By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Fluminense, Flamengo and Botafogo all drew last night in the 2013 Campeonato Brasileiro. While Fluminense came from behind to gain an advantage, Flamengo and Botafogo both threw away leads to drop points.
Playing first, Fluminense drew 1-1 with Vitória in Salvador. Flu fell behind after only five minutes when Maxi Biancucchi’s quickfire strike took Diego Cavalieri by surprise.
Fluminense failed to find any rhythm in the first half and were deservedly behind at the interval. The second half was more of the same until Fred‘s headed equalizer seven minutes from time snatched an undeserved point.
At the Estádio Mané Garrincha in Brasília,
Flamengo also drew 1-1, with relegation-threatened club Portuguesa. A João Paulo penalty had given Fla the lead on 22 minutes but victory was snatched from the Rubro-Negro at the death.
At the 93rd minute, Portuguesa goalkeeper Lauro rose highest to head the last-gasp leveler. It was the second time Lauro had scored against Flamengo, having first achieved the feat in 2003 playing for Ponte Preta.
In Minas Gerais, a thrilling game between Atlético-MG and Botafogo finished 2-2. Elias’ near post header gave the visitors the lead on fourteen minutes, but Ronaldinho Gaúcho’s beautiful curling free-kick canceled out the opener just before the half hour.
The game was tense and open with both sides creating chances, neither coach willing to settle for a point. Elias and Vitinho worked the flanks expertly for Botafogo and on 58 minutes, a strike from Nicolás Lodeiro put Botafogo back in front.
As the clock ran down, the Cariocas began to drop back, inviting pressure from their hosts. Nevertheless, it appeared Atlético’s luck was out as Jô missed two chances to snatch a draw.
All was not lost though. At the 94th minute, Luan volleyed home from close range after Botafogo’s defense failed to clear a launched free-kick into the area.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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