Brazil Serie A Wrap: Cruzeiro close the gap

Defending champions Cruzeiro closed the gap atop the Brazil Serie A table after defeating Coritiba in a five-goal thriller.

Attacking midfielder Ricardo Goulart was the hero, bagging a double as Cruzeiro edged Coritiba 3-2 at the Estadio Governador Magalhaes Pinto on Saturday.

Cruzeiro have collected 10 points from five games, one point shy of unbeaten leaders Internacional, who played out a goalless draw with lowly Criciuma on Sunday.

Marcelo Oliveira's Cruzeiro went into the match on the back of a three-game winless streak, having bowed out of the Copa Libertadores at the hands of San Lorenzo and lost to league rivals Atletico Mineiro last weekend.

But Cruzeiro got themselves on track for a morale-boosting win when Goulart opened the scoring in the 11th minute, rising highest to head home Egidio's cross.

Coritiba were back on level terms within 12 minutes after Alex guided his header past goalkeeper Fabio.

Goulart was at it again, however, restoring Cruzeiro's lead on the stroke of half time with a neat volley following a well-timed run into the penalty area.

The home side were pegged back yet again just 10 minutes after the break as Norberto Neto looped his header into the far right corner.

Cruzeiro hit the front for the third time through Borges in the 69th minute, which proved to be the match winner.

Meanwhile, Gremio and Goias both recorded wins to move level on points with Cruzeiro.

Rodriguinho's 37th-minute goal was the difference as Gremio downed 10-man Fluminense 1-0, while second-half strikes from Ramon and Danilo lifted Goias to a 2-0 victory over Botafogo.

In other results, Corinthians' first official game in their new stadium ended in disappointment as they slipped to a 1-0 defeat against struggling Figueirense on Sunday.

Giovanni Augusto grabbed the only goal three minutes after the restart - the visitors' first strike of the season.

A brace from Ganso inspired unbeaten Sao Paulo to a 2-0 triumph at Flamengo.

Two goals in the final 15 minutes from Andre saw Atletico Mineiro come from behind to beat Santos 2-1.

Elsewhere, Palmeiras accounted for Vitoria 1-0, while Atletico PR and cellar-dwellers Chapecoense played out a 1-1 draw.


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