Flamengo mark Carioca return with 3-0 win over Bangu
Copa Libertadores holders Flamengo beat Bangu by three goals in a near empty Maracana stadium on the evening.
Goals from Arrascaeta, Bruno Henrique and Pedro Rocha saw Jorge Jesus lead his side to a comfortable win in group A.
Action might be back in the state, but the whole debate about football returning has brought much conflict over the past weeks.
As it stands, Botafogo and Fluminense are currently against the competition resuming and a lot of fans and footballing icons in the country, including Ronaldo Nazario share the same opinion.
For the Flamengo game, it’s reported that there were only two small gatherings of fans. One group were present to support the arrival of the team bus while the other were present to protest against President Jair Bolsonaro, the president of Flamengo and his decision to approve the team resuming games too early.
Supporters of both Flamengo and Bangu were seen protesting outside the stadium before the match, jointly saying the authorities were putting players at serious risk. Considering, football is resuming at a time when Brazil are seeing an increase in the number of coronavirus cases.
For safety measures, players had their temperatures checked on arrival at the stadium, while reporters and photographers covering the match had to go through a disinfection tunnel.
The match opened with a minute of silence for victims of Covid-19, including Flamengo's own massage therapist, Jorginho, who died last month.
Head coach Jorge Jesus shared his thoughts on how the different routines felt for himself and his team.
The Portuguese coach stated after the match that it is “strange” to play under these conditions, but he stated that “all of society has to know how to live with the virus until there is a vaccine.”
He also spoke on how pleased he was with his side’s victory over Bangu.
“The team gave a very good response and looked balanced tactically, but they must still recover a fully competitive rhythm after a long time out” he added.
The victory for Flamengo sees them maintain the lead at the top of group A and clinch a place in the semi-finals of the Campeonato Carioca. Flamengo will play against Boavista next on Wednesday.