By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Botafogo beat Figueirense 1-0 in the third round of the first leg of the Copa do Brasil last night in Volta Redonda. Rafael Marques headed the game’s only goal on 28 minutes to give the Glorioso their tenth consecutive victory at the Estádio Raulino Oliveira in Volta Redonda, Rio de Janeiro state.
The result gives the Carioca club a slender advantage in the battle for a place in the tournament’s final sixteeen. In the second leg, which will take place on July 24th at Florianópolis’ Orlando Scarpelli stadium, a draw would see them safely through to the next round.
Botafogo were technically superior to their opponents throughout, but goalkeeper Jefferson was still forced into a couple of smart saves. Rafael Costa was a constant thorn in Fogo’s side, giving full-back Lucas numerous problems down the left flank.
Youngster Vitinho curled an excellent strike round Tiago Volpi in the Figueriense goal, but the ball cannoned back off the crossbar on 25 minutes. However, Botafogo would not have to wait much longer for their goal.
Just three minutes later, Nicolás Lodeiro whipped in an inswinging cross from the right wing. Rafael Marques rose the highest and deftly glanced the ball into the far corner to give Botafogo the lead.
Despite largely controlling the second half, Botafogo could not add to their lead. They head to Florianópolis in three weeks’ time, hoping they won’t live to regret missed opportunities from the first leg.
Botafogo return to action in the Campeonato Brasileiro (Brazilian Championship) this coming Sunday, July 7th, in a clássico against Fluminense. The match will take place at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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