Fluminense battle past Bahia as title looms large
Fluminense secured a 2-0 away win at Bahia on Wednesday night to put themselves nine points clear in the race for the Brasileirão title.
Goals from right-back Bruno Viera and returning forward Rafael Sobis were enough to see the Tricolor Carioca to the win, made better by the later defeat of rivals Atlético Mineiro.
Bahia started strongly and were unlucky not to take an early lead as full-back Jussandro and midfielder Gabriel both went close. Fluminense rode out the storm, but were below average throughout a difficult first-half in which they were once more reliant on goalkeeper Diego Cavalieri.
The second-half, though, was to be a different affair as Fluminense were inspired by a piece of individual excellence. Right-back Bruno Viera, one of the unheralded stars of the Brasileirão 2012, received a long-ball from Juan and proceeded to beat two defenders with ease before scoring through the legs of Marcelo Lomba to give Flu the lead on the hour mark.
Bahia almost pulled level. A shot on goal was blocked and the rebound fell to young striker Gabriel, but he could only shoot wide under pressure.
With fifteen minutes left, Rafael Sobis made sure of the win for the visitors. As a cross came in, Fred challenged for the header but the ball would only drop in the area where the awaiting Sobis was on hand to thump the ball home.
The Carioca fans were already chanting that they were Champions once more and, after Atlético's later result, they may just be right.
BAHIA: Marcelo Lomba; Neto, Danny Morais, Titi, Jussandro; Fahel, Diones, Hélder (Fabinho 69'), Zé Roberto (Cláudio Pitbull 63'); Gabriel, Elias (Lulinha 46'). Coach: Jorginho
FLUMINENSE: Diego Cavalieri; Bruno, Digão, Gum, Carlinhos; Edinho, Jean, Deco (Wágner 73'); Rafael Sobis (Samuel 80'), Fred, Wellington Nem (Marcos Júnior 73'). Coach: Abel Braga