SAO PAULO (AP) – Ronaldinho scored from a free kick in the first half as Flamengo drew 2-2 with Internacional to move closer to the Brazilian league lead Sunday.
Flamengo played with an extra man the entire second half and twice relinquished the lead, but the draw was still enough to put the popular Brazilian club within two points of Corinthians, which lost 2-0 to Figueirense at home on Saturday.
Third-place Sao Paulo drew 1-1 with rival Palmeiras at Morumbi stadium, while fourth-place Vasco also played out a 1-1 draw with defending champion Fluminense, thanks to a first-half goal by former Brazil playmaker Juninho Pernambucano.
Ronaldinho put Flamengo ahead at the Beira-Rio stadium with a spot kick in the 25th minute, curling a low right-footed shot around the wall.
It was Ronaldinho's 10th goal in the Brazilian league, equaling Santos' Borges as the tournament's leading scorer. A two-time FIFA player of the year, Ronaldinho was called up to Brazil's national team last week for the first time since last November.
Internacional's Argentine midfielder Pablo Guinazu was sent off a minute into first-half injury time when he was shown his second yellow card for diving inside the area.
Defender Indio equalized for Internacional in the 50th minute and striker Jael gave Flamengo the lead again in the 60th. Brazil striker Leandro Damiao leveled the scores a final time with a perfect bicycle kick goal from near the penalty spot in the 77th.
Flamengo moved to 35 points after 18 matches, two points behind Corinthians and one ahead of Sao Paulo and Vasco.
At Morumbi, striker Dagoberto put Sao Paulo ahead of Palmeiras in the 42nd minute, dribbling past a defender and chipping over World Cup-winning goalkeeper Marcos.
Sixth-place Palmeiras equalized with a header from former Barcelona defender Henrique in the 62nd, taking advantage of a free kick cross by former AS Roma and Real Betis midfielder Marcos Assuncao.
Vasco had the lead over Fluminense after a penalty kick goal by Juninho Pernambucano in the 36th at the Engenhao stadium in Rio de Janeiro, but the titleholders equalized via striker Rafael Moura in the 61st.
Copa Libertadores champion Santos defeated Bahia 2-1 in Pituacu after Brazil striker Neymar scored from a penalty less than three minutes into the match. Santos is only 15th in the 20-team standings with 18 points, but has two games in hand.
On Saturday, leader Corinthians missed a chance to increase its lead atop the standings by losing 2-0 to Figueirense at Pacaembu stadium in Sao Paulo.
Also Saturday, Cruzeiro defeated Ceara 1-0 with a penalty by Argentine playmaker Walter Montillo in the 72nd.
Botafogo stayed in fifth place by beating Atletico Mineiro 3-1 at the Engenhao. Atletico is winless in seven matches and has lost all four matches since coach Stival Cuca took over the team.
In other results Sunday, Atletico Goianiense scored late to beat struggling two-time national champion Gremio 1-0 in Goias, while recently promoted Curitiba held Avai to a 0-0 draw in Florianopolis.
The Brazilian league began in May and is nearing its midway point. The Brazilian football calendar differs from those in Europe.