By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Botafogo and Fluminense will lock horns in the final of the Taça Rio next week after both beat lower opposition in the semis. Fogo thrashed Resende 5-0 on the Saturday whilst Fluminense brushed aside Volta Redonda yesterday afternoon 4-1.
Botafogo were never in danger and were three goals up after only 25 minutes. Strikes from Dória, Nicolas Lodeiro and Fellype Gabriel effectively ended the match as a contest before the half-hour mark.
Rafael Marques scored with a sharp strike from the edge of the area before Seedorf put the icing on the cake in the closing stages.
As expected they will have to get past defending champions Fluminense to lift the Taça Rio crown. The Tricolor suffered a fright but eventually ran out easy 4-1 winners.
Rafael Sóbis gave Flu an early lead which was rapidly cancelled out. Flu dominated however and Rhayner, Sóbis and Nem again all missed gilt-edged chances to put the side back in front.
Wellington Nem’s close range finish restored Nenese’s advantage before the break and Sóbis added a third shortly after the interval. Coach Abel Braga brought on Thiago Neves for his first start in over a month as he makes his way back from injury.
The playmaker instantly showed his class with the fourth, chipping the keeper with pinpoint precision. Neves should be fully fit for Flu’s Thursdays Copa Libertadores encounter with Ecuadorian outfit Emelec.
Should next week’s final end in a draw, Botafogo will win the trophy as a result of having a better record in the competition. As holders of the Taça Guanabara, success next week would hand Botafogo the 2013 Campeonato Carioca crown.
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