Three off in bad-tempered Brazil derby

RIO DE JANEIRO - Three players were sent off as Sao Paulo and Corinthians drew 1-1 in a bad-tempered Brazilian derby on Sunday where rivalries were fuelled by a row over tickets.

Corinthians were furious after being allocated only 10 percent of the tickets by Sao Paulo for the Paulista championship game at the Morumbi.

The row had simmered all week, with Corinthians describing their rivals as "elitist" and accusing them of breaking an agreement in which clubs kept 50 percent of the receipts each.

The bad feeling spilled over onto the pitch as the match produced 11 yellow cards.

Corinthians midfielder Tulio was first to be sent off for punching an opponent after the two tangled in the 38th minute.

Sao Paulo's Wagner Diniz followed after halftime for a tackle from behind.

Borges put Sao Paulo ahead following a neat move in the 75th minute but Andre Santos levelled five minutes later, only to be sent off shortly afterwards for a second bookable offence.

Corinthians stayed second with 18 points from eight games, three behind Palmeiras who have played a game fewer.

The Paulista is the largest of the regional tournaments which kick off the Brazilian season.

Gremio forward Jonas scored twice in six minutes to help his side win 2-1 at Avenida in the Rio Grando do Sul championship in southern Brazil.

The game was held up three times in the first half as the paper thrown onto the field by fans caught fire which also burned advertising hoardings.

Cruzeiro extended their unbeaten record against Atletico Mineiro in the Belo Horizonte derby to 10 games after their 2-1 win in the Minas Gerais championship.

Furious Atletico coach Emerson Leao was restrained by police at the end as he attempted to remonstrate with the referee.

Ramires and Soares gave Cruzeiro a 2-0 halftime lead while Atletico had Welton Felipe sent off in the 38th minute. Diego Tardelli pulled one back with a second-half penalty.