Flamengo suffer shock loss to Juventude

Reigning champions Flamengo lost their second match in their last three games in the Brazilian Championship, losing 1-0 to Juventude at Alfredo Jaconi in Caxias do Sul on a cold and rainy Sunday afternoon.

The team from Rio Grande do Sul reacted better to the field and game conditions, with a goal from Matheus Peixoto in the 26th minute enough to secure the victory for the home side.

Juventude adapted better to the flooded field in the first half and took advantage of it to take the lead. Coach Marquinhos Santos made a line-up change, substituting Guilherme Castilho for Marcos Vinicios. The aim was to cram as many players into the midfield as possible in order to fend off Flamengo’s attack.

However, due to the pitch conditions, the red-blacks were unable to play their usual style of play and were forced to rely on long balls, which proved to be ineffective.

Flamengo fought back with everything they had in the second half, creating three chances in less than five minutes to gain something out of the game.

With his first shot, Bruno Henrique struck Marcelo Carné’s crossbar. Then came another shot from Felipe Luis, followed by a header from Rodrigo Muniz that drifted wide of the goal. Because Rogério Ceni’s squad had a larger area presence, they were able to exploit Juventude’s defense during the rush.

Bruno Henrique had another fantastic chance after a corner kick at the half-hour mark, but Carne saved his shot. Pedro had the greatest chance of the game in the 67th minute. The center forward pivoted and kicked dangerously close to the crossbar, missing the target by an inch.

While Juventude tried to hold on, the Rio team continued to press for a draw, especially through aerial ball plays. Eventually, the reigning champions were stunned and Juventude took home all three points.

Juventude hosts Grêmio at Alfredo Jaconi on Wednesday while Flamengo takes to the field against Cuiabá at Arena Pantanal on Thursday.

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