Corinthians recorded a 2-1 win at home to Santos to grab the advantage after the first leg of their Campeonato Paulista final on Sunday.
Paulinho and Paulo Andre netted either side of half-time for Tite’s men before Durval scored what could prove to be an important goal for Santos with eight minutes remaining.
Santos will be eyeing a fourth straight Paulista title when the teams head to Estadio Urbano Caldeira for the second leg on May 19, while Corinthians are aiming to win a record 27th title.
Corinthians wasted a host of chances before Paulinho finally gave them a deserved lead three minutes before half-time.
A set-piece caused Santos problems in the area before Paulinho poked an effort into the bottom corner to make it 1-0.
Corinthians’ second, which came with a quarter of an hour to play, was similar to their first as Paulo Andre’s powerful effort went in off the crossbar after a scramble in the area.
Santos pulled a goal back in the 82nd minute as Durval’s header from a Felipe Anderson free-kick crossed the line after also striking the crossbar, giving them hope ahead of the second leg.
In the Trofeu do Interior final – played between the best-placed countryside Sao Paulo clubs who failed to reach the Paulista semi-finals – Penapolense were held to a 0-0 draw at home to Ponte Preta in their first leg.