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By Georgia Grimond, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – It was a surprise end to a big match between two of Rio’s longest-standing rivals. In Week 28 of the Campeonato Brasileiro, Vasco da Gama took on Flamengo at the Maracanã stadium on Sunday, September 27th and walked away victorious after scoring two goals in the last five minutes. The final count was 2-1 to Vasco.

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Players fight it out on the pitch of the Maracanã stadium in Rio on Sunday, photo by Gilvan de Souza, courtesy of Flamengo FC.

Flamengo led the game after Émerson Sheik scored twelve minutes in. Vasco, however, came back strongly in the second half and turned the match around with only minutes to go until the final whistle. A free kick by Rodrigo had the teams level-pegging at the 58th minute, and Nenê nudged Vasco to victory at the 62nd minute after a penalty was awarded against Jorge because his hand touched the ball.

It was a glorious result for Vasco which, lying 19th in the table with 26 points, are dangerously close to relegation. It was also their fourth win in five games and their sixth victory in a row against their biggest rivals, Flamengo.

It is a different story for Rio’s most popular team, however. Having been close to entering the G-4, the top section of the table, Flamengo has now slid to seventh place with 41 points and will be dismayed at a third consecutive loss.

Also at the weekend fellow Carioca team Fluminense beat Goiás 2-0, leaving them tenth in the table and ending a streak of eight consecutive defeats. They will play Santos next week on Sunday, October 4th at 4PM.

Flamengo’s next challenge will also take place next Sunday. They play Joinville at the Maracanã at 11AM. At the same time, in Florianóplois, Vasco de Gama will play Avaí at Ressacada.

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