The flamingo Brazilian won this Tuesday by 2-1 to Sporting Crystalqualified for the round of 16 of the Libertadores Cup as the undefeated leader of Group H, with which they signed the second best campaign in the tournament, and left the Peruvian team in last place and without the consolation of going to the South American.
The Rio de Janeiro club, thanks to an own goal from Madrid and a goal from Pedro, finished the group stage with 16 points (five wins and one draw), provisionally trailing only champion Palmeiras (18). among the clubs with the best campaigns in the Libertadores, a place that grants advantages and from which it can only be stripped by the Argentine River Plate.
Flamengo finished with an advantage of 5 points over the Argentinian Talleres de Córdoba (11), which also qualified for the round of 16 of the Libertadores, and 12 over Universidad Católica (4), which, as third, qualified for the round of 16 of the Copa South American. Sporting, who today reduced through Christofer Gonzales, finished last, with 2 points.
Despite playing at half speed and with an alternative team, the most popular club in Brazil not only confirmed its great campaign but also raised to 15 the number of games it has gone without losing in the Libertadores, playing at the Maracaná stadium in Rio de Janeiro , in which he has scored 41 goals.
The Rio de Janeiro team, despite the fact that they did not line up offensive starters such as the Uruguayan Giorgian de Arrascaeta or Éverton Ribeiro and Bruno Henrique, started pressing from the first minute with a powerful trio of attackers made up of Gabriel Barbosa ‘Gabigol’, Marinho and the youthful Pedro .
Gabigol had his first chance to score in minute 3, when he received inside the area but sent a ball touched by Pedro over the crossbar after a move initiated by Marinho. The three attackers of the Rio de Janeiro team immediately took over in the offensive plays supported by Lázaro and Joao Gomes.
Sporting Cristal, on their first arrival, narrowly opened the scoring when, on a counterattack, Loyola evaded Chilean winger Mauricio Isla but shot wide of Hugo’s goal.
Despite the pressure from the locals, the Peruvian team also had good opportunities, including one in which Christofer Gonzales managed to shoot inside the area but without force. Flamengo responded with a shot from Marinho that forced goalkeeper Alejandro Duarte to show off to avoid the Brazilians’ goal.
The pressure from the local team paid off in the 29th minute when the Chilean Isla, after receiving a long pass from David Luiz, managed to put a ball between Duarte’s legs that Madrid managed to touch before it entered the goal, with what which was recorded as an own goal.
In the last minutes of the first half, the youthful Lázaro wasted two clear scoring opportunities that would have left Flamengo with a great advantage before going into the break.
The Brazilian team continued to press in the second half, although without stepping on the accelerator, and Pedro narrowly managed to extend the score in the 6th minute. David Luiz also missed a header in the 12th minute and Duarte saved a shot from Lázaro in the 13. But the most dangerous move was missed by Sporting in the 17th minute when Gonzales received a ball from Lora and was unable to define face to face and only against Hugo.
Changes to avoid local passivity
The passivity of the team led the Flamengo coach, the Portuguese Paulo Sousa, to promote three changes to increase the offensive power, with the entry of Bruno Henrique and Andreas Pereira.
The changes paid off soon after, in the 28th minute, when Pedro headed in a ball lifted by Andreas Pereira after drawing a free kick to increase the lead to 2-0. In minute 31 David Luiz crashed a ball into the crossbar after a corner kick taken by Andreas Pereira and narrowly scored the third for the locals.
Flamengo went on the attack in the final minutes to try to score goals against the 38,100 fans present at the Maracana, but the Peruvian team took advantage of the carelessness of the Brazilian defense and cut three minutes from the end through Gonzales and a new error by Hugo , which ended booed.