By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – An excellent performance from Darío Conca and a strike from Rafael Sóbis helped Fluminense beat Palmeiras 1-0 last night in the Pacaembu. The win gave Flu their second successive victory in the 2014 Campeonato Brasileiro as Cristovão Borges continues to transform the Laranjeiras outfit.

Fluminense players congratulate Rafael Sóbis, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Brazil News
Fluminense players congratulate Rafael Sóbis after the striker netted the game’s only goal against Palmeiras, photo by Agência Photocamera.

Flu were far superior to their hosts and it was thanks to their Argentine playmaker, Conca, that they came out on top. His assured touch on the ball and decisive passing made all the difference, the 30-year-old creating the game’s only goal on 44 minutes.

Holding midfielders Jean and Diguinho are forming an excellent partnership in the center of the Flu midfield. Under their watch, Palmeiras’ Chilean playmaker Valdivia was kept quiet throughout the night, wilting as the second half progressed.

As the visitors, Fluminense understandably had less possession of the ball, what mattered was that they made their possession count. Palmeiras did have their moments, primarily in the first half, yet it was Flu who were more threatening in the final third, from the first to the final whistle.

Conca sent a long shot just wide before teeing up Sóbis to net the winner. The attacking midfielder found Fred who middled for his strike partner to hit the back of the net.

After the interval Palmeiras tried to up the tempo but never truly managed to get out of second gear. Playing with three holding midfielders made their task nigh-on impossible, and Flu were able to control the flow of the game without breaking sweat.

They could even have doubled the lead as Wágner put in a dedicated shift, setting up chances for Fred and Conca, but in the end it didn’t matter.

Fluminense’s vast improvement under Borges continues. In a few short weeks he has organized the defense and found a way to get the best out of a hugely talented attacking quartet.

This afternoon, Botafogo host Internacional at the Maracanã whilst Flamengo are away to Corinthians. Both matches kick-off at 4PM.

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.


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