By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Fluminense dropped two points in the 2013 Copa Libertadores as they drew 1-1 with Chilean club Huachipato at the Engenhão Stadium in Rio. Boos rang at the final whistle after Fred missed a hat-full of chances to seal what should have been three points for the Cariocas.
The draw continues an unwanted sequence for the Laranjeiras outfit, who have now gone six games without a win at the Engenhão. In spite of the disappointing result, Flu still lead Group 8 with seven points from four games, although fellow Brazilians Grêmio have a game in hand.
The match was wide open as Huachipato attempted to mount the offensive, but it was the Rio club who had the better chances. Goalkeeper Veloso was in sharp shape for the visitors, saving from Thiago Neves’ rasping early drive.
As the first half progressed Fluminense created more and more opportunities, but could not find a way past Veloso. The goal finally came on the half-hour from the penalty spot.
Deco was tugged down in the area following a horrendous attempted clearance from the keeper. Fred calmly tucked away the kick to score his second goal in this year’s campaign.
The second half began in the same vein with Wellington Nem shooting just wide for the hosts in the opening exchanges. Thiago Neves and Fred also went close, but Flu were made to pay for their profligacy on 70 minutes.
Arrué’s swivel and turn allowed him to get in a cross from the right side. Gum only half cleared and Nuñez smashed in the loose ball.
In the final minutes Fred wasted yet another chance to snatch victory but was once again thwarted by Veloso. The Brazilians piled on pressure as time ticked away but, to the clear irritation of those in the stadium could not do enough to take the points.
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