By Nelson Belen, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – On Sunday, May 21st, at Nilton Santos stadium, Rio’s Botafogo football (soccer) club earned its first win in the 2017 Campeonato Brasileiro (Brasileirão), Série A, defeating Campinas’ Ponte Preta, 2-0.
In their opening match of the Brasileirão season last Sunday, May 14th, Botafogo was lackluster in a 2-0 shutout loss to Grêmio. The club rebounded a few days later in the Copa Libertadores, dishing a shut out of its own, with a 1-0 victory over Atlético Nacional.
From the opening whistle in yesterday’s match, both teams came out in attack mode with each missing on several opportunities to draw first blood.
Finally, at the twenty-minute mark, with Botafogo at the edge of Ponte Preta’s goal area, the ball bounced off several players from both teams, before finally landing at the feet of the Lone Star’s Bruno Silva. Silva calmly launched a beautiful long-range shot that was just beyond the outstretched reach of Ponte Preta keeper, Aranha, for the game’s first goal.
Only two minutes later, Ponte Preta almost tied the game on a close range shot attempt. But, a great save from Botofogo keeper Fernández would preserve the 1-0 lead going into halftime.
The second half began balanced, with both teams again trying to go on the attack, but with neither able to break through until the twentieth minute of the period. Rodrigo Lindoso let loose another long-range shot from beyond Ponte Preta’s goal area. But, like Silva’s shot earlier, the ball twisted just beyond a diving Aranha.
Botafogo would keep the pressure on almost scoring two more goals as the clock wound down, with only a gallant effort from Aranha keeping the match somewhat respectable.
The club now goes back to the Copa Libertadores to face off against Argentina’s Estudiantes football club on Wednesday, May 25th, before returning to the Brasileirão to go against Bahia on Sunday, May 28th.