dorival Junior, who was let go by Santos after a disagreement with club directors over the suspension of young striker Neymar.

Atletico Mineiro, one of the country’s most traditional clubs, is second-to-last in the standings with 21 points from 25 matches.

Vasco lost 1-0 to Guarani in Campinas on Saturday, extending its winless streak to six matches. The four-time champion had a 14-match unbeaten streak halted two rounds ago.