By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – In the second round of the Taça Guanabara, Flamengo and Fluminense tied in a scoreless contest playing at Pacaembu Stadium in São Paulo yesterday (Sunday, March 20th). On Saturday Vasco beat Boavista 1×0 and Botafogo also beat Madureira 1×0 yesterday.
The results put Vasco, Botafogo and Flamengo in the top three spots respectively, while Fluminense trails at sixth place of Group C in the 2016 Taça Guanabara tournament.
There are seven rounds total in this new format, which had a structural change after an arbitration meeting in August 2015. The Taça Guanabara remains the main focus in the 115th edition of the Campeonato Carioca, the top division of football (soccer) in Rio de Janeiro state.
In the action yesterday, the Fla-Flu classico in Pacaembu brought 30,000 fans to see the clash return to the stadium for the first time since 1942. Despite the larger crowd of Flamengo supporters, by all accounts it was was the tricolor who dominated the first half.
After heading to the locker room in the interval scoreless, Flamengo and Fluminense returned without replacements to the field. The first substitution of the game was made by Levir Culpi at 12 minutes, followed by a few more changes that could not move the ball into the net for either team.
Next week Flamengo play Volta Redonda on Saturday at 6:30 PM, and on Sunday at 4PM Vasco will face Botafogo in another classico, played at home in the São Januario stadium. Fluminense will also play Sunday at 6:30 PM, traveling to meet Boavista.
With the Engenhão and Maracanã getting ready for the Olympic and Paralympic games in August and September, the big Rio clubs are being forced to play outside the state more. The next away classico will be Vasco against Flamengo on March 30th, to be played in Brasilia’s Mané Garrincha stadium.