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By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Botafogo remain just four points behind leaders Cruzeiro in the 2013 Campeonato Brasileiro after a 2-1 win over Santos yesterday at Vila Belmiro, that city’s stadium. A brace from Elias gave the Alvinegro three points in the perfect preparation for Wednesday night’s crunch clash with Cruzeiro at the Mineirão.

Botafogo Keep Pressure on Cruzeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Botafogo are just four points behind Cruzeiro. The pair meet on Wednesday, photo by Paulo Dimas/VIPCOMM.

Santos did not play badly and in the first half created just as many chances as Botafogo. Jefferson made a fantastic save from a Leandrinho header before Alisson hit the crossbar.

However, it was Botafogo who took the lead on 33 minutes. Júlio Cesar crossed from the left, Rafael Marques headed goalwards for Aranha to save and Elias to touch home the rebound.

Botafogo started the second half at a frightening pace as they looked to kill the game. On 56 minutes, they scored a much-deserved second goal when Elias headed in Renato’s cross.

Cícero pulled one back for the home side but they rarely threatened a second. Botafogo remain on Cruzeiro‘s coat-tails for the biggest game of the Brasileirão this season on Wednesday night.

Meanwhile, Flamengo drew 1-1 away to Ponte Preta and climbed to thirteenth in the table. After falling behind, a late André Santos goal rescued a point for the Rubro-Negro.

Also Vasco slipped into the relegation zone following a 2-0 defeat against São Paulo. The Cruz-Maltino have now gone three games without a win.

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.

Round 21 in the 2013 Campeonato Brasileiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Ranking after round 21 in the 2013 Campeonato Brasileiro.
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