By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Botafogo beat Chapecoense 1-0 last night in the seventeenth round of the 2014 Campeonato Brasileiro at the Maracanã Stadium. A wonderful strike from new signing Ramírez on 31 minutes was enough to give the Alvinegro the points and, for the time being at least, lift them clear of the relegation zone.
Botafogo played in front of their biggest home crowd of the season. Over 18,000 were inside the Maracanã to show support to the club who have faced a mountain of off the field problems since the turn of the year.
The added support gave huge incentive to the Glorioso as Botafogo started the game by far the better side. Zeballos and Ramírez combined well in attack and threatened from the off. But their slick build-up play was often thwarted by target man Ferreyra, whose lack of movement was a serious hindrance to the side.
Edílson, playing down the right flank, was not at his best and several crosses sailed wide of their intended projection. Chapecoense, for their part, offered very little in attack as Botafogo pushed forward relentlessly.
On 31 minutes they deservedly went ahead. Ramírez struck a beautiful effort from outside the penalty area, and goalkeeper Danilo was given no chance. The Cariocas started the second half in exactly the same fashion as the first. But they still stuttered in the final third of the field thanks to Ferreyra.
Chapecoense sent on Tiago Luis and immediately looked a different proposition. Fogo stopper Jefferson was forced into action to prevent Grolli from equalizing on 61 minutes, before Bruno Rangel sent an effort crashing against the woodwork.
As the final minutes wore down the visitors launched balls into the middle from distance, but Botafogo held on for a much needed three points.
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