Holders Cruzeiro open with win, Gremio denied
© AFP

Marcelo Moreno's last-gasp strike helped Cruzeiro begin the defence of their Campeonato title with a nervy 2-1 win at Bahia

The visitors took the lead just after the hour mark through Nilton, but Anderson Talisca's penalty 10 minutes from time appeared to have rescued a point for Bahia. But Cruzeiro would not be denied and Moreno sealed victory with his last-minute effort.

There was no such luck for last season's runners-up Gremio, who started their campaign with a 1-0 defeat at Atletico Paranaense. Drausio scored what would prove to be the winner after 16 minutes for Paranaense, who finished directly behind Gremio last season.

Sao Paulo made the ideal start to their campaign with a comfortable 3-0 triumph over Botafogo. Antonio Carlos opened the scoring after 13 minutes, with Douglas adding the second nine minutes later, before Luis Fabiano sealed victory just before the hour mark.

Two goals in the final 10 minutes from Leandro Moura and Alan Kardec saw Serie B champions Palmeiras earn a 2-1 victory at a stunned Criciuma, who had taken a 12th-minute lead through Paulo Baier. Gabriel Barbosa's 80th-minute strike rescued a 1-1 draw for Santos at home to recently-promoted Sport Recife, who had taken the lead seven minutes earlier through Euvaldo Neto.

Elsewhere, Atletico Mineiro were held to a goalless draw by Corinthians, while that was the same score between Flamengo and Goias.