SAO PAULO (AP) — Disgruntled striker Fred scored a pair of goals as Fluminense beat Sport 4-0 in the Brazilian league on Sunday, helping the club end a four-match winless streak and silencing fans who had protested against his poor performances recently.
Argentine playmaker Dario Conca also scored for Fluminense, which jumped to fifth in the standing with the victory at the Maracana.
Cruzeiro opened a seven-point lead atop the standings by beating Goias 1-0 in Goiania with a 25th-minute goal by Bolivian striker Marcelo Moreno. It held on to the victory after Goias missed a penalty in injury time at the Serra Dourada Stadium.
It was the third win in a row for Cruzeiro, giving them 39 points with two rounds remaining before the championship's halfway point. No other team has had these many points at this stage of the competition.
Seeking its fourth national title, Cruzeiro has won 12 of its 17 matches and is unbeaten in nine rounds.
Fred had threatened not to play after upset fans punched and kicked the cars of some players following a loss last week. Fans also threw objects at players as they arrived at an airport in Rio following the team's third loss in four matches. Fred posted a statement denouncing the fans' behavior and calling on local authorities and club officials to take action.
The 30-year-old striker was criticized by fans and media after a disappointing performance as Brazil's starter at the World Cup. He scored with headers in 42nd and 88th minutes on Sunday, and also set up midfielder Cicero's goal in the 35th. Conca closed the scoring from a free kick in the 50th.
Also Sunday, playmaker Paulo Henrique Ganso and striker Alexandre Pato scored as Sao Paulo moved to second place by beating rival Santos 2-1 in Sao Paulo in a match marked by fan violence.
A few fans were hospitalized with minor wounds after a confrontation between rival groups who were on their way to Morumbi Stadium. The confrontation came less than a week after a Palmeiras fan died following a fight against Corinthians supporters. A Santos fan was beaten to death earlier this year in a fight against Sao Paulo supporters.
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