By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Vasco beat Cruzeiro 2-1 last night in the Campeonato Brasileiro to keep their survival hopes alive at the Maracanã. Strikes from Thalles and Emílson were enough to give the Cruz-Maltino the three points against a lackluster Cruzeiro outfit who have already been crowned champions.
They must now hope that relegation rivals Fluminense and Bahia drop points tomorrow against Santos and Portuguesa respectively. Their own destiny remains out of their hands after a disastrous second half to the national season which has seen them plummet down the table.
Vasco have 41 points and are in eighteenth place, one point off safety. They are level on points with Coritiba in what is a close run race to stay in the first division.
Vasco raced out of the blocks, taking the lead after just two minutes. Thalles was unmarked at a corner and headed the game’s opener confidently.
Just passed the half hour Edmílson’s rocket doubled Vasco’s lead and they held out to half-time. Everton Ribeiro’s free-kick pulled one back for the champions but Vasco held on for the win.
Close to 40,000 Vasco fans went to the Maracanã to spur the side on. They suffered for the full 90 minutes but a wave of euphoria and relief swept through the terraces at the final whistle. Mission Impossible had just become Mission Improbable.
Vasco’s next game is also at the Maracanã, a home game against already relegated Náutico. Three points is an absolute must if the dream is to keep aflame.
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