By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Botafogo drew 1-1 with Volta Redonda last night at the Maracanã Stadium, putting their place in the semi-finals of the Campeonato Carioca in jeopardy. With six rounds remaining in the state tournament the Alvinegro are six points off the top four after a lackluster display in front of a paltry crowd.
On the same day Cabofriense beat Bonsucesso 1-0 to go third. Botafogo have twelve points from nine games and, despite putting out a strong side yesterday, failed to find any sort of rhythm or intensity to take the game away from their limited opponents, who find themselves in tenth place in the Carioca table.
Botafogo were ineffective in the first half and the game was played at a sleepy tempo. When Argentine striker Ferreyra found himself with a clear sight of goal he fluffed his lines and the chance vanished.
As the half-time whistle blew boos rang out from the 3,000 or so fans inside the stadium. At the beginning of the second half Botafogo tried to impose a quicker style of play on the game.
Wallyson and Lodeiro both wasted opportunities before coach Hungaro sent on Henrique and Bolatti for Wallyson and holding midfielder Marcelo Mattos. And the team’s increased pressure finally paid off.
A cross from Henrique struck João Paulo inside the penalty area and the referee pointed to the spot. Jorge Wagner struck the ball firmly to give Fogo the lead.
Yet just nine minutes later disaster struck the heavily favored side as Volta pulled level. Sassá, one-on-one with Jefferson after an error from Bolívar, rounded the Seleção keeper and stroked the ball home.
Botafogo’s pace slowed to that of the first half and they failed to push on. There were more boos waiting at the final whistle.
Campeonato Carioca Round Nine Results in Full:
Bangu 0-2 Vasco
Resende 1-3 Duque de Caxias
Friburguense 1-0 Nova Iguaçu
Macaé 0-1 Fluminense
Flamengo 2-0 Madureira
Audax 2-1 Boavista
Botafogo 1-1 Volta Redonda
Cabofriense 1-0 Bonsucesso
Read more (in Portuguese).
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