Gremio falls further off the pace with loss to Coritiba

Sao Paulo, Brazil ( - Gremio dropped 12 points behind leaders Cruzeiro on Sunday after suffering a heavy 4-0 defeat at Coritiba.

The match couldn't have started worse for Gremio as the club went behind 2-0 in the opening three minutes to an own goal from Para and a third-minute tally from Alex.

Julio Cesar stretched the lead to 3-0 in the 34th minute for Coritiba and Geraldo rounded out the scoring in the second half before Para's night got worse when he was sent off in the 66th.

Gremio was joined on 53 points by Botafogo, which secured a 1-0 win against Atletico Mineiro on Saturday with a 52nd-minute goal from Julio Cesar.

The other match Saturday saw Cruzeiro consolidate its lead at the top of the league with a 5-3 triumph over Criciuma as Dagoberto and Borges scored two goals apiece.

Ponte Preta secured a 2-1 win over Vasco da Gama with a stoppage-time goal from Uendel, Atletico Paranaense was able to claim a 1-1 draw at Bahia despite playing much of the match with 10 men, while Santos and Corinthians played to a 1-1 draw.

Aloisio notched a hat trick in Sao Paulo's 3-2 win at Internacional with two goals coming from the penalty spot, Flamengo was held to a 0-0 draw at Portuguesa, Juan and William Henrique scored goals in the final 30 minutes to lift Vitoria to a 3-2 comeback win against Fluminense and Goias down Nautico, 2-0, with first-half goals from Welinton Junior and Amaral.