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By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Rio giants Flamengo and Vasco have been prematurely eliminated from the 2013 Campeonato Carioca tournament. Poor showings in the competition’s second half, the Taça Rio, means the two clubs exit at the group stage after the only the fifth of seven rounds.

Victory for Vasco was not enough to keep them in the Campeonato Carioca, Brazil News
Victory for Vasco was not enough to keep them in the Campeonato Carioca, photo by Marcelo Sadio/Vasco Imagem.

The shock leaves rivals Fluminense and Botafogo as favorites to lift the regional crown. As champions of the 2013 Taça Guanabara, Botafogo have the slight edge over last year’s champions Flu.

A 1-1 draw on Saturday for Flamengo against Duque de Caxias was enough to see the Rubro-Negro crash out. The team managed just one victory in the group – 2-1 against Bangu – and have serious squad issues to address before the national Campeonato Brasileirão tournament kicks-off at the end of May.

A 2-1 win for Vasco over Friburguense was not enough to keep their slim qualification hopes alive. The club are heavily in debt and are resigned to losing international center-back Dedé to pay staff salaries.

It was business as usual for Botafogo as they comprehensively dispatched Olaria 3-0. Uruguayan playmaker Nicolas Lodeiro put in a stunning show and Vitinho bagged a brace to leave the Glorioso top of Group A.

Fluminense sit top of Group B after comfortably seeing off Resende 2-0. The big worry for Tricolores is an injury picked up by Seleção striker Fred. The number nine will undergo a scan today to determine whether he will be able to play any part in Flu’s crucial Libertadores encounter with Grêmio on Wednesday.

Read more (in Portuguese).

* The Rio Times Daily Updates feature is offered to help keep you up-to-date with important news as it happens.

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