By Nelson Belen, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The top football clubs in Brazil took the pitch on Saturday (July 2nd) and Sunday (July 3rd), for Round Thirteen of the 2016 Campeonato Brasileiro (Brasileirão) Série A. Of Rio’s big three clubs in this year’s Série A, only Botafogo was able to earn a victory this weekend, defeating Santa Cruz 1×0. Fluminense drew with Coritiba 0x0, while Flamengo was trounced 4×0 by São Paulo’s Corinthians.
The game was a tale of two halves, as the rubro-negra came out strong dominating ball possession in the Corinthians area for most of the first period. A couple of highlight-reel saves from Corinthians goal-keeper Cássio and several missed scoring chances from Flamengo kept the game scoreless going into the second half.
At fourteen minutes into the second half, Flamengo keeper Alex Muralha blocked a seemingly routine free kick from Giovanni. Unfortunately for Flamengo, the ball landed right into the lap of the Corinthians top scorer, striker Romero. The Paraguayan quickly took advantage of the rebound, knocking the ball past Muralha for first goal of the game.
The goal left Flamengo dejected and shaken as the team appeared on their heels the rest of the second half. At the 32-minute mark, Corinthians took advantage of Flamengo’s now-porous defense, this time with a counter attack goal from William that opened the floodgates.
Only two minutes later, Corinthians mid-fielder Rildo, who had just entered the game, again took a rebound from Muralha and quickly deposited it into the back of the net. A second goal from Romero at the 43-minute mark would be the final nail in the coffin and seal the 4×0 victory for the Corinthians.
The defeat drops Flamengo further away from the G-4 and the Copa Libertadores qualification zone. With twenty points at time of writing, the rubro-negra are in the seventh position in the league standings. The team will now face Atletico-MG next Sunday. The Corinthians have reached 25 points and are in second position.
The Brasileirão Série A consists of the top twenty teams in the country competing in 38 rounds of games until a champion is crowned in December.