By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Fluminense drew 0-0 with Paraguayan outfit Olimpia in the first leg of their Copa Libertadores quarter-final last night at São Januário. Having played the first leg at home, Flu now need either a victory or a goal scoring draw in Paraguay to progress to the semi-finals, where they will meet the winner of the Atlético-MG-Tijuana tie.
The Cariocas dominated the match last night but found it difficult to break down an extremely well-organized and disciplined Olimpia unit. For all their possession, Flu rarely threatened their opponents’ goals.
Center-forward Fred spent large parts of the encounter isolated in attack as Wellington Nem, Rhayner and Wágner failed to create sufficient openings for the number nine.
Nem was in particularly frustrating form last night, his pace causing difficulties in the Olimpia defense but his final ball rarely materialized.
Left-back Carlinhos was also guilty of wastefulness. He managed to push forward with far more frequency than right-back Bruno but his crossing was way off the mark, Fred cutting an irritated figure at times in the penalty area.
Coach Abel Braga became increasingly bold as the clock wore down. He brought on strikers Rafael Sóbis and Samuel for Bruno and Edinho but a winning goal continued to elude the Rio club. “The result was unfair. There was only one team was looking to score,” Braga said in his post match comments.
Olimpia players celebrated jubilantly at the final whistle. With home advantage in the return, the narrowest of victories would suffice to carry the team into the semis.
Fluminense now turn their attention to the 2013 Campeonato Brasileiro. They kick off their campaign against Atlético-PR this Sunday, at 6:30PM. The second leg against Olimpia is next Wednesday, May 29th, at the Estádio Defensores del Chaco in Asunción, Paraguay. The game begins at 10PM Brazilian time.
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