By Doug Gray, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO – Two more rounds of the Brasileirão took place this week, and for once Fluminense came away happy, having clocked up an impressive 5 x 1 win against Sport and an away draw against Vitória. Botafogo failed to grab any points from their encounters with São Paulo and Atlético-PR. Flamengo narrowly lost midweek in Goiás before rallying with a strong win over rivals Corinthians in front of a packed home crowd. All of which means Fluminense are off the bottom of the league table, albeit by just one place. Flamengo climb to eighth and Botafogo slip to fifteenth position.
Flamengo 1 x 0 Corinthians
The ever-controversial Adriano was once again the hero for Flamengo as the two biggest fanbases in the country met on Sunday at the Maracanã. Sadly, without their own superstar Ronaldo the visitors produced plenty of chances. They were clearly lacking that cutting edge up front. Adriano showed how it is done with his tenth goal of the season.
Expectations were high ahead of the much-hyped duel and Flamengo had the upper hand early on. Adriano fluffed two good chances before Bruno was called upon for the first time in the home goal, holding on to a long-range free kick and then keeping out Dentinho with his legs.
In the second half Flamengo continued to press, Everton going close and Adriano inexplicably missing from one yard out before finally silencing his growing number of critics with a sharp turn and low shot after twelve minutes. Despite some anxious moments later on, the goal proved enough to grab the three points allotted to the victory.
Vitória 2 x 2 Fluminense
Spurred on midweek by their first win in two months, Fluminense looked more positive in Bahía on Sunday. Despite going behind early on the Carioca side they would have snatched all three points but for some miraculous saves by Glegur in the home net.
It all looked painfully familiar as Willian gave Vitória the lead after fifteen minutes having cut through the Flu defense with ease. The visitors reacted well, though, and deserved captain Luiz Alberto scored an equalizer after half an hour.
When Roni then gave them the lead early in the second half they should have shut the game out, but conceded a soft goal just three minutes later and the score was level once more.
With time running out both goalkeepers did well to maintain the status quo. It was Glegur’s fine double save right at the death that stopped all three points coming to Rio.
Botafogo 0 x 1 Atlético-PR
Botafogo failed to capitalize on their recent run of improved form, first losing to São Paulo midweek and then going down at home to struggling Atlético-PR on Saturday. It was the hero of those past performances André Lima who turned villain this time.
The sparse home crowd were given little to cheer as Lima struck an early penalty against the post and fellow striker Simões hit the woodwork himself moments later. There was more bad luck when a Lima goal was controversially ruled out. It was clearly not going to be Botafogo’s night.
In the second half Simões and Lima squandered more good chances and midway through the period a free kick hung in the area long enough for Manuel to head on to Patrick. He reacted quickly to nod the ball home and give the visitors an undeserved lead and all three points.
With Copa Sul Americana action midweek the next Serie A games will be played on the weekend. Botafogo travels to Palmeiras on Saturday, Fluminense hosts Curitiba at the Maracanã on Sunday, and Flamengo faces a challenge away to Grêmio the same day.