Flamengo continue to stalk leaders Corinthians

RIO DE JANEIRO - Corinthians have stopped the rot of two consecutive defeats but not rediscovered their form as Ronaldinho's Flamengo threaten to overtake them at the top of the Brazilian championship.

Corinthians, who won nine of their opening 10 matches, were unconvincing in Wednesday's 2-1 home victory over bottom team America-MG.

Flamengo, with Ronaldinho inspirational once again, beat Cruzeiro 1-0 away at the Alligator's Arena in Sete Lagoas for a third consecutive win that kept them one point behind the leaders.

Corinthians' Jorge Henrique scored the fastest goal of the championship to put them 1-0 up after 28 seconds at the Pacaembu in Sao Paulo when he got a touch to William's diagonal shot.

However, the team played poorly and allowed the visitors to equalise with a header from striker Kempes in the 15th minute.

Midfielder Paulinho scored the winner in the 67th from a free-kick by Alex and America had Gilson sent off for a second booking but still Corinthians failed to dominate.

Unbeaten Flamengo scored in first-half stoppage-time when striker Deivid netted with a right-foot shot from a fine pass by Ronaldinho, the championship's top scorer with nine goals whose form could earn him a recall to the Brazil team.

South American champions Santos lost 2-0 at third-placed Vasco da Gama, their sixth defeat in 11 matches and third in a row, and are in the relegation zone.