By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Fluminense opened their 2014 Campeonato Brasileiro campaign with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Figueirense yesterday evening at the Maracanã Stadium. The Tricolor put on an excellent offensive display in front of 35,000 fans as they blew away the visitors in convincing style.
New coach Cristovão Borges continued his promising start to life at Laranjeiras. In his two games in charge the side have scored eight without conceding.
Goals from strike duo Rafael Sóbis and Fred, and a second half own goal, did the damage but in truth there was little resistance from their opponents.
Wágner and Conca, in the playmaking roles behind the forward line, combined excellently in what looks a promising partnership for the upcoming season. The outstanding player yesterday was Sóbis however, he opened the scoring after half an hour with an perfectly executed long-range effort.
Just before half-time, Flu doubled their lead. Wágner was tripped inside the penalty area by Thiago Heleno and referee Ricardo Marques Ribeiro pointed to the spot. Fred calmly stroked the kick home. In the second half, the game was killed as a contest just before the hour mark.
Sóbis crossed and Nirley could only convert the ball into his own goal. Figueirense threw in the towel and Flu continued to seize the game by the scruff of its neck. Only the heroics of Tiago Volpi held Fluminense at bay. After the controversies of the first months of 2014, the club have finally found some stability for the tough season ahead.
This afternoon, two more Carioca clubs are in action. Botafogo travel to face São Paulo at the Morumbi at 4PM, while Flamengo take on Goiás at 6:30 PM at the Estádio Mané Garrincha in Brasília.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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