By Nelson Belen, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – It was a busy day of football (soccer) on Sunday, July 2nd, as three of Rio’s big four clubs took the pitch in Round Eleven of the 2017 Campeonato Brasileiro (Brasileirão).
Sunday’s action was highlighted by a dominant performance by Flamengo in their 2-0 win over São Paulo, scoring both their goals in a span of four minutes.
The Rubro-Negra started Sunday’s match strong but didn’t get on the scoreboard until late in the first period. At the 38-minute mark, goal scoring specialist, Paolo Guerrero, launched a picture-perfect free kick high into the right corner past the helpless keeper, Renan Ribeiro, for the 1-0 lead.
Only four minutes later, playmaker Everton Ribeiro dribbled into São Paulo’s penalty area drawing several defenders to him. The recent Flamengo signee expertly led Diego into the goal box setting up a point-blank shot for the game’s second goal and securing the 2-0 win.
“The game was difficult and I am very proud of everything that the team produced today,” Flamengo head coach Zé Ricardo said after the match.
With the win, Flamengo is third in the Brasileirão standings with twenty points. The club now turns its attention back to the 2017 Copa Sudamericana, traveling to Santiago, Chile to take on Palestino on Wednesday, July 5th.
Meanwhile, São Paulo continue its downward spiral in the 2017 season. Now winless in six consecutive rounds, the Paulistas drop into the relegation zone at seventeenth in the standings.
In other local action, despite a valiant effort, Botafogo fell to another São Paulo club, Corinthians, 1-0, thanks to a late-game goal from João Alves, also known as Jô. Corinthians sit atop the Brasileirão standings with a league-leading 29 points.
In the final game of the day, a goal in the 91st minute by Wágner saved Vasco from a loss, securing the 2-2 draw against Coritiba. With the draw, Vasco holds on to the sixth spot in the standings with sixteen points.