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Palmeiras routs Vasco da Gama 4-1, moves closer to the leaders in Brazilian league

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SAO PAULO — Striker Leandro Pereira scored in each half to help Palmeiras defeat Vasco da Gama 4-1 and move into third-place in the Brazilian league on Sunday.

Forward Dudu and defender Victor Ramos also netted first-half goals for Palmeiras, which has won sixth of its last seven league matches. Colombian striker Duvier Riascos scored Vasco's lone goal with his team already trailing 4-0.

Palmeiras reached 28 points, four less than leader Atletico Mineiro, which on Saturday edged Figueirense 1-0 at home. Sport also has 28 points after 15 matches, but Palmeiras is ahead with more victories. Corinthians is second in the 20-team standings with 30 points.

Vasco da Gama remains in relegation zone with the loss at its Sao Januario Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

Uruguay goalkeeper Martin Silva, who made mistakes in two of Palmeiras' first-half goals, was substituted at halftime. Silva was returning to the team after recovering from a left ankle injury.

Vasco's fans also were upset with Argentine striker German Herrera, who had two clear chances to score but couldn't find the net. In one of his opportunities, the goal was empty when he sent his close-range shot into the crossbar.

Palmeiras, seeking its first league title since 1994, hadn't beaten Vasco at Sao Januario in seven years. Vasco has won only one of its six games at the stadium in this year's league.

On Saturday, Argentine striker Lucas Pratto scored the winner by converting a second-half penalty at the Independencia Stadium in Belo Horizonte, securing Atletico Mineiro's seventh win in the last eight matches.

Corinthians missed a chance to stay closer to Atletico after conceding an injury-time equalizer in a 1-1 draw at second-to-last-place Coritiba, a result that halted the team's three-match winning streak.

Also Sunday, Sao Paulo moved to fifth-place by beating two-time defending champion Cruzeiro 1-0 with a goal by Alexandre Pato at the Morumbi Stadium, while Fluminense dropped to seventh after a late 2-1 loss at Chapecoense. Sixth-place Gremio drew fourth-place Sport 1-1 at the Arena Gremio in Porto Alegre, while Flamengo topped Goias 1-0 in Goiania, winning its second in a row and jumping to 11th place.

Santos left relegation zone by defeating last-place Joinville 2-0 at the Vila Belmiro Stadium, while Internacional, coming off elimination in the semifinals of the Copa Libertadores, drew Ponte Preta 0-0 in Campinas.


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