Ceara, Botafogo, Flamengo all victorious
Ceara claimed a surprise win over Brazilian rivals Sao Paulo in the first leg of their Copa Sudamericana second-round clash on Wednesday.
A late goal by Marcelo Nicacio gave Vagner Mancini's Ceara the 2-1 win, but Sao Paulo's away goal could prove important in the return match on 24 August.
Veteran midfielder Rivaldo put Sao Paulo ahead in the 23rd minute. The equaliser came seconds before half-time, as Osvaldo set up Rudnei, who sent the ball into the back of the net with his heel.
Sao Paulo were plunged into trouble when Denilson was sent off two minutes after the interval, but were set for a valuable draw until Nicacio netted the winner in the second minute of stoppage time.
After three defeats in a row in the Campeonato, Nicacio said: "It was a great win. We have been through difficult times, we've been criticised, but we proved we are a strong team."
Midfielder Felipe Azevedo added: "We knew it was going to be a tough game as Sao Paulo are big rivals. One player was sent off and it helped us."
In Belo Horizonte, Botafogo claimed a 2-1 away victory over Atletico Mineiro with German Herrera opening the scoring in the sixth minute. Argentinian forward Herrera scored after good work from Uruguayan striker Sebastian Abreu to put Botafogo ahead.
Botafogo extended their lead seven minutes before half-time when Maicosuel finished off a counter-attacking move involving Marcelo Mattos. Atletico reduced the deficit in the 44th minute thanks to a goal from Richarlyson but failed to find an equaliser in the second period. Atletico midfielder Toro was sent off in the 85th minute after a tackle on Fabio Ferreira.
In Rio de Janeiro, former Barcelona and AC Milan playmaker Ronaldinho netted a penalty in the 82nd minute to give Flamengo a 1-0 home win over Atletico Paranaense.