By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Botafogo won the 2013 Taça Guanabara after a 1-0 win over Vasco da Gama yesterday afternoon at the Engenhão Stadium. After an even first half, Botafogo piled on the pressure and scored a deserved winner ten minutes from time, when right-back Lucas clinically slotted home from inside the penalty area.
The result relieves some of the pressure on Fogão coach Oswaldo de Oliveira, who has not enjoyed a productive relationship with the club’s fans. It was an one goal game marred by a change in the rules to this year’s Campeonato Carioca knock-out stages.
As Vasco had won their group and Botafogo had only finished runner-up, a draw would have sufficed for the São Januário outfit to be crowned champions. Hence as the game entered the closing stages and Botafogo continued to press, Vasco were content to sit and try to defend their advantage.
Yet their lack of proactivity was to be punished by Botafogo’s creativity. An excellent team move involving the unnaturally quiet Clarence Seedorf silkily unknotted Vasco’s defense, allowing Lucas to net the game’s only goal.
Seedorf found Júlio César down the left flank whose left cross picked out Lucas. The full-back, not generally known for his attacking prowess, picked his spot with precision to give Botafogo the title.
As a result the Glorioso have qualified for the final of the Campeonato Carioca. They will play the winners of the Taça Rio which will be decided over the coming weeks.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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