Internacional beats Sport 2-1 in Brazilian league

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SAO PAULO (AP) - Argentine playmaker Andres D’Alessandro and Chilean midfielder Charles Aranguiz scored a goal each to give Internacional a 2-1 win over Sport in the third round of the Brazilian league on Sunday.

The victory puts Internacional atop the standings along with Goias, Corinthians and defending champion Cruzeiro, which beat Atletico Paranaense 3-2 with a late winner by Bolivian striker Marcelo Moreno on Saturday. Corinthians won 1-0 at recently promoted Chapecoense with a second-half goal by Peru striker Paolo Guerrero, which Goias upset winless Atletico Mineiro 1-0 in Belo Horizonte.

D’Alessandro opened the scoring for Internacional with a long-range left-footed shot that deflected off a defender before going into the net in the 13th minute at the Beira-Rio Stadium in the southern city of Porto Alegre.

Aranguiz netted his second goal of the championship on a breakaway in first-half injury time. Replays showed the Chilean midfielder appeared to be slightly offside.

Also Sunday, striker Alecsandro scored twice in the second half to help Flamengo beat Palmeiras 4-2 at the Maracana Stadium for its first victory of the championship, while Bahia defeated Botafogo 1-0 with a second-half goal by Argentine striker Maxi Biancucchi at the Fonte Nova Arena in Salvador.

It was the second victory for Internacional at the renovated Beira-Rio, which will host five World Cup matches. Sport’s lone goal was scored by Patric in the 79th minute.

Internacional, Goias, Corinthians and Cruzeiro are the only teams with seven points in the 20-team standings after three rounds.

Cruzeiro earned its second win thanks to Moreno’s goal in the 84th-minute at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia on Saturday. It had equalized less than 10 minutes earlier with a penalty kick converted by midfielder Souza after Atletico jumped to a 2-1 lead in the first half. Moreno had already scored a late winner in the team’s opening win against Bahia.

Cruzeiro again played with its second-stringers to rest the regular starters for the quarterfinals of the Copa Libertadores, Latin America’s top club competition. Atletico played nearly the entire second half a man down after defender Drausio was red carded for a hard foul just after halftime.

Also Saturday, third-place Fluminense missed a chance to remain atop the table after a 2-1 home loss to Vitoria in front of nearly 50,000 fans at the Maracana. Fluminense was the only team that had won its first two matches to start the championship.

“It was frustrating, we wanted a victory for the fans who showed up in big numbers to support the team, they deserved a better result,” Fluminense coach Cristovao Borges said. “We were all disappointed when the match ended, but I think the fans saw that the team gave all it had, at least they can be proud of that.”

Fluminense, the league winner in 2010 and 2012, was relegated on the field last year but stayed in the top flight after a sports tribunal stripped points of Portuguesa for using a suspended player in the final round. Portuguesa ended up in the second division.

Midfielder Marquinhos scored in the 54th and 84th minutes to give Vitoria its first win of the championship. Fluminense scored with Wagner in the 88th.

Also Saturday, Santos drew Gremio 0-0 at the Vila Belmiro stadium in Santos, while Sao Paulo was held by Coritiba to a 2-2 draw at the Pacaembu stadium in Sao Paulo. Striker Alexandre Pato scored Sao Paulo’s first goal.

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