By Lisa Flueckiger, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Carioca clubs in the Serie A, Fluminense, Flamengo and Botafogo, didn’t fare too well in the 2014 Brasileirão championship. Fluminense and Flamengo finished the season in the middle of the table without either qualifying for the Libertadores and Botafogo were even relegated and will play in the Serie B in 2015.
In the last round of the 2014 Brasileirão this Sunday (December 7th), where the Cariocas had already nothing to gain anymore, Fluminense lost against 2014 champion Cruzeiro with 1×2 and ended up as sixth placed. Only the first four, Cruzeiro, São Paulo FC, Internacional and Corinthians plus Copa do Brasil winner and fifth placed Atlético-MG qualified for the Libertadores, leaving the tricolor on an ungrateful spot.
However, Fred, Flu’s aging striker, made it to the top of the scorer list with eighteen goals. Two more than second placed Henrique from almost relegated Palmeiras.
Carioca rival Flamengo drew 1×1 with Grêmio, ending up as tenth of the table, while Botafogo continued their goalless streak with a 0x0 against Copa do Brasil champion Atlético-MG. The Alvinegro ended the season second-but-last and will dispute the Serie B next year for the second time.
Botafogo will be joined by Criciúma, Vitória and Bahia, who all failed to secure enough points to remain in the first division. With the fall of the two northeastern clubs, next year’s Serie A will be dominated by clubs from the south and southeast.
The only Carioca club that ended the season on a positive note was Vasco da Gama. The club that had been relegated last season made it to the third place in the Serie B and will be back in the first division for 2015. They are joined by Serie B champion Joinville, Ponte Preta and Avaí.