Botafogo have the edge against Corinthians
Botafogo will take a narrow lead into next week’s return leg after they came from behind to beat Corinthians 2×1 in the Estádio Olímpico João Havelange, in Rio de Janeiro.
A disappointingly low crowd of only 30,000 turned up for this semi-final first leg encounter and things looked grim for Botafogo when on the 22nd minute Carlos Alberto received a perfect pass from Herrera and slotted the ball away for his first ever goal for the club.
Corinthians were on top for most of the first-half and on the 29th minute, Rincon had the 4500 travelling fans on their feet again when he headed onto the bar.
But at the end of the first period, Botafogo almost drew level but Felipe made a brilliant save to deny Alessandro. That though, didn’t stop the Botafogo supporters booing off their side after the first forty-five minutes.
Cuca obviously gave his team a rocket during the interval as Botafogo came out fighting in the second period.
Lucío Flávio came close early on with a free kick. But with more diving than your average Olimpic swimming pool, it was inevitable that referee Leonardo Gaciba was going to give a penalty at some point.
7 minutes in, Jorge Henrique collapsed in the area after a touch from Carlos Alberto and Lucío Flávio rammed home from the penalty spot.
Then, 2 minutes before full-time, the Botafogo fans really found their voice when Alessandro headed the ball down for Jorge Henrique to prod in from close range.
See the goals here.
The return game is next week in the estádio Morumbi in São Paulo. The result means that Corinthians can go through if they beat Botafogo 1×0. However, the Parque São Jorge club will be without André Santos, Fabinho, Carlos Alberto and Lulinha who all picked up yellow cards. Botafogo will be missing Túlio and Alessandro for the same reason.
In the other semi-final, Sport Recife take on Vasco da Gama on Wednesday evening.