By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Fluminense and Cruzeiro drew 3-3 at the Maracanã yesterday afternoon in one of the most enthralling encounters of the 2014 Campeonato Brasileiro. Cruzeiro looked to have won the game through Marcelo Moreno’s excellent second half strike, but an equally wonderful effort from Flu’s Kenedy took a share of the spoils for the Laranjeiras outfit at the death.
The game was open and entertaining for the 23,000 strong crowd. Flu raced out of the blocks, determined to show they could match the league leaders for slick, fast passing football.
Cruzeiro were missing some key players. Everton Ribeiro and Ricardo Goulart, who have been instrumental in their rise to the Brasileirão summit, have been called up to the Brazil squad by new coach Dunga, and club boss Marcelo Oliveira opted for a front three of Willian, Marcelo Moreno and Júlio Baptista.
It was Baptista who opened the scoring on fourteen minutes for the visitors. The former Real Madrid forward converted a penalty after Cícero had fouled Samudio inside the area.
Flu were behind for just three minutes. From Conca’s corner, Elíveilton beat Dedé in the air to flick the ball towards the far post and Wágner nodded home from close range. Pressure from the home side grew more intense and on 22 minutes they took the lead. Conca found space down the left flank and sent a low cross into the middle for Cícero to net.
Flu’s lead could have been even greater when Fred controlled Bruno’s precise pass, but Cruzeiro keeper Fábio made an excellent save from the No. 9. Conca looked to follow up the rebound but the stopper made another top block to thwart the rampant hosts. Then Flu were made to pay just before the interval when Júlio Baptista scored his second of the game to bring the scores level again. The two teams went in even at half-time.
The second half started just as openly as the first, with Fred and Willian wasting chances for Fluminense and Cruzeiro respectively. Holes were found in both defenses, and inevitably Flu were found out on 58 minutes. Mayke went through one-on-one but Kléver made the save. Marlone collected the loose ball and crossed again, Elívelton failed to clear the danger and Moreno hit a stunning volley into the roof of the net.
Nense wanted a penalty when Nílton trod on Wágners ankle in the area but the referee waved play on. The Cariocas got their equalizer on 88 minutes, when substitute Kenedy’s rifled effort from the edge of the box found the bottom right-hand corner.
Campeonato Brasileiro Round 19 Results in Full:
Flamengo 0-1 Grêmio
Santos 3-1 Vitória
Chapecoense 0-0 Goiás
Fluminense 3-3 Cruzeiro
São Paulo 2-0 Sport Recife
Atlético-MG 1-0 Botafogo
Criciúma 0-0 Corinthians
Atlético-PR 1-1 Palmeiras
Bahia 0-0 Coritiba
Internacional 2-3 Figueirense
Read more (in Portuguese).
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