RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- Venezuelan midfielder Jefferson Savarino scored two first-half goals as Atletico Mineiro maintained their Brazilian Serie A title hopes with a 2-0 home victory over Santos on Tuesday.
It took just two minutes for Savarino to put the hosts ahead as he played a slick one-two with Nathan Souza and fired a shot between the legs of goalkeeper John Furtado.
He doubled his personal tally 15 minutes later by latching onto a chipped pass from Keno Franca and thumping home an unstoppable first-time effort.
The result at the Mineirao stadium left Atletico third in the 20-team standings, five points behind leaders Sao Paulo with both teams having six matches left in the season.
Santos have now suffered three consecutive defeats to fall to 10th, 17 points off the pace.
In Tuesday's only other match, Vasco da Gama held Palmeiras to a 1-1 draw in Sao Paulo after a Martin Benitez strike canceled out Breno Lopes' opener for the hosts.