By Jayme Monsanto, Senior Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO – This weekend saw the third round of the Campeonato Carioca and the first “clássico” of this year’s competition when Vasco played Botafogo on Sunday. Both teams went into the match with high expectations due to new signings and good results in the previous two rounds.
Playing at home to a large crowd, Botafogo had chosen the day to inaugurate a statue of Garrincha, Botafogo’s most important player ever who played alongside Pelé in the 1958 and 1962 World Cups and helped Botafogo win titles in the 60s, at the Engenhão Stadium. It was also the first outing of their new football strip and their new striker “El Loco” Abreu.
Striker Dodô, Vasco’s biggest signing for the 2010 season, was playing his second match for Vasco. The outings for Vasco are his first games for over a year after he was suspended following a failed drugs test in 2007 when he played for Botafogo. Dodô denied the charges claiming the test results were due to a food supplement prescribed by Botafogo’s medical team.
Everyone expected a balanced match but it was obvious from the moment the referee blew the whistle that Vasco would dominate the rain-soaked match. In the third minute Dodô scored, and again in the 32nd and 34th minutes. In the second half, Léo Gago scored in the 12th minute, and Philippe Coutinho in the 14th and 34th minutes. The final score was 6-0 making it Botafogo’s biggest defeat ever in their own stadium.
This weekend also saw the debut of Flamengo’s new signing, Vagner Love. The striker scored both Flamengo’s goals in the 2-1 victory over Bangu on Saturday. Love played side-by-side with Adriano, and the duo looks set to cause their rivals headaches throughout the season.
On Sunday, Fluminense defeated Volta Redonda 1-0. Leando Euzébio scored the match’s only goal in the 5th minute.
After the end of the third round, Flamengo and Fluminense lead Group A, both teams with nine points, while in group B the leader is Vasco, also with 9 points.
The fourth round happens during this week. On Wednesday, Flamengo plays Americano and Botafogo plays Tigres, while on Thursday, Fluminense plays Duque de Caxias and Vasco plays Macaé.
On Sunday, for the fifth round, Flamengo and Fluminense play the first FlaFlu of the year.