By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Flamengo beat Fluminense 3-1 yesterday in the first Fla-Flu classico of 2013 in the Taça Rio. A brace from Renato Abreu, as well as a strike from Hernane, were enough for the Rubro-Negro to overcome their great local rivals.
Flamengo are already eliminated from this year’s Campeonato Carioca state tournament, but yesterday’s result carried with it an air of redemption for the club’s fans. New coach Jorginho got maximum effort from his charges as the club prepare for this year’s national Brasileirão campaign.
It took Fla less than ten minutes to go in front yesterday, Hernane firmly heading Léo Moura’s cross past the diving Diego Cavalieri. The goal failed to stir Fluminense who remained apathetic for the majority of the opening half, rarely threatening Felipe in the Flamengo goal.
Just before half-time Mengão were handed a huge slice of luck. Rafinha fell under Carlinhos’ clumsy challenge and the referee pointed to the penalty spot. Flu players protested vehemently but their objections fell on deaf ears and Renato tucked away the spot-kick.
Two minutes after the restart the Flamengo captain put the game to bed. Cavalieri palmed away a long-range effort from Rafinha only for Renato to slot home the rebound.
Rafael Sóbis pulled one back for Flu with 25 minutes remaining but the Tricolor desperately missed Fred’s killer instinct up front. Flu must now turn their attention to Thursday’s Copa Libertadores encounter with Venezuelan outfit Caracas, where a draw will be enough to take them through to the tournament’s knock-out stages.
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