The problems at Fluminense and Santos deepened over the weekend after both teams slipped to defeat against lower league (on a national basis) opposition in their respective State Championships.
Fluminense lost 2-0 against Boavista (the same team they lost against in the semi-final of the Guanabara Cup, or part 1 of the Rio State Championship). Fred was back after injury for Fluminense but was unable to affect the result after coming on as a second half substitute. Fluminense lost their coach Muricy Ramalho last week, who resigned after a row over the clubs’ training facilities. They are also struggling in the Copa Libertadores and play América from Mexico (at home) on Wednesday night in a must win game. Currently, they have two points after three matches in the competition (including two home games).
Santos, meanwhile, will be hoping they can convince Muricy Ramalho to become their new coach before their Libertadores chances are over. Their next match in the competition is on 6 April, when they place Colo Colo at home in a must win game. It is said that Santos will be approaching him about the job today (Monday). Like Fluminense, Santos also have two points after three games in the Copa Libertadores after they lost to Colo Colo in Chile last week.
Hoping to get back on track domestically, Santos’ confidence will be further dented after they slipped to a 2-1 defeat against the humble Bragantino in the São Paulo State Championship on Saturday. Once again, Santos’ defence was poor and both Bragantino goals came from defensive errors. In the final third of the field, Santos are right up there with the best (Neymar, Ganso, Elano, etc) but in this match the ball wasn’t getting anywhere near their attacking players. Santos’ central defenders Durval and Edu Dracena are not particularly good on the ball and their young full backs (Danilo and Pará) and defensive midfielders (Adriano and Rodrigo Possebon, ex- Manchester United) were all over the place. Spotting the weakness, Bragantino pressured them high up the pitch and got their rewards.