SAO PAULO — Striker Leandro Pereira scored in the first half to give Palmeiras a 1-0 win over Santos in the first leg of the Sao Paulo state final Sunday.
In Rio de Janeiro, Vasco da Gama edged Botafogo 1-0 at the Maracana Stadium to take the lead in that state tournament.
Palmeiras had a chance to take a bigger advantage into the second leg in Santos next weekend, but striker Dudu missed a 60th-minute penalty kick, striking the crossbar. Santos played a man down after the penalty because defender Paulo Ricardo was sent off for the foul inside the area.
A draw will be enough to give Palmeiras its first state title since 2008. Santos is playing in its seventh straight final, but it hasn't won the tournament since 2012.
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