RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct 24 (Reuters) - An Obina hat-trick in
the opening half hour spurred Atletico Mineiro to a 4-3 victory
over arch-rivals Cruzeiro and toppled them from the lead in the
Brazilian championship on Sunday.
Fluminense reclaimed the lead on goal difference with a 2-2
draw away to Atletico Paranaense while Corinthians closed to
within one point of the leaders by beating Palmeiras 1-0 in Sao
Paulo in another of several derbies across Brazil.
With seven matches to go, Flu and Cruzeiro have 54 points
and Corinthians 53 after ending a run of seven matches without
Mineiro, who have spent all championship fighting to avoid
relegation, finally managed to climb out of the drop zone with
their victory in the Belo Horizonte derby while denting their
city rivals' title ambitions.
Striker Obina scored three times between the seventh and
30th minutes in the derby played in Uberaba while the Mineirao
in Belo Horizonte is being refurbished for the 2014 World Cup
and only with fans of "home side" Cruzeiro present.
Cruzeiro pulled one back before half-time through former
Tottenham Hotspur and Brazil fullback Gilberto with his first
touch after coming on as a substitute.
Atletico restored their three-goal advantage through
defender Rever with 20 minutes to go before striker Thiago
Ribeiro scored two late goals for Cruzeiro.
Argentine midfielder Dario Conca scored an equaliser two
minutes from time to give Fluminense the point which put them
back in the lead they had held for a majority of the
Tite made a winning start as Corinthians' third coach since
July when Mano Menezes left to take charge of the Brazil team
having replaced the departed Adilson Batista.
Playmaker Bruno Cesario scored the only goal of their Sao
Paulo derby in the 23rd minute with a shot that took a
deflection off Marcos Assuncao and left Palmeiras goalkeeper
Deola with no chance.
Gremio were held 2-2 in the Porto Alegre derby after
Argentina midfielder Andres d'Alessandro scored a late
equaliser for South American champions Internacional.
The Rio de Janeiro derby between champions Flamengo and
Vasco da Gama finished 1-1.
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