In addition to the table possibilities, the Botafogo had the opportunity to evolve and justify the longest period of preparation in Espírito Santo. Had and, collectively, wasted, this Sunday, before the Vasco, whose average age was 20.8 years, at the Stadium Nilton Saints. At least the victory came in the final minutes and drowned out the weak performance in the valid duel 5th round of the Cup Guanabara, closed at 1 to 0 for the team Alberto Valentine.
Alvinegro went to the field with the need to triumph to stay alive for the vacancy in the semifinals of the shift. For that reason, there were eight holders in action – only Kanu, Alex Santana and Rafael Navarro, of the reserves, started between 11.
But it was a reservation that, in terms of inspiration and style, changed the landscape: Caio Alexandre, who entered Alex’s spot, and gave the verticality requested by Valentine in the initial stage. Connected in the offensive transition, the young man made a beautiful launch for Bruno Nazario, in the move that originated the goal of Igor Cassio.
– What I saw in the first half was the following: we were missing some passes and, sometimes, trying to vertical when there was no room for play. It was my request at the technical stop and then at the break. The idea is for us to take possession, but try to verticalize because we have players with characteristics for that. In the second half, the idea was the same, possession, possession, we made almost 400 passes today, but the idea of finding this move vertically at the right time. Vasco also scored, defended well, with fast players up front. So it made our offensive game difficult – analyzed Valentim, at the press conference.
Among the professionals, it was Caio Alexandre’s first game at Estádio Nilton Santos – the other two in this Carioca had been in Volta Redonda and Madureira. It took 11 minutes for the steering wheel to be decisive. And he celebrated, in the mixed zone of the house in Botafogo.
– Great victory, for me it was inexplicable happiness. First game here at the Nilton Santos Stadium, packed and the crowd supporting us. Thank God I was able to give the launch to Bruno, and he found Igor. It was very important to start the week well and a difficult game, playoff.
Botafogo will have to refine what is still far from ideal, such as game control, movement on the right side of the attack, approaching midfielders and few risky finishes in the vicinity of the area, for example, so as not to get in the way in front of Caxias do Sul. The match will take place this Wednesday, at Estádio Centenário, for the Copa do Brasil.