By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Hernane scored in possibly his final game for Flamengo as they comfortably beat Ecuadorian club Emelec 3-1 last night at the Maracanã Stadium in the Copa Libertadores. The Fla number nine has an offer from Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua and could leave Gávea by the end of the week.
Almost 40,000 fans were inside the Maracanã yesterday to witness an excellent performance from the Rubro-Negro. At the final whistle they begged Hernane to stay, who now boasts the enviable record of nineteen goals in 22 matches at the renovated arena.
Flamengo are now second in Group 7, with three points from two outings. Léon, who beat Fla in the first round, are top with four points after a 1-1 draw away to Bolívar. Mengão took the lead after just ten minutes and never looked back. Former Seleção midfielder Elano curled a delicious free-kick into the top right-hand corner of the net.
Hernane looked isolated during the first half and did not manage to involve himself properly in the game as he was constantly denied service by the Emelec back line. Flamenguistas began to vent their frustration with boos with the team losing their dominance over proceedings.
However, at the beginning of the second half, Hernane netted to give the home side breathing space. André Santos powered his way down the left flank and into the penalty area, squaring the ball for Hernane to beat the defender and poke beyond the goalkeeper. Hernane almost provided the third for Everton but the playmaker could not find the finish. Nevertheless, once Achilier was dismissed for the visitors nine minutes from time all bets were off as Everton added the third.
Emelec scored a consolation but it did nothing to dampen Carioca spirits. Flamengo are up and running in the 2014 Copa Libertadores. In Group 2, Botafogo drew 1-1 away to Union Española of Chile after Argentinian striker Ferreyra rescued a point in the second half. The Alvinegro have four points from two games and top the group.
Read more (in Portuguese).
* The Rio Times Daily Updates feature is offered to help keep you up-to-date with important news as it happens.