By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Botafogo drew 1-1 with reigning champions Cruzeiro last night in the thirteenth round of the Campeonato Brasileiro at the Maracanã Stadium. The visitors dominated, especially in the second half, but couldn’t notch a fifth consecutive victory as the Carioca club clung on for a share of the spoils.
Cruzeiro enjoyed more ball possession, 57 percent to Botafogo’s 43 percent, and had eighteen shots on goal compared with Fogão’s eight. Jefferson kept the league leaders at bay during a late onslaught.
The draw means Botafogo move onto thirteen points from as many games. They also sit in thirteenth place, while Cruzeiro top the Brasileirão pile with 29 points, although rivals will now have a chance to make up ground on the Belo Horizonte outfit.
Last night the Minas Gerias club made a slow start. Accustomed to racing out of the blocks, Botafogo managed to keep them quiet and made a good start themselves. While technically inferior, Botafogo nevertheless managed to match their opponents for the opening period, taking the lead after 25 minutes.
Lucas crossed from the right and Edílson directed his header beyond Cruzeiro goalkeeper Fábio. Then towards the end of the first half Cruzeiro were already wresting the game from their hosts. Botafogo tried to break on the counter-attack but were blocked by the excellent Dedé.
In the second half, the game’s panorama continued to edge towards Cruzeiro dominance. The equalizer finally arrived on 59 minutes. Everton Ribeiro sent in a deep cross, Dedé headed down and defensive partner Leo steered the ball home. It was no less than they deserved.
After pulling level the visitors cranked up the pressure, Willian sending an effort from range crashing against the crossbar. At the end, Jefferson made an excellent save from Dagoberto to secure a point for the Glorioso.
This afternoon, Flamengo travel to Santa Catarina to face Chapecoense. Fluminense host Goiás at the Maracanã.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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