By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Botafogo beat Rio rivals Fluminense 2-0 yesterday afternoon at the Estádio Mané Garrincha to climb out of the relegation zone in the 2014 Brasileirão. Second half strikes from Daniel and Zeballos won the game for the Alvinegro, as the pressure increases on Flu, and coach Cristovão Borges, after a dreadful week.
The Tricolor have not won in three games and have seen their good start to the season become undone following elimination from the Copa do Brasil last Wednesday. As if to confound their current malaise, captain Fred missed a penalty last night, not even getting his effort on target.
After being touted as genuine title contenders, Flu now find themselves clinging onto a place in the G-4. São Paulo, in fifth, have now drawn level on points, following a 2-1 win against Paulista rivals Palmeiras.
The first half was a scrappy affair with neither side managing to get a grip on the midfield battle. The best chance came from a dead ball, when Botafogo’s Edílson smashed a free-kick narrowly wide of the post, whilst Fluminense created next to nothing.
The second half was a major improvement, for Botafogo at least. They scored two goals in the space of three minutes that killed the game as a contest. First, on 64 minutes, Daniel opened the scoring with a wonderful angled effort from the left. Then, doubling the advantage, Zeballos converted striker partner Ferreyra’s right-sided low cross.
Fluminense went for broke and all out attack. Rafael Sóbis saw an effort stopped by an excellent save from Jefferson before Fred sent a penalty woefully wide three minutes before time.
Flu have now gone six clássicos without beating Botafogo. If they really are to challenge for the title, they need to make a marked improvement on Wednesday, away to Chapecoense.
There was also a win for Flamengo, who beat Coritiba 1-0 away from home. Everton got the game’s only goal after sixteen minutes to give the Rubro-Negro a third win in four outings.
Campeonato Brasileiro Round 15 Results:
Goiás 0-1 Internacional
Corinthians 1-1 Bahia
Palmeiras 1-2 São Paulo
Coritiba 0-1 Flamengo
Cruzeiro 3-0 Santos
Vitória 0-0 Chapecoense
Grêmio 2-0 Criciúma
Botafogo 2-0 Fluminense
Sport Recife 1-1 Atlético-PR
Figueirense 2-2 Atlético-MG
Read more (in Portuguese).
* The Rio Times Daily Updates feature is offered to help keep you up-to-date with important news as it happens.