8 September 2014 03:01
Cruzeiro surrendered a lead twice as they shared the spoils at Fluminense in Brazilian Serie A, while Sao Paulo extended their winning run.
League leaders Cruzeiro were held to a 3-3 draw, despite a first-half brace from Julio Baptista, after 18-year-old substitute Kenedy equalised for Fluminense with two minutes remaining in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday.
Cruzeiro – 11 games unbeaten in a span stretching back to May 28 – remain top of the table with 43 points from 19 matches.
Fluminense are 12 points off the pace in fifth spot.
With the competition’s leading goalscorer Ricardo Goulart and midfielder Everton Ribeiro away on international duty with Brazil in the United States, former Real Madrid and Arsenal forward Baptista was promoted to Marcelo Oliveira’s starting XI.
And he made an instant impact at the iconic Maracana, converting a 14th-minute penalty after Paraguayan Miguel Samudio – on loan from Libertad – was fouled in the area.
Cruzeiro’s lead lasted three minutes as hosts Fluminense hit back courtesy of Wagner’s header on the goal line.
Fluminense were ahead six minutes later after an unmarked Dario Conca drove into the penalty box and found Cicero, who guided the ball through Fabio’s fingers.
Baptista was at it again on the stroke of half-time as he restored parity for Cruzeiro, bundling an attempted volley into the bottom corner of the net.
Cruzeiro’s Bolivian star Marcelo Moreno scored in his sixth consecutive game – making it eight goals in the process – after volleying the ball past Fluminense goalkeeper Klever in the 58th minute.
But Fluminense salvaged a point two minutes from time thanks to Kenedy’s curled effort from the edge of the box.
In-form Sao Paulo closed to within seven points of Cruzeiro following their 2-0 win over Sport Recife on Sunday.
A seventh-minute own goal from Rithiely and Alexandre Pato’s 26th-minute strike saw Sao Paulo make it seven league games without defeat.
Sao Paulo climbed up to second in the standings after Internacional crashed to a third defeat in four games, losing 3-2 at home to Figueirense.
Internacional cruised to the half-time break with a 2-0 lead thanks to Andres D’Alessandro’s 18th-minute penalty and Paulao’s thunderous effort from inside the penalty arc after 35 minutes.
But it was all one-way traffic in the second half as Figueirense netted three unanswered goals through substitute Everaldo, Marco Antonio and Giovanni Augusto, who scored from a corner.
In other results, Gremio responded to their expulsion from the Copa do Brasil with a 1-0 win at Flamengo on Saturday.
Gremio were banned from this year’s competition after their fans’ racial slurs against Santos.
But Luan’s 90th-minute goal gave Luiz Felipe Scolari’s men victory, while Flamengo lost for the first time in five league matches.
David Braz scored twice in the absence of Robinho, who was called into the Brazil squad, as Santos accounted for Vitoria 3-1.
Atletico Mineiro overcame 10-man Botafogo 1-0 thanks to Leonardo Silva.
Corinthians were held to a goalless draw at Criciuma, while Bahia and Coritiba played out the same result.
Meanwhile, Palmeiras earned a 1-1 draw at Atletico PR.