By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Vasco da Gama comfortable beat Série B league leaders Ceará 2-0 at São Januário Stadium yesterday (August 16th) afternoon to draw level on points at the top of the table. Goals from Kléber and Douglas did the damage as the Cruz-Maltino notched their fourth straight league success.
In front of a packed house – over 18,000 fans filled Vasco’s home – the Cariocas put on a worthy show. After a slow start, Adilson Batista’s men have finally found rhythm.
Without doubt this was their finest performance of the season. They attacked from the off and used the spaces down the flanks to try to aim crosses for target man Kléber.
Across the back, the Vasco defense stood strong against the league’s leading scorer. Magno Alves has scored an impressive 26 goals already this year, but barely got a look-in against a well drilled unit.
Ceará started the game looking to defend and hit on the counter-attack, allowing Vasco to seize the initiative. The home side were awarded a penalty when Helder handled inside the area. But Douglas saw his spot kick saved by Luis Carlos, who pushed the effort onto the post.
Yet soon the stopper made a clinical error that gifted Vasco the lead after twenty minutes. Marlon crossed from the left and the Ceará goalkeeper did not collect the ball cleanly. The ball fell to Kléber, who converted the rebound, to score his third goal for the club and first in front of home support.
Vasco pressed throughout and doubled their advantage after 56 minutes. Douglas made up for his early penalty miss by curling a delightful free-kick over the wall and into the top right-hand corner of the net. With that goal Ceará’s already weak resistance caved in completely. Vasco have caught up at the top end of the table and now have the momentum to push on in the second half of the campaign.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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