By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Botafogo’s reserve team comprehensively beat Fluminense 3-0 yesterday afternoon in the Clássico Vovô at the Maracanã Stadium. A brace from Henrique and a superb volley from Argentine midfielder Bolatti helped the Alvinegro climb to sixth place in the table, while Fluminense remain three points behind Flamengo at the top of the Campeonato Carioca.
Encouragingly for Botafogo coach Eduardo Hungaro, the superiority of his players was underlined by the fact that every single starter yesterday was not first choice. Hungaro opted to rest his first-team ahead of this week’s Copa Libertadores tie away to Union Española of Chile, for which the club will fly out later today.
The match started in bizarre fashion, with Flu goalkeeper Diego Cavalieri booked before a ball had even been kicked. The international stopper marked the middle of the goal on the six yard line, and the referee unexpectedly produced a yellow card for defacing the pitch.
From the kick-off, Botafogo were the better team. Renato forced Cavalieri into a smart save before Flu launched a counterattack of their own. Fred put the ball in the back of the net but his effort was correctly ruled out for offside. That was about as good as it got for Fluminense.
Just after the half-hour mark, Henrique opened the scoring with a scorching effort from the edge of the area. Fred had another goal correctly chalked off as the Tricolor did not manage to respond to Botafogo’s dominance throughout the first half.
Both sides made changes at the break, with Gabriel coming on for Botafogo and Wágner entering to add more creativity to the Flu midfield. Nense had few chances before coach Renato Gaúcho sent on Walter to try and bring the scores level. A goal did indeed come. But it was a second for Botafogo.
Jorge Wagner’s long-range drive deflected into the path of Henrique, who steered the ball past Cavalieri for his and Botafogo’s second. Just two minutes later, Bolatti met Junio Cesar’s left-wing cross with a stunning volley to complete the scoring. There was still time for Fred to confound Fluminense’s misery with a missed penalty. The side’s humiliation was complete.
Campeonato Carioca Round Ten Results in Full:
Madureira 2-2 Friburguense
Resende 0-3 Flamengo
Volta Redonda 1-2 Bangu
Duque de Caxias 1-0 Audax
Nova Iguaçu 3-0 Boavista
Bonsucesso 3-0 Macaé
Fluminense 0-3 Botafogo
Vasco 1-2 Cabofriense
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