(Reuters) - Ronaldinho scored from two free kicks to rescue a 2-2 draw for South American champions Atletico Mineiro at home to Brazilian champions Fluminense.
A referee was given a police escort off the field at halftime after controversially disallowing a goal in Internacional’s 1-0 win over Corinthians while Cruzeiro’s 3-1 win at Bahia kept them top of the Brazilian championship in other games on Wednesday.
Mineiro fell behind when a defensive blunder gifted a 12th-minute goal to Fluminense’s Wagner but equalised in first-half stoppage time when Ronaldinho won a free kick and scored with a shot which went in off the crossbar.
In a generally scrappy game which produced more than 50 fouls, Rhayner put Fluminense back in front in the 73rd minute only to be sent off for a second bookable offence two minutes later.
Another exquisite Ronaldinho free kick seven minutes from time salvaged a point for the Roosters.
Mineiro, who have sat on their laurels since winning the Libertadores Cup in July and fielded second-string teams in several games, are 13th in the 20-team table with 21 points from 17 games.
Former Real Madrid and Brazil coach Vanderlei Luxemburg’s Fluminense, last year’s champions, are 16th with 19 points, one place above the relegation zone.
Dunga, another former Brazil coach, saw his Internacional side end a run of six straight draws by beating Corinthians 1-0.
Argentine Andres D‘Alessandro scored the winner with a deflected free kick, although Inter were fuming after a disallowed goal in the first half.
Corinthians goalkeeper Cassio was injured in a collision with Inter forward Leandro Damiao as he cleared a cross, then Fabricio collected the rebound and fired into an empty net.
The referee at first signalled a goal but then awarded a foul to Corinthians, generating furious protests from the hosts. He was escorted off at halftime by riot police wielding truncheons and plastic shields.
Cruzeiro (37 points) stayed four clear of Atletico Paranaense at the top. First-half goals from Borges and Everton Ribeiro put them in control in front of a sparse 9,000 at the Fonte Nova, one of Brazil’s World Cup stadiums.
Fahel pulled one back for Bahia before former Sevilla, Malaga, AS Roma, Real Madrid and Brazil striker Julio Baptista completed the scoring.
Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne; Editing by Clare Fallon