By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Botafogo and Flamengo both won in the eleventh round of the 2013 Campeonato Brasileiro yesterday afternoon. Flamengo thrashed Copa Libertadores winners, Atlético-MG 3-0, while Botafogo edged a thrilling clássico with Vasco da Gama 3-2.
The derby was the highlight of the Carioca football weekend and the spectacle did not disappoint. Before kick-off, the match had been billed as the battle of the veterans, Juninho versus Seedorf, and the Dutch midfielder, having netted for Botafogo, will have walked away the happier of the pair.
Goals from Rafael Marques and Clarence Seedorf had put Botafogo two goals ahead after half an hour and seemingly in control of the game. However, on the stroke of half-time, Juninho helped put Vasco back in the match, allowing André to pull one back for the São Januário club.
Vasco raced out of the blocks in the second half. André equalized less than two minutes after the restart, putting the momentum firmly with Vasco.
Or so they thought. Less than 60 seconds after that leveler, Rafael Marques scored the game’s winner, a beautiful dribble and shot to hand the points to the Alvinegro and putting them back at the top of the table.
Meanwhile, Flamengo climbed out of the relegation zone with a 3-0 win over Atlético-MG at the Estádio Mané Garrincha in Brasília. The Rubro-Negro raced into a two-goal lead after only thirteen minutes with strikes from Nixon and Elias.
Atlético were missing Ronaldinho, Bernard and Jô and subsequently looked toothless in the final third of the field. Fifteen minutes from time, Paulinho latched onto Rafinha’s through ball to wrap up the points, helping Fla climb to twelfth in the league.
Flu missed several chances to kill the game off and were forced to pay with just five minutes to go, William converting Alemão’s left-wing cross.
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