By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Flamengo are through to the quarter-finals of the Copa do Brasil after a thrilling penalty shoot-out win over Coritiba at the Maracanã Stadium last night. Having lost the first leg of the tie 3-0, Fla won by the same scoreline to take the contest to spot kicks.
With the shoot-out going to sudden death, the Cariocas prevailed 3-2 with Canteros converting the winning kick. Eduardo da Silva and Chicão also netted for Fla, whilst Alecsandro, João Paulo and Léo Moura missed their efforts from twelve yards.
Flamengo got the rub of the green throughout the game but seized their chances. They were awarded a penalty in injury time of the first half when Zé Love was judged to have fouled Léo Moura inside the area.
Alecsandro stepped up and hit the penalty low and to the right to give Mengão a 1-0 lead at the interval. Coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo made one change for the second half, sending on another striker in the shape of Eduardo da Silva as the side went for broke.
The substitute was involved less than ten minutes after the restart to help Flamengo win another penalty. He passed to João Paulo, whose cross from the left struck Norberto on the shoulder. The referee pointed to the spot for the second time on the night. It was Fla’s fifth penalty in as many games. Once again Alecsandro took the responsibility, and calmly scored from the spot. Now it was game on.
Ten minutes from time, they pulled level. Everton crossed, once again from the left flank, and Eduardo stabbed home at the second time of asking, to take the tie to penalties and send Flamengo into the last eight on an emotionally charged night. The club will take on América-RN in the next round.
Meanwhile, Botafogo also progressed in the cup competition after beating Série B club Ceará 4-3 with two late strikes from Luis Ramírez and André Bahia. Following last week’s 2-1 home defeat, the Glorioso qualified for the last eight, where they will meet Santos, on away goals.
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