Flamengo advanced this Wednesday to the final of the Copa do Brasil, the second most important tournament of the Latin American giant and whose champion wins a place in the Copa Libertadores, by beating Sao Paulo 1-0 in the second leg of the semifinal and after the 1-3 he achieved in the first leg.
The Rio de Janeiro team, who could qualify even losing by a goal difference, asserted their favoritism at the Maracana stadium and prevailed with a goal in the first half from Uruguayan Giorgian de Arrascaeta, the match’s leading figure.
The other finalist of the Copa do Brasil will be defined this Thursday when Corinthians hosts Fluminense, a duel that will again measure strength between two of the most regular clubs of the current season after the 2-2 draw that they agreed in the first leg, but that gives a slight advantage to the São Paulo club for playing at home.
This is the second guaranteed final this month for the most popular club in Brazil, after having advanced last week to the decisive match of the Copa Libertadores, in which it will be measured on October 29 for the title against fellow Brazilian Athletico Paranaense in a single match. in Guayaquil (Ecuador).
The team from Rio, in addition, is still fighting for the title of the Brazilian Championship, in which it is third in the standings, nine points behind the leader Palmeiras.
Despite the fact that Sao Paulo arrived at the Maracana determined to reduce the home advantage and score the three goals it needed to advance to the final, Flamengo knew how to control the initial momentum of the Paulistas and manage the situation.
Sao Paulo, led by coach Rogerio Ceni, dominated the first part of the first half thanks to pressure from Patrick and Igor Vinicius, but it was enough for Arrascaeta to assume responsibility for Flamengo to make their dominance clear at the Maracana, where they were supported by about 62,900 fans.
The Uruguayan opened the scoring in the 35th minute after receiving an assist from Everton Ribeiro, one of those included in the squad for the last two friendlies of the Brazilian team before the World Cup in Qatar.
The Rio de Janeiro team could have raised the difference but Gabriel Barbosa “Gabigol” wasted two clear opportunities in the first half and another two in the second half.
The attacker Pedro, current top scorer for the Libertadores, went blank before the strong marking of Sao Paulo defenders Diego and Leo and was substituted ten minutes from the end of the game.