Vasco go top, Avai go down
Vasco da Gama moved top of the Brazilian Campeonato standings on Saturday with a 2-0 home victory over Avai, which confirmed the visitors' relegation. Avai had Junior Urso sent off after only 21 minutes and the hosts made their man advantage count after the interval.
Jorge Felipe opened the scoring five minutes into the second half and Elton's 66th-minute strike sealed matters. The result put Vasco a point clear of Corinthians, who play Atletico Mineiro on Sunday, and left bottom club Avai eight points adrift of safety with only two games remaining.
Elsewhere, Felipe Azevedo bagged a hat-trick as Ceara boosted their survival bid with a 3-1 win at Gremio. The midfielder's first effort was cancelled out by Douglas eight minutes before half-time, but his second - from the penalty spot four minutes into the second half - restored the lead he notched a third before the hour to put the result beyond doubt.
America MG remained deep in trouble second from bottom, though, after going down 3-1 at Sao Paulo. Luis Fabiano's brace saw the hosts head in at the break two goals to the good and Juan extended their advantage five minutes after the restart.
Their cause was not helped by the 55th-minute dismissal of Xandao, and substitute Alessandro pulled a goal back 12 minutes from time, but that was as good as it got for America MG. The win moved Sao Paulo up to fifth and kept alive their hopes of a top-four finish and a Copa Libertadores qualifying spot.