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Real escape with hope of progress

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By ESPN Staff

Leaders Gremio thumped by Cruzeiro

RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Cruzeiro threw the Brazilian championship title race wide open by thumping leaders Gremio 3-0 on Wednesday, scoring their first goal after only 14 seconds.

Gremio's defeat left just a point separating the two four teams with six matches each to play.

Sao Paulo went level on 59 points with Gremio after controversially beating Botafogo 2-1 while Cruzeiro moved within a point of the leading pair, as did Palmeiras who beat Goias 1-0.

Gremio are still top on the number of games won.

Cruzeiro went ahead when Gremio lost possession from the kick off and Guilherme found Wagner, who fired into the roof of the net.

Jonathan and Guilherme completed Cruzeiro's win with two goals in a five-minute spell in the second half.

Sao Paulo took the lead against Botafogo when Jean pounced on a blunder by goalkeeper Renan to score just after the hour.

Wellington Paulista levelled five minutes later only for Botafogo to gift another goal, this time converted by Hernandes.

Botafogo had the ball in the net again two minutes later but the goal was disallowed, infuriating team officials.

Palmeiras beat Goias with a first-half penalty converted by Alex Mineiro.

Ipatinga stayed bottom after losing 2-0 to fellow strugglers Portuguesa on the debut of Enderson Moreira, their fourth coach of the year.

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