Clarence Seedorf helped Botafogo regain the Brazilian league lead by setting up two goals in the team's 3-1 win over Portuguesa on Sunday.
Botafogo scored all its goals in the second half to end a three-match winless run and open a one-point advantage over Cruzeiro, which thrashed Vitoria 5-1 on Saturday.
Gremio stayed close in third place by beating Vasco da Gama 3-2 with two goals by Argentine striker Hernan Barcos on Saturday. Club world champion Corinthians moved to within striking range in fourth place thanks to a controversial late penalty converted by Peru striker Paolo Guerrero in a 1-0 win over Coritiba on Sunday.
Defending champion Fluminense ended a four-match winless run by beating last-place Nautico 1-0 on Saturday, moving farther from relegation zone. Six-time Brazilian champion Sao Paulo, second-to-last in the 20-team standings, had its winless streak extended to 12 matches after former Brazil midfielder Jadson missed an 88th-minute penalty in the team's 0-...