Corinthians ends Atletico's unbeaten streak


SAO PAULO (AP) -Atletico Mineiro retained its lead in the Brazilian league despite having its 14-match unbeaten streak ended by defending champion Corinthians on Sunday.

Atletico lost 1-0, but remained atop the 20-team standings after second-placed Fluminense couldn't do better than a 2-2 draw with last-placed Figueirense on Saturday. Both teams have 44 points, but Atletico is ahead on number of victories. Atletico, led by former two-time world player of the year Ronaldinho, also has a game in hand.

Third place Gremio earned a 0-0 draw with Palmeiras on Saturday, moving to within three points of the lead. Fourth-placed Vasco da Gama is six points back after a 2-0 win over Portuguesa.

Also Sunday, Uruguay striker Diego Forlan scored his first goals with Internacional in the team's 4-1 win over Flamengo.

Atletico Mineiro, seeking its first league title since 1971, hadn't lost since a 1-0 result against Sao Paulo on June 16.

Defender Paulo Andre scored the winner for Corinthians in the 63rd minute at the Pacaembu stadium, heading the ball in after a corner kick.

Atletico pressured after Corinthians striker Emerson was sent off in the 76th. It appeared to have the equalizer when striker Guilherme scored from inside the area after a cross by Ronaldinho in the 90th, but the goal was called off an apparent for offside.

"The referee made a mistake, there was nothing wrong in the play, it's a shame," Ronaldinho said.

Guilherme had another great chance off a Ronaldinho pass in injury time, but his shot was saved by Corinthians goalkeeper Cassio.

Corinthians, which won the Copa Libertadores earlier this year, moved to ninth in the standings with the win, while Atletico stayed in first place despite a three-game winless streak.

Fluminense could have moved ahead if it had held on to its 2-0 lead against Figueirense in Florianopolis, but it allowed an 86th-minute goal to relinquish the victory.

Gremio inched closer after escaping with a scoreless draw against Palmeiras in Sao Paulo on Saturday. Gremio played a man down from the 18th after striker Kleber was sent off for elbowing an opponent.

Palmeiras, coming off the Brazilian Cup title, continues its struggles and is only 18th in the standings and in the relegation zone. Luiz Felipe Scolari's team hasn't won in four matches.

Also Saturday, Vasco da Gama got past Portuguesa with a goal by Ecuadorean striker Carlos Tenorio. Vasco, last year's runner-up to Corinthians, had lost three in a row and four of its last five matches.

Sao Paulo stayed in fifth place despite a 1-0 loss at Bahia, a result which ended the team's three-match winning streak. Sao Paulo has 34 points, equal to Internacional, which outplayed Flamengo from the start in the 4-1 win at the Beira-Rio stadium.

Forlan, voted the best player at the 2010 World Cup, scored in each half, getting his first goals with the Brazilian club since signing in early July. Brazil striker Leandro Damiao also scored for Internacional, which hadn't won in four matches.

Flamengo, Brazil's most popular club, is winless in three matches and dropped to 12th in the standings.

Also Sunday, Botafogo defeated Coritiba 2-0 in Rio de Janeiro, while Santos - without injured stars Neymar and Paulo Henrique Ganso - lost 2-1 to Sport in Recife.

Sixth place Cruzeiro scored second-half goals to beat Nautico 3-0.


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