By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Botafogo lost 2-1 to Boavista in the Campeonato Carioca yesterday as their dreadful state campaign continues. Jefferson scored twice for the home side to give the minnows an outside chance of qualifying for the semi-finals.
In truth, the game was worth very little to Botafogo, having already been eliminated from the tournament. Yet for a club of the Glorioso’s prestige to lose to a small team from Saquarema is always a sobering experience.
Coach Eduardo Hungaro selected some new faces for the game. Goalkeeper Renan replaced Jefferson, full-back Alex Santos came in for Edílson and a new central defensive partnership, of Mario Risso and Matheus, was tried out.
In addition, youngsters Fabiano and Dedé added some much needed pace to a lethargic midfield, but there were some serious teething problems with the club’s new look defense. The pair looked nervous and Risso was lucky not to give away a penalty. Perhaps inevitably, Boavista went ahead on 35 minutes with a goal of beauty.
Jefferson hit an effort from outside the area and found the top corner of the net. There was little goalkeeper Renan could do about it and Botafogo went in a goal down at the break. Then Hungaro decided to change things, and brought on Cidinho for Henrique up front.
Eight minutes after the restart, the Alvinegro were level. Paraguayan midfielder Zeballos converted a penalty to put them in an excellent position to wrest the game from their hosts. Yet not for nothing do Saquarema have a hundred percent record at home, and were helped no end by Risso and Matheus leaving far too much space at the back.
Renan was forced into an excellent stop on seventy minutes, but nine minutes from time was helpless as Jefferson scored his and Boavista’s second with a sweetly struck shot.
This afternoon, Fluminense meet Vasco in a clássico. Kick-off is at 6:30 PM at the Maracanã Stadium.
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.