Leaders Corinthians kept up their lead at the top of the Campeonato Brasileiro with a spirited 1-0 win away to Cruzeiro on Sunday.
After a goalless first half Paulinho managed to find time and space to produce a 65th-minute winner and earn the Sao Paulo side a vital victory away from home.
The three points were all the more crucial as Vasco da Gama also won to remain level on points with the O Timao. Vasco were 2-0 winners at home to ten-man Atletico Mineiro, who had Serginho sent off on the hour.
The hosts were already home and dry by that point, though , with striker Elton and defender Fagner having put them two goals up after 18 minutes and with victory firmly in their sights.
Antonio Carlos and Sebastian Abreu scored in each half to help third-placed Botafogo to a 2-0 win at home to Atletico Paranaense.
Fluminense came away with a brilliant 2-1 win at Palmeiras thanks to early and late goals from goalpoacher Fred. Chile playmaker Jorge Valdivia had levelled from the spot before Fred's second, five minutes from time, restored the lead and snatched the win.
Struggling Santos were downed 1-0 at home to Gremio by Douglas' 20th-minute strike while Sao Paulo were handed a 3-0 beating away to Atletico Goianiense.
Internacional beat Avai 4-2 in Porto Alegre while Coritiba and Bahia cancelled each other out in a goalless draw.