By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The ninth round of the 2014 Campeonato Brasileiro was not kind to Carioca clubs, with none of the three playing in Série A managing to pick up three points. In the final round of matches prior to the five week hiatus courtesy of the FIFA World Cup, there were draws for Botafogo and Fluminense, whilst Flamengo suffered a crushing defeat.
A late own goal gave Botafogo a share of the points in a 1-1 draw away to Corinthians. The game was the second test event to be held at the brand new Arena Corinthians in São Paulo, prior to the World Cup opening match and ceremony on June 12th between Brazil and Croatia.
Jádson opened the scoring for the home side with a fine individual effort, curling a left footed effort beyond the outstretched palms of Renan in the Botafogo goal. Yet the Corinthians failed to put the game to bed despite creating several good chances, and were punished late on when Edmílson’s mazy run and cross-shot cannoned off a Corinthians defender to find the back of the net.
A disastrous first half display saw Flamengo lose 3-0 away to Cruzeiro. The inept performance highlighted how much work new Fla coach Ney Franco must do to rescue the sinking ship, as his side was blown away in a blistering first 45 minutes.
Two goals in two minutes, from Ricardo Goulart and Everton Ribeiro, set the tone for a period of dominance from the home side. Borges scored the third just before the interval after a wonderfully fluid passing move that showed Cruzeiro to be contenders for a second successive Brasileirão crown, while Flamengo sit next to bottom of the table.
Fluminensesurvived a scare to draw 1-1 with Internacional in Macaé. Inter were the better side and deservedly took the lead when Jorge Wagner raced onto Alan Patrick’s precise through pass to calmly slot home. Yet Jean leveled for the Tricolor with a sweetly struck shot from the edge of the area. Flu go in to the World Cup break in the G-4, holding onto a qualification spot for next year’s Copa Libertadores.
Campeonato Brasileiro Round Nine Results in Full:
São Paulo 2-1 Atlético-MG
Coritiba 3-0 Goiás
Vitória 0-1 Sport Recife
Cruzeiro 3-0 Flamengo
Grêmio 0-0 Palmeiras
Chapecoense 2-1 Bahia
Corinthians 1-1 Botafogo
Fluminense 1-1 Internacional
Santos 2-0 Criciúma
Figueirense 1-3 Atlético-PR
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