Corinthians lose lead to Flamengo

RIO DE JANEIRO - Corinthians continued their recent run of poor form with a disappointing 1-1 draw at lowly Atletico Paranaense on Sunday to slip behind Flemengo at the top of the Brazilian championship.

Former Barcelona and FIFA Player of the Year Ronaldinho helped lead Flamengo to a 1-0 victory at Coritiba a day earlier, crossing for substitute Jeal's headed winner in the 89th minute at the Engenhao.

Unbeaten Flamengo have 33 points from 15 matches after a fourth consecutive win, one ahead of Corinthians, who have taken only four points from their last four matches but still have a game in hand over the new leaders.

"It's everything we dreamed of. We know there's still a long way to go but to feel this taste [of the lead] is very good," Ronaldinho told reporters.

Corinthians, who had won nine of their opening 10 matches before the loss of form, went behind at the Arena da Baixada in Curitiba from a penalty by midfielder Cleber Santana in the 36th minute after Madson was brought down by Weldinho.

The visitors equalised three minutes after half-time when midfielder Paulinho was fouled in the box and Alex converted the penalty, but 19th placed Paranaense held on for the draw.

Coach Dorival Junior was sacked by 13th-placed Atletico Mineiro after a 2-1 defeat by Figueirense on Saturday in the 24th coaching change of the year among the 20 first division teams.

Champions Fluminense lost 3-0 to bottom-placed America-MG at the Alligators' Arena in Sete Lagoas in their second match without Brazil striker Fred, who asked to be dropped during the week for psychological reasons.

Fred, who missed Thursday's 2-0 win over Internacional, was chased by angry fans after leaving a Rio bar in the early hours of Wednesday and threatened to quit the club.

South American champions Santos ended a run of three defeats with a 1-0 win over Ceara to climb out of the relegation zone. Santos have three games in hand.