By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Flamengo are through to the final of the Copa do Brasil after defeating Goiás 2-1 last night at the Maracanã Stadium. Having won the semi-final first leg by the same scoreline the Rubro-Negro triumphed with a 4-2 aggregate victory and will now face Atlético-PR in the final.
It will be Flamengo’s sixth participation in a Copa do Brasil final. The club have twice won the cup, in 1990 against Goiás and in 2006 against Vasco.
Midfielder Elias put in a man-of-the-match performance in the middle of the park and scored the winning goal on a night of high nerves for the club and their fans. There were scenes of celebration and exhaustion at the final whistle.
Players showed elation at the side’s arrival in the final of a major competition. Others lay on the pitch, drained at the efforts the game had taken out of them.
Over 56,000 Flamenguistas were inside the Maracanã and they made themselves heard when their team needed them most. True to form, Flamengo did things the hard way last night.
Goiás, needing to win by a two goal margin, raced out of the blocks and took the lead after only four minutes. Davi put a free-kick in the danger area and Eduardo Sahsa rose highest to put the visitors in front.
Yet Fla didn’t let the nerves get to them. Elias, always him, released Hernane on thirteen minutes and the in-form striker lifted a deft chip over the out-rushing Renan to level the scores on the night.
Ten minutes later Mengão were in front thanks to a smashing effort from Elias. Collecting the ball from Amaral he swiveled his marker and curled a shot into the far right-hand corner of the net.
Flamengo based their second half tactics on counter attacks. With a 4-2 aggregate advantage they were safe and are now only two games away from a place in next year’s Copa Libertadores.
The first leg of the final against Atlético-PR will be on November 20th in Curitiba, with the return tie a week later at the Maracanã.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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