By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The tenth round of the 2014 Campeonato Brasileiro, and first since the FIFA World Cup, was dreadful for the Carioca clubs. Botafogo, Fluminense and Flamengo were all defeated in a nightmare restart to domestic football.
A wonder goal from Neto Baiano helped Sport Recife beat Botafogo 1-0 at Ilha de Retiro. Young goalkeeper Andrey was caught too far off his goal-line, and Baiano unleashed a spectacular 45 yard drive that sailed over the young stopper’s head and into the net.
The result puts Sport in the G-4, the top four places in the Brasileirão table, and a qualifying spot for next year’s Copa Libertadores. Botafogo, meanwhile, continue to look over their shoulder at the relegation zone.
Flamengo also made a bad start as their poor Brasileirão form continues. The Rubro-Negro lost 2-1 to Atlético-PR in Macaé. Douglas Coutinho put the visitors ahead after nineteen minutes before Samir equalized for the Cariocas after 34 minutes.
But Cleberson netted the winner on the hour mark for Atlético and Fla failed to respond. The defeat means Mengão slip to the bottom of the table, having picked up just seven points from their opening ten games, and the club look to already have a relegation scrap on their hands.
A brace from veteran midfielder Paulo Baier helped Criciúma to a 3-2 win over Fluminense. The 39-year-old subsequently set up the hosts’ third to stop Flu making up ground on early league leaders Cruzeiro. Baier put Criciúma ahead from the penalty spot six minutes before the interval after Henrique was judged to have tripped him in the area.
Just before the hour mark, he took advantage of a Diego Cavalieri rebound to double his side’s advantage. Then on 66 minutes he turned provider, crossing from the left for Serginho to head home Criciúma’s third. Conca pulled one back seven minutes from time and two minutes later Matheus Carvalho headed a second for Flu to make it a nervy finish, but the night belonged to Paulo Baier.
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