Sao Paulo seal fifth successive win

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RIO DE JANEIRO - Title holders Sao Paulo beat second-placed Goias 3-1 on Sunday to climb into the top four of the Brazilian championship. Sao Paulo, who made a poor start to the championship while they were playing the South American Libertadores Cup, have won their last five matches and gone eight without defeat. They have 30 points from 18 matches, five behind leaders Palmeiras, who face third-placed Atletico Mineiro on Wednesday, and two behind Goias. Striker Washington (pictured) put Sao Paulo in front with a header just before half-time. With 13 minutes left, Goias defender Rafael Toloi was sent off for punching Sao Paulo's Dagoberto and playmaker Jorge Wagner and striker Borges added further goals with Bruno Meneghel pulling one back. Sao Paulo fans chanted "The champions are back" at the end. "The Sao Paulo supporters recognised their team, recognised the football we are delivering and each time I see the Morumbi filling up more," coach Ricardo said. "It's been 12 matches in 48 days, in Europe that's madness," Ricardo, who took charge in June with the team in 16th place, told reporters. "But for me it's been positive because I've hit a good run." ADRIANO WINNER Former Inter Milan striker Adriano scored his 10th goal of the season to give Flamengo a 1-0 home win over Corinthians in the clash of Brazil's two most popular clubs at the Maracana. After missing a host pf chances, including one almost on the goal line when he ended up in the net, Adriano struck 13 minutes after the interval. He latched on to a clearance from a long range shot by former Manchester United player Kleberson to shoot in off the crossbar. "I missed so many (chances)...I will concentrate more to get it right more," the championship's top scorer told reporters. Flamengo are in eight place and Corinthians, without Ronaldo who is recovering from a broken hand, 11th, having slid down the standings without a win in their last five matches. Coritiba sacked coach Rene Simoes after their 3-1 home defeat by Cruzeiro left them in 18th place. He is the 24th coach to lose his job in the championship this season.