Cruzeiro edged closer to retaining their Brazilian Serie A title after a hard-fought 1-0 victory at Santos.
Ricardo Goulart’s 53rd-minute strike was enough to ensure the league leaders took all 3 points and condemn Santos to a third consecutive defeat.
After some nice build-up play with strike partner Willian, Goulart fired the ball low and hard past Santos goalkeeper Aranha, eight minutes into the second half.
Cruzeiro, now unbeaten in six games, sit comfortably at the top of the table with 70 points after 34 games. Behind them are Sao Paulo who are four points behind and have also played an extra match. Santos are in freefall, occupying ninth position following a run of five games without a win.
Brazilian striker Luis Fabiano scored his 100th Serie A goal for Sao Paulo in a 2-0 win at home to Palmeiras.
Fabiano, in his third spell at the club, opened the scoring after 22 minutes, half-volleying Hudson’s cross from the edge of the area.
Defender Rafael Toloi wrapped up the victory 11 minutes from the full-time whistle, when he directed a ferocious volley into the roof of the net.
Internacional, Gremio and Corinthians continue to battle it out for third spot with all three sides currently on 60 points. Internacional currently taking the third place due to the number of games won.
Paulao’s 79th-minute strike gave Internacional, who have played an extra game, a 1-0 win against Goias – their 18th triumph of the season.
Gremio notched their 17th victory of the campaign after goals from Dudu, Hernan Barcos and Ramiro inspired a 3-0 rout of Criciuma, who are seven points adrift of safety.
Renato Augusto scored six minutes from time as Corinthians overcame second-bottom Bahia 2-1 on the road for win number 16.
Figueirense earned a 1-1 draw away to sixth-place Atletico Mineiro.
Fluminense were 1-0 winners against third-bottom Botafogo and Vitoria climbed out of the drop zone with a crucial 1-0 away win at
Chapecoense, who dropped into the fourth and final relegation spot.
Flamengo downed relegation-threatened Coritiba 3-2, while Atletico PR lost 1-0 at home to Sport Recife.