Flamengo begin their title defence on a winning not against Palmeiras

Flamengo grinded out a narrow win against rivals Palmeiras as they began their title defence on a decent note.

Flamengo got off to a strong start in their quest for a third title. Headed by Rogério Ceni, the reigning champions defeated Palmeiras 1-0 at Maracanã on Sunday afternoon, with Pedro scoring the only goal in what was a tight affair. Both goalkeepers made excellent saves, and there was the talking point of a penalty not given in Fla’s favour.

The first half was evenly matched, with Palmeiras appearing to have a little advantage despite Flamengo having more control of the ball.

In two counterattacks, the squad led by Abel Ferreira were put in a lot of danger, but Diego Alves was on par defended efforts from Luiz Adriano and Rony with lots of courage and confidence.

Towards the end of the first half, Flamengo took over offensively, exchanged passes, and put Weverton to the test with several efforts from Pedro and Arrascaeta. However, it was not enough to break the deadlock before the break.

Flamengo showed their quality in the second half. Bruno Henrique had an opportunity to score after getting over Weverton, but his effort was too hard and he sent it over.

The forward had several other chances from outside the box alongside his teammate Arrascaeta, alongside a header from Rodrigo Caio. In the end, they were only able to force a fine save from the visitors’ goalie.

It all changed in the last quarter. In the 75th minute, Weverton couldn’t keep Pedro’s effort out, as the forward hurled himself to score from Bruno Henrique’s cross, to make it 1-0, and effectively score the winning goal for his side.

Palmeiras will be aiming to claim their first win in the Brazilian Championship this term next Sunday, when they meet Chapecoense at Allianz Parque.

Due to the postponement of the match against Grêmio, Flamengo will only play América-MG on the 13th, at Maracanã.

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