Flamengo suffer title blow after stalemate with Bragantino

Red Bull Bragantino brought a new twist to the title race as they held second place Flamengo to a draw on Sunday night.
Red Bull Bragantino vs Flamengo
© Ari Ferreira / Red Bull Bragantino

Flamengo were dealt a blow in their title aspirations after a resolute Bragantino side fought to secure a point at the Bragança Paulista.

Current leaders Internacional would have been delighted with this result and will now hope to capitalize on this.

If Flamengo had won this game, they would have moved top of the league temporarily until Inter played their next match on Wednesday. The extra pressure could have been an advantage that could cause Inter to perhaps drop points.

The leaders now have a chance to move four points clear at the top and it’ll be interesting to see what becomes of that opportunity.

Just before the game started, a key moment saw Bragantino pay tribute to the 10 victims who lost their lives in a fire at the Flamengo training ground back in February 8, 2019.

On the screen of the Nabi Abi Chedi stadium, photos of the players were displayed by the club.

Prior to this match, Bragantino and Flamengo both had three wins from their last five games and it was expected to be a tough game overall.

Fla drew first blood through in-form Gabriel Barbosa (Gabigol). After a VAR review, it appeared Gustavo Henrique’s shirt was pulled in the area.

Gabriel stepped up to score the resulting penalty in the 35th minute. That goal meant he has now scored a goal in his last four consecutive games for Flamengo. It also took him to 12 league goals for the season, just one behind Fla’s top scorer in Pedro.

Ytalo then leveled matters for Bragantino in the 63rd minute with what was a well-deserved goal. It was his fifth goal of the season.

Bragantino had goalkeeper Cleiton to thank for keeping them in the game. The Brazilian goalkeeper made at least four crucial saves in the course of the game. In one of those saves, he looked to have been dribbled by Gustavo Henrique but managed to stick an arm out to parry the ball away.

The game ended in a stalemate and Flamengo would no doubt be the more disappointed of the two sides.

Flamengo will only return to the field next Sunday, at 4 pm (Brasília time), to face Corinthians at Maracanã. Rubro-Negro will now be hoping Internacional drop points against Sport Recife on Wednesday.