By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Resende and Vasco drew 0-0 in the first leg of their Copa do Brasil tie last night at the Arena Amazônia in Manaus. Vasco pressed for the majority of the match but a stellar performance from Resende goalkeeper Mauro Silva kept the Cruz-Maltino at bay for the full 90 minutes.
The game was the first test at the Arena Amazônia prior to the FIFA World Cup. The majority of the fans in the stadium were Vascaínos, who left frustrated after their side failed to break the deadlock.
Vasco coach Adilson Batista rested his first-choice players, opting for younger blood in what he expected to be a less challenging test. At this moment in time, Batista’s priority is the Campeonato Carioca final first leg against Flamengo this Sunday at the Maracanã Stadium.
Vasco pressed from the beginning, forcing Resende to camp in their own half for the majority of the opening 45 minutes. Colombian midfielder Montoya had the best chance of the first half but shot over when clean through on goal.
Forward Thalles thought he had won a penalty but referee Edmar Campos da Encarnação waved play on. There were howls of derision from the stands as Vasco continued to huff and puff.
Resende only threatened on the counter-attack and even then it was rare. Before the interval, the side could muster only two shots on goal, neither of which troubled Vasco stopper Diogo Silva too severely. The second half carried on in much the same vein as the first, with Vasco firmly on the front foot. Dakson and Thalles both went close but were thwarted by Mauro in the Resende goal in what must have been one of the most inspired nights of his career.
Marquinhos and Yago, both from the Vasco youth academy, came on but could not change the pattern of the game. The final whistle blew with no one getting on the scoresheet and Mauro Silva plastering the biggest grin across his face.
The second leg will be played on Wednesday, April, 16th, at 7:30 PM, at São Januário Stadium. Vasco may need their senior squad members to break down such stubborn opponents and mount a serious cup run, with the winner of the knock-out competition qualifying for the Copa Libertadores.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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