Fred wins the derby for Fluminense
After his match winning strike against Flamengo last weekend, Fred was once again the hero for Fluminense after his 14th goal of the Brasileirão campaign won the derby match against Botafogo on Saturday night.
The win for Fluminense keeps their lead at the top to a comfortable 6 points over second place Atlético Mineiro, who crushed Figueirense 6-0, which included an inspired hat-trick from Ronaldinho.
The score line in the Engenhão could have been very different though, as for large periods of the game Botafogo were the better team and, in the first half particularly, missed a hatful of chances. The Fluminense keeper Diego Cavalieri was outstanding in goal for the league leaders and pulled off 2 great saves to deny Elkeson in the first 20 minutes.
However the second half was a more even affair and eventually the quality of Fluminense shone through. Fred started and ended the move by freeing Wellington Nem down the right hand side, exploiting space left open by Márcio Azevedo. Nem took the ball into the box and then squared it for his captain who coolly slotted the ball home.
Botafogo coach Oswaldo de Oliveira seemed to have got his tactics spot on for the game and his team had more than enough chances to take the 3 points. Afterwards Fluminense coach Abel Braga had praise for his opposite number after what was a hard fought victory.
"The game today shows what a great coach Oswaldo is. He entered the game without a target man. He used Elkeson on the right to inhibit Carlinhos. Then when they had the ball, they played." he said.
Despite the loss, Dutch star Clarence Seedorf was happy with aspects of the performance. He said: "We had lots of chances, but I think that we lacked the maturity to know that these games make a difference, but I'm always looking forward, we can not be too down.
"We matched the leaders and we will fight until the end of the year for the Libertadores."