By Jayme Monsanto, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO – This weekend the four main Carioca teams played for the third round of Taça Rio, the state’s soccer competition. It all started Saturday, at 4PM, in the Maracanã stadium, when Flamengo tied 1-1 with Tigres. Flamengo’s performance was weak, and even coach Cuca admitted the players lacked attitude.
The Tigres team (based in Duque de Caxias city, located in the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro) is one of the least traditional and accomplished teams in the competition, and a Flamengo victory was widely expected. The draw surprised and disappointed most of the Carioca team’s fans. However, Flamengo still controls the lead in its group, with seven points, along with Bangu, a team based in the western part of the city.
On Sunday, at 4PM, despite not playing very well, Vasco da Gama won the match against Boavista 1-0. The only goal of the match was scored by the defender Fernando. The result was very good for Vasco, and the team remained undefeated in the competition. The game was held at the Eucy Resende stadium, in Saquarema, a city located in the eastern coast of the state, where the Boavista squad is based. With the result, Vasco da Gama is in the first position of its group along with Fluminense.
Also at 4PM of Sunday, Fluminense entered the Maracanã stadium. The carioca team was facing Macaé, and there was a lot of expectation about whether striker Fred was going to play or not, since he suffered a small injury during training this week. His expected debut came true today, and he played great, scoring two of the three goals for Fluminense. The game’s final score was 3-1, and the team, along with Vasco da Gama remained undefeated and in the first position of its group.
The last of the top carioca teams to play this weekend was Botafogo, who faced Cabofriense. The game was held at 6:30 PM in Cabo Frio city, located on the coast of Rio de Janeiro state. Even with their low morale coming off a 4-1 defeat by Vasco da Gama in the last round, Botafogo thrashed the local squad by 4-0, and this cheered up its fans and players.
Four other matches completed the third round of Taça Rio. On Saturday, Friburguense and Madureira won 1-0 against Duque de Caxias and Volta Redonda respectively. On Sunday, Bangu won 3-1 against Americano and Resende won 1-0 against Mesquita.