By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Vasco beat Fluminense 1-0 at the Maracanã Stadium yesterday afternoon to set up a Campeonato Carioca final with Flamengo. Edmilson scored the game’s only goal just before the interval as Fluminense’s potent attack failed to click on a frustrating afternoon for Tricolor fans.
Fred, Walter and Conca all started in attack for the Laranjeiras outfit but their supply line – namely Rafinha, Diguinho and Valencia – failed to provide regular service. Right-back Bruno also had a disappointing game, and rarely managed to get the better of Diego Renan at left-back for Vasco.
As the game kicked off Fluminense had the advantage. Having finished runner-up in the group they only needed a draw to progress, the first leg of the semi-final having finished 1-1 last Thursday, and as such started the game in a cautious manner.
Vasco, needing at least one goal, controlled possession. Everton Costa, partnering Edmilson in attack, put in a man-of-the-match showing, creating a plethora of problems for the Flu defense all afternoon. One minute before half-time, Vasco scored the goal that would separate the sides. Douglas’ free-kick was headed back across goal by Rodrigo, and an unmarked Edmilson glanced the ball home.
Flu coach Renato Gaúcho sent on Wágner in the place of Diguinho for the second half as he looked to inject more creativity into the midfield. But the outlook of the game didn’t change as Flu continued to chase the ball and the tie.
Rafael Sóbis and Biro Biro entered the fray but did little to influence proceedings. Only as the clock wore down did Flu begin to look more dangerous. Even goalkeeper Diego Cavalieri went forward for a last gasp free-kick from Conca. But it wasn’t to be their day. Vasco have not won the Campeonato Cariocs since 2003 and have not been in the final since 2004. The last time they beat Flamengo in the final was 1988.
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.