By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The 22nd round of the 2014 Campeonato Brasileiro was awful for the Carioca clubs, with none managing to take three points. Flamengo managed a draw, while there were damaging defeats for Fluminense and Botafogo.
Fluminense’s title challenge looks over after a 3-1 defeat to bottom club Vitória. A nightmare nine minute spell in the second half took the game away from the Tricolor, as well as blowing their chances of entering the G-4. Cícero had given Flu a first half load after stabbing home Darío Conca’s low cross, but dreadful defending cost the Rio club dear after the interval.
Dinei, William Henrique and Vinicius all capitalized on a shaky backline to take all three points at the Barradão. Flu now have a fight on their hands just to ensure Copa Libertadores qualification for next season.
Meanwhile, at the Pacaembu, Flamengo blew a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 with relegation threatened Palmeiras. Canteros and Alecsandro had given the Rubro-Negro a 2-0 lead by the half-hour mark, and Vanderlei Luxemburgo’s men looked to be in cruise control.
Yet new Palmeiras boss Doríval Júnior has instilled some fight in his charges. In the second half they fought back to snatch a share of the spoils. Diogo’s close range finish pulled one back from the home side less than two minutes after the restart, and, on 66, minutes, Chilean playmaker Valdivia teed up Victor Luis to send an unstoppable effort past Paulo Victor in the Flamengo goal.
Finally, Botafogo lost their fourth consecutive Brasileirão game after a 3-2 defeat to Bahia at home in the Maracanã Stadium. The Glorioso were reduced to nine men following the dismissals of Emerson Sheik and Ramírez, and the loss has dragged the club back into the relegation dogfight.
Emerson had netted twice in the first half to give Fogão a 2-1 half-time lead. But after being dealt the blow of two red cards, Bahia struck back with goals from Maxi Biancucchi and a last gasp effort from Branquinho to snatch the game 3-2.
Read more (in Portuguese).
* The Rio Times Daily Updates feature is offered to help keep you up-to-date with important news as it happens.