By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Botafogo sit on top of the 2013 Campeonato Brasileiro table after a 2-0 win over Ponte Preta last night. Flamengo, having sacked coach Jorginho midweek, picked up their first win of the campaign whilst Vasco drew with Bahia.
A match-winning performance from Clarence Seedorf helped Botafogo to a comfortable victory and pole position in the league. The Dutch international player created the first goal and scored the second as his excellent form this year continues.
The goals came in during a five minute period in the first half which all but killed the game. A limited Ponte Preta outfit never looked like getting back on level terms.
The first goal was a work of art, involving build-up plan between Lucas, Fellype Gabriel, Rafael Marques and finally Seedorf, who finished the excellent team move to give the Alvinegro the lead just after the half-hour. On 36 minutes, the points were made safe when Antônio Carlos headed home Seedorf’s corner.
A brace from Gabriel helped Flamengo to a comprehensive 3-0 win over Criciúma. Hernane had already opened the scoring in the first half as Flamengo start a new life without Jorginho at the helm.
Mengão were helped in no small part by the dismissal of Criciúma striker Fabinho, which allowed the Rubro-Negro to seize the advantage. The result relieved the pressure on the team who were able to steer themselves away from the relegation zone at this early stage in the national season.
Vasco drew 1-1 with Bahia to keep the side in mid-table. Fernandão gave the Bahians the lead after only seven minutes, expertly lifting the ball over goalkeeper Michel Alves.
Nevertheless, Vasco have a new found steel under coach Paulo Autuori and heads did not drop. Carlos Alberto equalized from the penalty spot on 21 minutes to claim a share of the points.
This afternoon, Fluminense host newly-promoted Goías in Macaé. Kick-off is at 6:30PM.
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