By Nelson Belen, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – On Sunday, June 25th, at Arena Fonte Nova in Bahia, Rio’s CR Flamengo came away with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Bahia in Round Ten of the Campeonato Brasileiro (Brasileirão), Série A. With the win, the Rubro-Negra becomes the first of Rio’s big clubs to enter the G-4 (top four) of the Brasileirão standings.
Sunday’s match started even with both teams creating early opportunities but unable to capitalize. At the nine-minute mark, Bahia‘s Zé Rafael stole a lazy pass from Willian Arão close to Flamengo’s penalty area but shot just wide wasting a great chance for the home team.
Flamengo received a big boost at the thirty-minute mark when Bahia’s Lucas Fonseca was ejected from the game with his second yellow. Fonseca appeared to kick Paolo Guerrero in the midsection as the two players were vying for the ball.
Despite the man advantage, the Rubro-Negra were unable to take get on the scoreboard, having to settle for the scoreless tie at halftime.
More of the same in the second period, with both teams unable to convert goalscoring opportunities. Finally, at the 73rd minute, Flamengo-newcomer, Éverton Ribeiro drew Orlando Berrio down the right side with a great pass leading to a rocket shot from Berrio for what would be the game’s only goal.
Sunday’s match marked the Flamengo debut of midfielder Éverton Ribeiro who just left Al-Ahli Dubai earlier this month to return to home country Brazil. Ribeiro ended up with the assist on Berrio’s game-winner
With the win, the Rubro-Negra have seventeen points and surged five spots in the standings, finishing the day at third in the table. Before Round Ten finishes, however, Flamengo could drop out of the G-4 depending on the result of Monday’s (June 25th) Botafogo-Avai match.
On the other hand, Sunday’s loss puts Bahia near the bottom of the standings as the club entered the relegation zone in seventeenth place with ten points.
The two teams return to the field for Round Eleven of the Brasileirão on Sunday, July 2nd. Flamengo takes on São Paulo in Rio de Janeiro, while Bahia goes to the Barradão to face Vitória.