By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Vasco were eliminated from the Copa do Brasil last night on the away goals rule against Goiás at the Maracanã. Despite winning the game 3-2, the 2-1 reverse away from home meant the side had scored only one away goal to Goiás’ two.
In view of their precarious position in the Brasileirão, Vasco coach Doríval Junior fielded a reserve side as the Cruz-Maltino battle against league relegation. However, the side made an excellent start, racing into a two-goal lead inside fifteen minutes.
Thalles bagged a brace to put Vasco 2-0 up on the night and 3-2 ahead on aggregate in the tie. Nevertheless, Goiás replied in the nineteenth minute with a beautiful volleyed effort from Hugo to make the score 2-1 on the night.
A repetition of the score from the first leg would have taken the game to penalties after 90 minutes, but an equalizer from Goiás, ten minutes after the restart, turned the game on its head.
Amaral’s goal on 55 minutes gave Goiás a 4-3 aggregate lead, and with their second goal at the Maracanã, Vasco would need two more to progress. Vasco pressed and finally pulled one back on 79 minutes through youngster Willie, setting the scene for a dramatic finale to the quarter-final.
That gave them a 3-2 lead on the night, levelled the aggregate score at 4-4 but they were still trailing on away goals. There was to be no happy ending for Vasco. Goiás will now prepare to meet Flamengo in the semi-finals next month.
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