By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – In the first of two finals matches for the 2016 Campeonato Carioca championship, Vasco won by 1-0 over Botafogo with a score from Jorge Henrique. The goalkeepers for Vasco and Botafogo had very different days, while Martín Silva made good saves for Vasco, a Jefferson error left Botafogo down a point.
The match was held at the Maracanã Stadium, despite it being prepared for the Olympic and Paralympic games in August and September. The next and final contest in the state championship tournament will also be at the Maracanã, this Sunday, May 8th at 4PM.
Despite the Jefferson error, the coach Ricardo Gomes made a point of praising the goalkeeper and captain of Botafogo in his press conference after the game. “I think Jefferson has enough credit with us, has saved us a few times, it happens. He has the courage, will pro contact, error, but it will not change anything. He understood, we are already thinking about Sunday.”
For Vasco the performance of the Uruguayan goalkeeper, Martín Silva, was the fourth consecutive game without conceding goals in the Campeonato Carioca. Coach Jorginho was full of praise, “Martín is really one of the greatest goalkeepers with whom I’ve worked. He notices details that many do not realize. He is a key player for us, who shows the necessary coolness in every moment. It’s that Uruguayan style.”
There were seven rounds in total in this new format, which had a structural change after an arbitration meeting in August 2015. The Taça Guanabara remains the main focus in the 115th edition of the Campeonato Carioca, the top division of football (soccer) in Rio de Janeiro state.
On Sunday, Vasco win the championship with a tie. If Botafogo wins by one goal, the Alvinegro can take the decision to go to penalty kicks. With a two goal difference on Sunday, they will be the 2016 champions.