The 1-1 draw with Bragantino was not the expected result and extended Ramon Menezes’ already worst series without wins (four games), but proved that it is possible to find alternatives and qualify the football presented by Vasco. When climbing Bruno Gomes and Juninho and keeping Marcos Jr, the coach gave the midfield better positioning, more dynamism and offensive strength.
Important: the context was impossible to climb Andrey and Benítez, athletes vetoed by physical problems. However, when drawing Fellipe Bastos, Ramon attacked a problem that dragged on in the last games: too many spaces for the opponent and little offensive contribution. Too bad that on the right side Pikachu, with one more performance below what he can present, became a problem.
After being triggered by Talles, Juninho crosses for Vinícius scored for Vasco – Photo: André Durão
Seeking recovery from the loss to Coritiba, in the previous round of the Brasileirão, and from the elimination in the Copa do Brasil against Botafogo, Vasco tried to be the protagonist. He left aside the unbearable 11 am heat in Rio and took the offensive field at the start of the game. He kept possession (58% in the entire match) and pressed the opponent’s ball out. It worked until the first half of the first half, when he almost opened the scoring with Cano after Juninho’s great move.
Gradually, Bragantino found himself in the match. If Arthur was annulled by Henrique’s great mark, Lucas Evangelista and Tubarão gave Pikachu and Miranda a job, on the right side – both Vasco players had a bad performance. Vasco, little by little, was unable to enter the opponent’s area, and Cano was little used. Let’s see: of the 10 submissions from the São Januário team, only three came from within the area.
Talles, in another goal canceled by impediment, wasted another chance created, and the worst almost happened before the break. Bruno Gomes was childish and committed a penalty by intercepting the ball with his arm. Lucky that Fernando Miguel, in a great phase, defended Alerrandro’s collection.
Ramon talks to Vasco players in the tie with Bragantino – Photo: André Durão
At the beginning of the final stage, Vasco’s base decided – Ramon sent six athletes trained at home, that is, the majority of the team. On the left, Talles fired Juninho, who crossed for Vinícius to only complete: 1 to 0. The advantage did not last even two minutes.
Right at the start of the ball, without any Vasco player touching the ball, Tubarão easily passed Pikachu, advanced and served in the Alerrandro area, which made the center for Lucas Evangelista to match. Fernando Miguel would still save Vasco – again – in a face-to-face match with rival number 9.
It happens that, when trying the second goal, Vasco was exposed. The team advanced, which reappeared a problem that has existed for a long time, the space between the defensive line and the middle. Something that Fellipe Bastos was not able to do in previous matches. Despite the bad start with a penalty, Bruno Gomes improved the team in this regard, before the general tiredness in the final part of the game.
Fernando Miguel had a great performance for Vasco – Photo: Ari Ferreira / Red Bull Bragantino
The greater possession of the ball proved to be fruitless, with no chances created. Once again, Pikachu did not work in the middle, a good initiative at the beginning of Ramon’s term. The question is: is it worth insisting? This is because, to explore the right side, Henrique becomes a third defender, does not go up and stops supporting Talles, who accumulates irregular performances. Not for nothing, Ramon drew Pikachu in the second half and bet on Cayo Tenório.
Ramon will now have a week of training only. Then, a sequence of two games outside Rio: Atlético-MG, Sunday, and Bahia, on Wednesday. Time to make adjustments.