By Lisa Flueckiger, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Rio football (soccer) clubs Vasco da Gama and Fluminense qualify for the Copa do Brasil (Cup of Brazil) quarterfinals. While Fluminense won twice against Paysandu, Vasco scored the equalizer against Flamengo in the last minutes of the second game, eliminating the rubro-negro with a victory from the first leg.
Copa do Brasil games are played with a home and away leg for both teams. The first game in the emotional Rio clássico between Vasco and Flamengo ended with a 1-0 victory for Vasco after a goal by Jorge Henrique early in the second half of the game.
Flamengo therefore needed a victory in the second leg to qualify for the Cup’s next round. The rubronegro started attacking Vasco from the first minute on and after only five minutes into the game the score was already 1-0 for Fla. Although the goal, an own goal by Vasco’s Madson, should not have counted, as a Flamengo player in offside jumped over the ball and therefore interfered in the situation.
However, the first blow to Fla came soon after when Peruvian starlet striker Guerrero had to be replaced due to injury. The second blow came with Rafael Silva’s goal ten minutes before the end of the game, equalizing the score to 1-1. Silva had only been on the field for two minutes. And in the final minutes, rubronegro Pará was sent-off with a red card, burying any chances Fla had of attempting to score again.
In the other matches involving the clubs from Rio, Fluminense showed their superiority over Série B club Paysandu. Flu won both games with a score of 2-1. In the second leg, Flu had scored early first before conceding a penalty to Paysandu equalizing the score. Then, eight minutes into the second half, Marcos Junior made clear that Flu’s qualification was secure by scoring the club’s second game.
The next rounds will be defined by draw on Monday, August 31st. Also qualified for the quarterfinals are Santos, who beat Corinthians; Figueirense, eliminating Atlético-MG; São Paulo FC over Ceará and Palmeiras, who beat Cruzeiro. The second legs between Internacional and Ituano and Gremio and Coritiba are to be played today.