By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Fluminense are through to the quarter-finals of the 2013 Copa Libertadores after a 2-0 win over Ecuadroain side Emelec at São Januário. Following a 2-1 reverse last week the Tricolor’s victory gave them a 3-2 aggregate win.
The game saw the return of influential striker Fred to the Flu ranks and he didn’t disappoint, heading in the opener. Full-back Carlinhos made the result safe in the second half, six minutes from time.
In his first game for a month Fred was ecstatic at the final whistle. “My body is dead inside but it doesn’t worry me right now,” he told reporters.
Fluminense were forced to battle from the off as Emelec’s rough hand tactics to defend their lead almost spilled over into violence. On more than one occasion the Cariocas were thwarted by scything tackles or blatant foul play.
But Fluminense’s class was telling and Emelec could not hold the pace of Wellington Nem nor the doggedness of playmaker Wágner for the full 90 minutes. Watching from the stands was young Tricolor striker Michael, banned this week after failing a drugs test. The player later admitted to taking cocaine.
In the quarters Flu will meet the winner of the Tigre (Argentina) and Olimpia (Paraguay) tie. Tigre hold a 2-1 advantage from the first leg, but must now travel to Paraguay for the return.
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