Atlético Paranaense head coach Vagner Mancini expects “open game” against Vasco da Gama
Atlético Paranaense head coach Vagner Mancini expects an “open game” when his side face Vasco da Gama on the final day of the season.
Atletico need a win to be guaranteed a spot in the 2014 Copa Libertadores. League winners Cruzeiro and 2nd place Grêmio are already assured of their place, as are current Libertadores holders Atlético Mineiro and Copa do Brasil winners Flamengo, who beat Atletico 3-1 on aggregate in the final this week.
Mancini’s side wasted their chance to secure a berth with a 2-1 defeat at Santos on Sunday.
Marcelo Cirino gave the visitors an early lead, but a brace from Cícero turned the tie against Atletico.
With Goiás losing at Grêmio and Botafogo being defeated by Coritiba, a point would have been enough. Mancini was rueful at the missed opportunity.
"It was a game that was in our hand. In the second half we had control and suddenly they took the lead. A point was worth a lot to us and now we depend on the last game," he said, as reported by GOAL.com.
Atletico will now rely on a victory against Vasco. Adílson Batista’s side have won their last two matches, but remain a point adrift of safety. Mancini expects an engaging affair.
"Atletico is very close to the Libertadores,” he continued. “We need a good game and the support of our fans. It will be a tough match. Vasco need a win to escape. It will be an open game, with both teams looking for goals.”
Botafogo, Goiás and Vitória can all surpass Atletico on the final day. At the other end, Vasco, Fluminense, Coritiba, Criciúma, Internacional and Portuguesa are fighting to avoid the drop.