Campeonato Paulista wrap: Palmeiras move equal top

Palmeiras joined Campeonato Paulista leaders Santos on 10 points after beating Paulista 3-1 on Thursday.

Former Roma and Real Betis midfielder Marcos Assuncao put hosts Palmeiras 1-0 up 18 minutes into the match at the Estadio do Pacaembu.

A groin injury forced influential veteran Assuncao off in the 41st minute, but Palmeiras continued to dictate terms, with front-man Kleber making it 2-0 just a minute later.

Paulista coach Fernando Diniz withdrew ineffectual forward Barboza and replaced him with Carlao at half-time.

The switch paid dividends as the visitors enjoyed the better of the second half.

They pressed for a breakthrough and it eventually came in the 81st minute, when centre-back Mauricio Ramos conceded an own goal.

But a second and equalising goal proved beyond them and substitute Patrick struck in the 90th minute to make it 3-1 and seal the points for Palmeiras.

Led by Brazil’s 2002 World Cup-winning coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, Palmeiras are level with leaders Santos, but remain second on the table on goal difference.

Paulista are fifth, three points behind the top two.

Elsewhere, strugglers Gremio Prudente and Botafogo are still without their first wins of the campaign after playing out a 1-1 draw.

Visitors Botafogo led through midfielder Paulinho’s goal in the 28th minute at the Arena Barueri, but centre-forward Marcos Antonelli Romulo – on as a substitute – levelled for the hosts just before the hour mark.

The draw means Gremio have their first point of the season and climb off the foot of the table into 19th.

Botafogo, just two places better off in 17th, have three points from four matches played.