Rio de Janeiro: Deco was inspirational as Fluminense beat Goias 3-0 to record their fifth away win in a row and open a five-point lead in the Brazilian championship on Wednesday.
The Former Chelsea and Portugal midfielder, who made his "Flu" debut in last weekend`s 2-2 derby draw with Vasco da Gama, laid on the opening goal for striker Washington and began the move leading to the second by Emerson, both in the second half.
Midfielder Marquinhos scored the third in stoppage time as Fluminense went five points clear of second-placed Corinthians, 1-0 losers at Cruzeiro, with 36 points from 16 matches.
"I still have to improve but playing was important to get rhythm," said Brazilian-born Deco, who until Sunday had not played since his last match for Portugal in June at the World Cup.
"In the first half, Goias played well and caused us problems. In the second we passed the ball well and managed to win."
Third-placed Botafogo have 27 points after beating promoted Ceara 1-0, their fifth consecutive win under former South Africa coach Joel Santana.
Teenager Neymar converted one penalty and missed another as Santos beat Gremio 2-1 to go fourth with 24 points and a game in hand.