By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The first round of the 2013 Taça Rio was completed this past weekend with mixed results for Rio’s big fish. Whilst Botafogo and Fluminense recorded routine wins, Vasco followed Flamengo’s disappointment earlier in the week, losing to enormously inferior opposition.
On Saturday, Botafogo thrashed Quissamã 4-0 at the Engenhão Stadium. Júlio Cesar’s long-range effort on the half-hour got the ball rolling before a second-half rout.
Nicolas Lodeiro, Fellype Gabriel and Rafael Marques all netted in the space of twelve minutes to complete a comprehensive victory. Dutch maestro Clarence Seedorf put in an early contender for miss of the season, somehow managing to miss the target before an open goal.
Vasco made a terrible start to the Taça Rio, losing 1-0 to Volta Redonda at São Januário. After the side’s defeat to Botafogo in the final of the Taça Guanabara last week, a second successive loss caused the fans to turn on the team.
André Alves headed the game’s only goal from an inswinging corner despite being surrounded by three Vascaíno defenders. Having gone behind, the Cruz-Maltino failed to muster enough effort or motivation to get back into the game, the volatile Carlos Alberto putting in a particularly poor performance.
Wellington Nem’s solitary strike was enough to give Fluminense the narrowest of victories over Audax. Strong rain made the playing conditions tough but it was Audax who had the best of the opening period with Seleção goalkeeper Diego Cavalieri forced into two smart saves.
Flu came out revitalised after the interval and Nem grabbed the winner seven minutes into the second half. Edinho’s long range pass found Bruno on the right wing.
The full-back’s cross picked out the striker in the middle to steer home. In the next round, Vasco travel to Nova Iguaçu, Botafogo play Madureira, Flamengo travel to Boavista and Fluminense face Duque de Caxias.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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