Vasco da Gama moved provisionally two points clear at the top of the Brazilian Campeonato standings on Wednesday night with a 2-0 win at Sport Recife.
Juninho and Carlos Tenorio were on target in the final quarter to lift Vasco ahead of Atletico Mineiro, albeit having played two games more than their rivals. Atletico host Coritiba on Thursday night.
Sport Recife's cause was not helped by the dismissal of Diego Ivo in the 78th minute.
Hernan Barcos' brace helped Palmeiras collect only their third win in 15 games - 2-1 at Botafogo. Andrezinho had equalised for the seventh-spotted hosts just before the hour.
Santos twice relinquished a lead against eighth-placed Cruzeiro before pulling away to triumph 4-2.
First-half strikes from Felipe Anderson and Victor Andrade were cancelled out by Borges and Marcos Ceara, but Durval put the home team ahead for the third time on the hour mark and Bill sealed matters 12 minutes from the end. Cruzeiro had substitute Jose Elber sent off in the final minute.
Vagner Love's second-half double clinched a 2-0 victory for Flamengo at bottom-of-the-table Figueirense in a match which saw both sides finish with 10 men.
Figueirense defender Anderson Conceicao was first to get his marching orders in the 35th minute and Flamengo right-back Leo Moura also saw red 10 minutes later.
Paulinho's goal 12 minutes from time earned Corinthians a 1-1 home draw against second-bottom Atletico Goianiense, Ricardo Bueno having put the visitors ahead 11 minutes into the second half.
Finally, the games between fifth-placed Internacional and Nautico Recife, and third-bottom Bahia and Portuguesa, both finished goalless.