By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Fluminense comprehensively dispatched Flamengo 3-0 last night at the Maracanã Stadium to go top of the Campeonato Carioca table. The Tricolor failed to beat any of their Carioca rivals throughout 2013 but put paid to a sorry run of form in style yesterday.
Star striker Fred was missing for Flu after injuring his right thigh in training on Friday. However, youngster Michael was a more than able substitute, getting on the scoresheet.
His performances this year have been encouraging in the extreme, and an attacking quarter of Fred, Michael, Walter and Rafael Sóbis is one of the strongest in the country.
Before the match kicked-off, a minute of silence was held for Maicon, the 25-year-old Shalhtar Donetsk forward killed in a car accident in the Ukraine. He had been part of Flamengo and Fluminense’s youth academies while playing in Rio de Janeiro.
Flamengo went closest to breaking the deadlock in the opening exchanges, André Santos hitting the post on fifteen minutes. Nevertheless, it was Flu who would take the lead just before the half-hour.
Michael met Conca’s pass and, escaping the attentions of Erazo, headed the opener. The goal shocked Flamengo into action. Everton went close before Elano hit the crossbar with a free-kick, but Flu held onto their slim advantage as the half-time whistle blew and just after the interval Fluminense doubled their advantage.
Conca whipped in a free-kick, goalkeeper Felipe palmed Gum’s header but Elivelton was on hand to knock home the rebound. Flu coach Renato Gaúcho sent on Walter for his debut and he did not disappoint. Five minutes before the end, Chiquinho crossed from the left and Walter converted for his first goal in a Fluminense shirt. Victory was complete.
This afternoon, Vasco da Gama take on Nova Iguaçu at the Estádio Raulino de Oliveira. Victory would take the Cruz-Maltino to the top of the league.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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