By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Fluminense beat Santos 1-0 in the eleventh round of the 2014 Campeonato Brasileiro yesterday (July 20th) evening to move back into the G-4 at the top end of the table. Darío Conca’s wonder strike on 61 minutes separated the two sides, as Flu returned to winning ways after three games without a victory.
The Laranjeiras club have nineteen points from eleven games and sit third in the league. That position would be enough to guarantee them Copa Libertadores football next season, should they maintain their early season promise under new coach Crisotvão Borges.
The contest was well balanced but marked by the lack of precision of the respective midfield sectors. Over the course of the ninety minutes over a hundred passes were misplaced.
Santos began the game the better side but lacked a killer instinct up front, with striker Leandro Damião still out with an ankle injury. The Seleção striker should return next week against Chapecoense.
Fluminense’s front line was also far too lethargic to make a difference during the first half. Rafael Sóbis and Walter were virtually anonymous and the sides went in at the half-time break goalless.
The second 45 minutes were a different prospect entirely. Flu had a goal wrongfully disallowed, when Samuel was judged to have fouled Santos stopper Aranha in the air, allowing Cícero to score. But in the end it mattered little. Just after the hour mark, Conca struck to score the game’s only goal.
Gum sent a long ball forward, Samuel won the battle in the air and Conca sent a sublime dipping volley over Aranha. Santos thought they had pulled level at the end when Jorge Eduardo slotted past Diego Cavalieri, but Henrique cleared off the line to secure the points for the Cariocas.
Earlier in the day, Flamengo were thrashed 4-0 by Internacional at the Estádio Beira-Rio. The club remain bottom of the league with just seven points and coach Ney Franco is hanging onto his job by a thread, having not managed to win any of his seven games in charge.
Campeonato Brasileiro Round Eleven Results in Full:
São Paulo 0-1 Chapecoense
Atlético-MG 1-1 Bahia
Figueirense 0-1 Grêmio
Botafogo 1-0 Coritiba
Palmeiras 1-2 Cruzeiro
Vitória 0-0 Corinthians
Internacional 4-0 Flamengo
Fluminense 1-0 Santos
Atlético-PR 2-0 Criciúma
Goiás 0-0 Sport Recife
Read more (in Portuguese).
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