Alecsandro ends winless Inter run

RIO DE JANEIRO - Striker Alecsandro scored twice as Internacional beat Nautico 3-1 to give new coach Mario Sergio a winning start in the Brazilian championship on Wednesday.

Sao Paulo let slip the chance to close the gap on leaders Palmeiras when they were held 2-2 by Coritiba. Palmeiras, at home to Avai on Thursday, are four points ahead of second-placed Sao Paulo.

Inter's victory, orchestrated by Argentine midfielder Andres D'Alessandro who helped himself to their second goal, put the team in third place, and amid the top four berths for qualification to the Libertadores Cup.

Mario Sergio was named as coach on Monday to replace Tite, who left by common accord with the club after a run of six matches without victory and no goals in the last three.

It was the 15th coaching change in the Brazilian championship which began in May, and the 27th for the year.

Alecsandro put Inter ahead in the 22nd minute when he tapped in a cross from the left by Argentine midfielder Pablo Guinazu.

Bruno Mineiro equalised five minutes before halftime but D'Alessandro restored Inter's lead in stoppage time minutes later with a brilliant free kick.

Alecsandro rounded off the victory when he turned in D'Alessandro's pass one minute into injury time.