By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Flamengo fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Duque de Caxias in the third round of the Campeonato Carioca at the Maracanã Stadium. The game was a fine advert for the state championship, with the visitors springing an early surprise until the Rubro-Negro got their act together midway through the second half.
Duque opened the scoring with an Olympic goal – scored direct from a corner – as they gave the Copa do Brasil winners a run for their money. Alex Terra doubled the lead and shocked the 13,000 fans inside the stadium.
Fla coach Jayme de Almeida had fielded a strong team for the first time this season. Included were goalkeeper Felipe, captain Léo Moura, debutant Elano and star striker Hernane.
The first-team are in need of match practice before they begin their Copa Libertadores campaign next month. Yet a sluggish performance and narrow avoidance of embarrassment will have done little to sooth supporter nerves.
Hernane, scorer of 35 goals last year, found little inspiration on the night. He was usurped by new signing Alecsandro, who scored his first goal for the club on his debut to get them back in the game.
Just two minutes later another substitute, Gabriel, got Fla back on level terms. With twenty minutes of the game remaining there was time for the home side to go on and grab a winner, but were forced to settle for a share of the points.
Mengão dropped their first points of the tournament but remain at the summit of the table. They sit top with seven points from three outings, although they could be overtaken by Botafogo this afternoon.
Today, Cabrofriense host Botafogo and Fluminense travel to face Nova Iguaçu. Vasco host Friburguense at São Januário Stadium.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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