By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The classic game for Taça Guanabara between two of Rio’s big four clubs, Fluminense and Botafogo, ended in a tie on Sunday in Volta Redonda, with both teams scoring once. The other two clubs (Vasco and Flamengo) won their respective games and are now leading the tournament.
With Botafogo dominating most of the game, Ribamar scored three minutes into the second half, tilting the score card Botafogo 1-0. This left Fluminense players scrambling during most of the second half, while Botafogo clearly had more chances at the opponent’s goal. Relief only came at the 47-minute mark when Gum scored the tie for Fluminense.
Vasco beat Bangu 2-0 in São Januario with goals from Luan and Jorge Henrique, while Flamengo and Madureira players battled it out under intense rain at Raulino de Oliveira stadium. Due to the rain the game was interrupted for seven minutes during the first half. Flamengo’s Emerson Sheik, however, scored the only goal of the game during a penalty call in the second half.
With Sunday’s results Botafogo and Fluminense are now tied for fourth place in the Taça Guanabara, each with a point. Vasco leads the competition with three points and Flamengo is tied in second with Boavista.
With the Engenhão and Maracanã getting ready for the Olympic and Paralympic games in August and September, Rio de Janeiro clubs are being forced to play outside the state. On Friday, March 11th, three games were confirmed outside Rio: Vasco against Boavista on March 19th will be played in Vitoria’s Kleber Andrade stadium, Flamengo vs Fluminense on March 20th will take place in São Paulo’s Pacaembu stadium and Vasco against Flamengo on March 30th will be played in Brasilia’s Mané Garrincha stadium.