By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The 26th round of the Campeonato Brasileiro was one to forget for Rio clubs, with none managing to pick up a vital three points. Fluminense conceded a late equalizer, whilst there were defeats for Flamengo and Botafogo.
A late goal from Bahia held Fluminense to a 1-1 draw at the Estádio Mané Garrincha in Brasília. Fred had opened the scoring with a header from close range in the first half, but Marcos Aurélio’s strike eight minutes from time earned the Salvador outfit a share of the spoils.
The result was enormously damaging for Flu. The two points dropped kept the Tricolor from entering the G-4, and the Laranjeiras outfit are stuck in seventh place, two points off a qualifying place in next year’s Copa Libertadores.
Meanwhile, Flamengo’s poor run of form continued after they lost 1-0 to Santos at the Maracanã. Robinho’s goal, on 24 minutes, was enough to win the match as the Rubro-Negro’s poor run of form continued.
Fla are now just four points off the relegation zone, having hoisted themselves to the relative comfort of mid-table following the arrival of Vadnerlei Luxemburgo. Mengão have now gone five games without a win and struggled for inspiration yesterday despite trailing for over an hour,
Finally, Botafogo have slipped to next to bottom in the league after losing 2-1 to Vitória at the Barradão. A brace from Marcinhos won the contest for the home side and left the Glorioso staring into the abyss.
The loss came the day after club president Mauricio Assumpção sacked four of the club’s players with only a third of the campaign remaining. Highest earner Emerson Sheik, who has netted six goals in eighteen games, experienced central defender Bolívar, alongside full-backs Edílson and Júlio César, have all been dismissed from the club.
Finanacial issues continue to dominate the agenda at Botafogo but several in the Brazilian media are already fearing the worst following such drastic action. Next up on the pitch is a relegation six-pointer against Palmeiras.
Campeonato Brasileiro Round 26 Results in Full:
Palmeiras 4-2 Chapecoense
Flamengo 0-1 Santos
Fluminense 1-1 Bahia
Coritiba 1-0 Atlético-PR
Vitória 2-1 Botafogo
Grêmio 0-1 São Paulo
Corinthians 3-0 Sport Recife
Cruzeiro 2-1 Internacional
Criciúma 3-1 Atlético-MG
Goiás 1-0 Figueirense