Campeonato Carioca: Botafogo eventually overcome Vasco in Taça Guanabara final
Lucas scored a late goal to give Botafogo a narrow 1-0 victory over Vasco da Gama in the Taça Guanabara final.
Vasco only needed to record a draw to win the final due to their first-place finish in the group stages.
Carlos Alberto should have given them an early lead but he somehow failed to convert from close range after Éder Luis played the ball across the face of Jefferson’s goal.
The two sides went into the half-time break level despite Botafogo’s numerous efforts on goal, which came from set-pieces in particular.
There were strong claims for a penalty after the restart when Vasco goalkeeper Alessandro seemed to take more of Lodeiro than the ball inside the box.
Vitinho failed to convert a header in front of goal and Thiago Feltri almost turned the ball into his own net from Seedorf’s cross as the Fogão continued to threaten.
Oswaldo de Oliveira’s side finally took a deserved lead with less than ten minutes remaining through right-back Lucas.
Clarence Seedorf’s clever back-heel allowed Julio Cesar to deliver a dangerous ball into the box from the left, which Bolívar rolled back for Lucas to place in the bottom corner.
Vasco then had an equaliser disallowed when Fellipe Bastos’ powerful free-kick was spilled by Jefferson and an offside Renato Silva followed up to score.
There was one final free-kick from Bastos but this time the goalkeeper made a strong save and Botafogo eventually cleared the danger to seal the win.
As winners of the Taça Guanabara, ‘opening phase’, Botafogo will face the victors of the Taça Rio, ‘closing phase’, in the Carioca State Championship final to become Rio de Janeiro champions.
Should the Fogão win the Taça Rio too, which kicks off next week, they will automatically be crowned tournament champions and claim their 20th Carioca title.