SAO PAULO (AP) — Bolivian striker Marcelo Moreno scored a first-half goal to help defending champion Cruzeiro defeat Santos 3-0 and retake the Brazilian league lead on Sunday.
Cruzeiro also got second-half goals from former Brazil midfielder Julio Baptista and playmaker Ricardo Goulart, the tournament's leading scorer with nine goals.
Cruzeiro lost the league lead on Saturday after Internacional beat Goias 1-0 in Goiania to jump to 31 points. The three-time national champion reached 33 points from 15 matches with Sunday's victory at the Mineirao Stadium.
Third-place Corinthians lost a chance to move closer to the top after a 1-1 home draw against struggling Bahia on Saturday, while popular club Flamengo, now coached by Vanderlei Luxemburgo, left the relegation zone with a 1-0 win at Coritiba.
Botafogo, enduring financial struggles that have kept players from receiving their salaries, also left the relegation zone after beating rival Fluminense 2-0 with a goal by Paraguay striker Pablo Zeballos at the Maracana Stadium. It was Botafogo's first win in three matches.
Fluminense striker Fred, who played poorly with the Brazilian national team during the World Cup, missed a penalty kick late in the match, sending his shot high and wide.
In Belo Horizonte, Moreno scored with a controversial header in the 24th minute. Santos players wanted the goal to be disallowed because of offsides but the officiating crew let the play stand. Goulart added to the lead in the 48th and Baptista closed the scoring in the 87th to give Cruzeiro its first win after two consecutive draws.
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