Fluminense regained the lead in Brazil's Serie A after pounding Sao Paulo 4-1 while Corinthians dropped points on the road to lowly Vitoria with a 1-1 draw marked by an injury to their flagship striker Ronaldo. Argentine playmaker Conca scored two goals and set up two more for Fluminense as they consolidated their position as favorites for the title with two rounds remaining. Fluminense defender Gum opened the scoring from a Conca corner in the 34th minute. Lucas equalized for Sao Paulo early in the second half but the last twenty minutes witnessed a torrent of goals initiated by Conca, the midfielder who is widely regarded as the best player in Brazil's Serie A this season. Conca put Fluminense back in the lead with a strike inside the box in the 74th minute and then former Lyon striker Fred poached Conca's long distance strike roughly five minutes later. Two minutes from time, Conca sealed an emphatic 4-1 victory for Fluminense with a left footed shot that positions Fluminense within striking range of their first Serie A title since 1984.
Corinthians, meanwhile, failed to capitalize on their draw to relegation battling Vitoria despite an early lead secured by a terrific pass from Ronaldo to midfielder Danilo, the goalscorer. But Vitoria equalized just before half time with a penalty due to a handball by Corinthians midfielder Ralf. Playing in his seventh consecutive match, Ronaldo was substituted in the interim between the two goals in the 30th minute for a right thigh muscle injury. His departure appeared to unsettle the league leaders as they failed to recover their rhythm and impose their game on the home team. Third placed Cruzeiro bounced back from last week's 1-0 loss to Corinthians with a 3-1 victory over Vasco da Gama from goals by Roger, Henrique and Edcarlos, all of which were assisted by corners or passes from Montillo. The result leaves Cruzeiro just one point behind Corinthians who, in turn, lag one point behind Fluminense with two matches remaining.
After 36 matches:
Fluminense: 65 points
Corinthians: 64 points
Cruzeiro: 63 points
Penultimate round: Sunday, November 28
Fluminense (away) v. Palmeiras
Cruzeiro (away) v. Flamengo
Corinthians (home) v. Vasco da Gama