By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Vasco beat Coritiba 2-1 last night in the Campeonato Brasileiro to keep their survival hopes alive. It had been a week of upheaval for the Cruz-Maltino, with coach Doríval Junior getting the sack and new manager Adílson Batista installed.
A brace from striker Edmílson helped the new coach to a win in his first game in charge. Youngster Marlone also put in a masterful performance as Vasco gave their fans hope the club can avoid the drop come the end of the season.
Vasco remain in the relegation zone for the time being, but have now amassed 36 points, the same number as Fluminense, the first club outside the four relegation places. The club sit in seventeenth place.
Veteran Juninho was forced to leave the field after picking up a strain but Marlone stepped into his playmaker’s boots, creating the first goal on 26 minutes. He swung in a free-kick and Edmílson steered home to give Vasco a slim lead.
The crowd sang, the team grew. Vasco were good for their lead come the interval despite living dangerously on a couple of occasions.
Adílson Batista reinforced the defense at the break, taking off midfielder Francismar for a third central defender in Renato Silva. Edmílson looked isolated at times in attack, but Batista’s ploy paid dividends.
On 72 minutes, Vasco doubled their lead and again Marlone was at the center of the action. Dribbling past two Coritiba players, he teed up Edmílson for his and Vasco’s second. Luccas Claro pulled one back for the visitors but it was not to be enough as Batista’s reign got off to the perfect start.
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