There was no game in the soaked Morumbi. But there was Tche Tche suffering a penalty in the end and Tiquinho Soares deciding another victory away from home for Botafogo, which went to 43 points, leaving São Paulo with 40 and will fight for a last spot in Libertadores. If it succeeds, even considering the spree of Brazilian teams in the continental tournament, it will be much more than investor John Textor expected for the first year.
Fluminense took a chocolate from América at Maracanã, especially in the first half. Vagner Mancini guided his men to concentrate the same number of players in the ball sector and accelerate the offensive transition, especially with Everaldo on top of Caio Paulista. It ended 2-0, but it could easily have been four. Advantage managed with relative tranquility in the second stage.
The tricolor stopped at 51 points, with three consecutive defeats, and left the G—4. Came back from the FIFA date thrashing the lantern Juventude, but then sank. The championship is really a win-lose one, but the impression is that, once again, the fuel of Fernando Diniz’s team is running out before the end of the dispute.
It also goes through major losses. First Luiz Henrique, traded with Real Betis, then Nonato, a pillar of the midfield, who was sold by Internacional to Ludogorets. The lack of replacement at a similar level due to financial difficulties weighed as much as the coach’s insistence on betting on a starting line-up and wearing it to the limit.
Luís Castro’s Botafogo still need to score more at Estádio Nílton Santos and suffered the entire season with the changes, albeit for the better. It is not simple to reformulate everything playing in a Serie A. The risk of relegation, however, was left behind with ten points above Ceará, 16th place. In the last five games, four victories and defeat only for the leader Palmeiras. It is possible to dream bigger.
Especially with Tiquinho’s goals, a last minute signing that fits in the center of the attack and, finally, giving a candidate for idolatry amidst several unknown faces or without protagonism on the national scene. There are already four goals in seven matches and the fans are excited.
It is difficult, even improbable, that the eight-point gap between Fluminense and Botafogo will be taken by Alvinegro, even more with little wins at home. But Rio’s clubs live a kind of “seesaw” and can finish the Brazilian much closer than they imagined. And this is fundamentally due to the money that one lacked to replace important pieces and the other had to invest, including in a last-minute scorer.
The SAF effect, saving football from previously bankrupt clubs, is already being present in Serie A.