Palmeiras's bright start to the Brazilian championship came to an abrupt end when Cruzeiro stole a 3-1 victory at the Parque Antarctica stadium on Sunday.

Palmeiras, without in-form midfielder Jorge Valdivia who was on international duty with Chile, fell behind in the sixth minute when Araujo rounded off a flowing counter-attack.

Martinez equalized for Palmeiras by diverting a cross into the goal, but Cruzeiro regained the lead with a Ramires effort.

Palmeiras failed to capitalize on a number of chances, the best of which fell to Edmundo, the former Brazil striker who is facing a six-match ban for alleged violent conduct in a recent clash with Sao Paulo.

Marcelo scored a second-half equaliser to secure under-strength Santos a 1-1 home draw with Corinthians.

Santos coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo had rested several key players before Wednesday's Libertadores Cup semifinal clash with Gremio, but Corinthians were unable to capitalise.

Zelao gave Corinthians the lead when Santos goalkeeper Fabio Costa fumbled a corner. Marcelo scored with a glancing header from a floated Marcos Aurelio free kick.

Luxemburgo may regret his decision to play the half-fit Claudio Maldonado after the holding midfielder left the field clutching his thigh.

Gremio striker Tuta suffered exactly the same fate in his team's 3-0 defeat by new league leaders Botafogo at the Maracana stadium.

Striker Tuta left the field with a thigh strain and is doubtful for the semi-final against Santos.

Brazilian champions Sao Paulo ground out a 1-0 win over championship pace-setters Parana.

Coach Muricy Ramalho promised an attacking strategy but his team lacked fluency and needed a stroke of fortune to break the deadlock. It was provided by referee Leonardo Gaciba da Silva's generous interpretation that Parana goalkeeper Aloisio had fouled striker Marcos Leandro, Rogerio Ceni making no mistake from the resulting spot-kick

The result left Parana on nine points, one behind Botafogo.

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