Ronaldo scored his first goal since breaking his hand more than two months
ago, helping Corinthians draw with Sao Paulo 1-1 in the Brazilian league.
The result drops Sao Paulo, the six-time champion, from second to third in
the standings, five points behind leaders Palmeiras. Goias defeated Gremio
2-1 at home to move into second place, also five points back.
Palmeiras increased their advantage by beating Atletico Paranaense 2-1 at
home on Saturday for their second win in a row.
Fluminense moved off the bottom by beating Avai 3-2 at Maracana stadium for
a first win in 11 matches.
Ronaldo scored in the 20th minute after a mistake by Sao Paulo defender
Andre Dias, who didn't realise that goalkeeper Bosco was not in his goal and
gave the ball away to Ronaldo in front of an open net to gift him his 18th
goal in 28 matches since returning from knee surgery.
Sao Paulo, seeking a third straight title, equalized with a header by
substitute striker Washington in the 70th. Washington was sent off in the
90th for complaining about a foul, prompting a second yellow card after he
had already earned one for taking off his jersey when celebrating his goal.
It was Ronaldo's second match since breaking his hand on July 26 in a match
against Palmeiras. He had been held scoreless in Corinthians 4-1 home loss
to Goias last weekend. Still not fully fit, the 33-year-old striker was
substituted in the 77th.
The match at Morumbi also marked the debut of 20-year-old Argentine
midfielder Matias Defederico for Corinthians. He has been dubbed the new
Lionel Messi by local fans, but had a quiet game and was substituted in the
Sao Paulo played without captain and goalkeeper Rogerio Ceni, who was
dropped from the lineup just moments before the match because of a left-leg
Sao Paulo have not beaten Corinthians for eight-matches.
Local media reported that Sao Paulo fans threw rocks at Corinthians' bus
before the match, causing some damage to the vehicle but nobody was hurt.
Palmeiras increased their lead with the victory against Atletico Paranaense
on Saturday at Palestra Italia stadium in Sao Paulo. Chilean right back Luis
Pedro Figueroa scored his first goal for Palmeiras in the 42nd and defender
Danilo sealed the victory in the 70th. Midfielder Chico put Atletico
Paranaense on the board in the 63rd.
Danilo, on a loan from Atletico Paranaense, had a clause in his contract
prohibiting him from playing against his former team, but just hours before
the match Palmeiras reached a deal to allow the defender to play by paying
about $55,000 to Atletico.
Atletico dropped to 14th place in the standings with the loss.
Goias took advantage of an 81st-minute goal by striker Felipe to rally and
beat Gremio 2-1 at Serra Dourada stadium in Goiania, moving into second
place and remaining in contention for the title.
Internacional missed an opportunity to claim sole possession of second place
by drawing with Flamengo at Beira-Rio stadium in Porto Alegre, extending
their winless streak to four matches.
Fluminense snapped their 11-match winless streak with a 58th-minute winner
by midfielder Alan at Maracana. The club haven't won since a 5-1 victory
over Sport on August 6.
Still in serious danger of being relegated to the second division,
Fluminense could drop into last place if Sport draws Santo Andre at home
Also on Saturday, Cruzeiro - coming off a tough loss to 10-man Palmeiras on
Wednesday - beat Barueri 1-0 in Barueri behind a goal by World Cup veteran
left back Gilberto. Substitute Ecuadorean striker Joffre Guerron had an
assist in the 72nd-minute goal, which kept Cruzeiro unbeaten in six away