By Samindra Kunti, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The fourth round of the Taça Rio was completed yesterday as Botafogo inflicted a 3-0 defeat on Vasco da Gama. It leaves Vasco facing elimination in the competition as the São Januário outfit struggles to find form.
The Raulino de Oliveira stadium in Volta Redonda played host to the Carioca derby due to the closure of the Engenhão Stadium last week. Poor pitch conditions and the absence of Clarence Seedorf, Botafogo´s driving force in the midfield, affected the level of play in an uneventful first half.
After the break, Rafael Marques quickly scored Botafogo´s opening goal. Lodeiro added a second a few minutes later and Fellype Gabriel sealed Botafogo´s comfortable victory on 72 minutes. A red card for Vasco’s goalkeeper Alessandro completed a night of misery for the team of Paulo Autori.
Dedé, Vasco and Brazil centerback, lamented Vasco’s loss and could not clarify his team’s poor form: “It’s unexplainable. It seems they cursed us and it doesn’t go away. We now have no chances in the Taça Rio. We have to fight so that the team improves in the next competition.”
Vasco have not managed to win a game in the Taça Rio, going without scoring in their last five games. The Cruz-Maltino sit last in group A with only one point and now need a sequence of unlikely results to progress to the next round.
It was just a month ago that Vasco and Botafogo faced each other in the final of the 2013 Taça Guanabara, when Botafogo won 1-0. Next Vasco da Gama host Friburguense at the São Januário stadium on Sunday, while Botafogo will entertain Olaria.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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