By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Fluminense, Flamengo and Botafogo all recorded straightforward victories in the fifth round of the Taça Guanabara, the Campeonato Carioca’s first half, this past weekend. As it stands, all three are in the qualification places, alongside Vasco da Gama, for the semi-finals to be played later this month.
Fluminense comprehensively beat Quissamã 3-0 without breaking sweat. A beautiful free-kick from Jean, a wonder strike from Wágner and a Fred penalty were enough to do the damage.
The spot-kick was Fred’s first goal of 2013 and puts him in good shape before flying to London this week with the Seleção. On Wednesday, February 6th, the Brazilian national team play England at Wembley Stadium.
A fortuitous strike from Hernane midway through the second half gave Flamengo a 1-0 win over Nova Iguaçu. In a poor game of few chances the striker scored his fifth goal of the tournament, latching onto a loose ball to drive home.
The win put Flamengo top of Group B. The Rubro-Negro are currently unbeaten with four wins from five.
Topping Group A is Botafogo who suffered a fright against Macaé. The Glorioso were forced to come from behind, but eventually won 3-1 with an inspired show from their veteran playmaker.
Dutch ace Clarence Seedorf bagged the first hat-trick of his career. After equalizing in the first half, he converted two penalties in the final fifteen minutes.
And finally, Vasco suffered a shock reverse, losing 1-0 to Bangu at São Januário Stadium. Toothless in attack, an error from Dedé ten minutes into the second half allowed Hugo to score the only goal for the visitors.
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