By Jayme Monsanto, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO – The Fluminense team won the showdown against Volta Redonda this wednesday in the Maracanã stadium for the second round of the “Taça Rio”, Rio de Janeiro state soccer competition, in the debut of Fifa World Cup Champion in 1994 Carlos Alberto Parreira as Fluminense’s coach. The Volta Redonda squad is based in the city of the same name, which is also known as the “Steel City”, for being site of CSN, Latin America’s biggest steelmaker.
The first half of the match ended in a 1-1 tie, as five minutes after Thiago Neves scored Fluminense’s first goal (20 mins), Junior Baiano scored the equalizer for Volta Redonda with a header (25 mins). In the second half, the carioca team did better, and the match’s final score was 2-1 as Conca scored the winning goal for Fluminense (59 mins).
Carlos Alberto Parreira seemed to like the performance of his team, despite admitting that the players still have room for improvement. Parreira managed several international soccer clubs around the world such as Turkey’s Fenerbahçe and the New York Metro Stars (now New York Red Bulls) and some countries’ national teams, like Kuwait, South Africa and Saudi Arabia. This is the third time he works as a coach for Fluminense, as in 1984 he was Brazilian Champion and in 1999 when Fluminense won the country’s Third Division.
Parreira’s next challenge will be this Sunday, when Fluminense will face Macaé, a team from an oil and gas prolific city in the Rio de Janeiro state, in the Maracanã stadium, at 4PM for the Taça Rio competition.
Fluminense may see another widely expected debut this Sunday, as striker Fred, recently hired from France’s Lyon was confirmed on the roster playing Macaé on Sunday. His participation, however, is not confirmed due to a small injury during training this week.