Fluminense reserves shine in victory over Vasco and heat up title dispute

Ganso provided two assists in Fluminense’s victory over Vasco (PHOTO: LUCAS MERÇON / FLUMINENSE F.C.)

Fluminense extended the winning streak last Saturday, when they beat Vasco 2-0. Between the Libertadores debut and the return, this Tuesday in São Januário, the option was to activate the tricolor’s alternative team. In addition to the three points, the match served to highlight some players who have already been asking for passage, as is the case of Arias, Cano, Martinelli and Ganso. However, Abel Braga says that the rotation in the squad will be necessary and does not distinguish between reserves and holders.

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With Arias and Cano on the field, Fluminense scored six times, five of them in Carioca, almost half the number of goals the team scored in Carioca. In Libertadores, the Argentine marked the tricolor turn in Bogotá. In addition to guaranteeing victories, the duo manages to give agility to the attack and moves the plays, characteristics that Fred, Willian and Luiz Henrique have found it difficult to present. In a short time, the good phase of the attackers convinced part of the crowd, which asks for the South Americans in the starting lineup.

In between, fans are also asking for changes. Since the beginning of the season, Ganso had already been requested in the games, but was not triggered at first. However, the midfielder made his debut against Portuguesa and played a safe game, in which he managed the distribution of plays and helped the offensive transition. In the victory against Vasco, shirt 10 made a gala performance and gave the two assists for the goal.

After the victory over Portuguesa, Abel Braga confessed that he was intrigued by the performances of the three players, and left open the possibility of casting them in Libertadores. Arias, Cano and Ganso did not start, but played in the match. Last Saturday, the coach rejected the idea that Fluminense has a reserve team, but is prepared to compete in four competitions at the same level.

Today it was proved that there is no team A or B, Fluminense has two good teams to compete in many competitions in the year. That’s the way I see it. Some players start to stand out, others not so much, but that’s how it is. We are growing as a whole,” he said.

Another case is that of Martinelli, who lost his title under the command of Abel Braga. Even on the bench, the midfielder has been acting and has only not entered three rounds so far. Despite not having scored the net yet, Moleque de Xerém has stood out in the match and even helped the offensive sector when necessary.

Satisfied with the performance of the alternative team, Abel said that he can use some players in the decision against Millonarios. Cano is practically confirmed, since Fred is sidelined by injury in the tournament’s debut. In addition to the team’s top scorer, it is possible that highlights from the victories over Botafogo and Vasco will also be used.

Now we will analyze the group that played today until Monday, and it may be that on Tuesday we will put something from these people who played with great brilliance. It won’t be easy for us, we won because we played our way and we’re not going to change anything.


Fluminense gains experience in 2022 and bets on ‘shell’ to dream big in Libertadores

Felipe Melo was one of the reinforcements hired by Fluminense for 2022 (Photo: Lucas Merçon/Fluminense FC)

“If before the team fought to qualify, now it has to win Libertadores”, said Felipe Melo in the first press conference for Fluminense. And the time is now. This Tuesday, Tricolor enters the field to compete in the competition for the eighth time in history in the confrontation against Millonarios, at 21:30 (Brasília time), at the El Campín Stadium, with a more experienced team than the one that returned to the tournament in 2021. The game has real-time broadcast from LANCE!.

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Last season, the team led by Roger Machado initially had Fred, Paulo Henrique Ganso, Egídio, Nene, Muriel, Hudson (who didn’t even play), Wellington, Lucca, Fernando Pacheco, Danilo Barcelos and Yuri with some shooting in the competition. Afterwards, he hired reinforcements thinking exactly about that: Cazares, Abel Hernández, Raúl Bobadilla, David Braz and Manoel.

This time, several names from the cast took advantage of the trip to the quarterfinals to better understand the competition. Of all the names that have arrived for 2022, only David Duarte and Cristiano have never been in Libertadores, but the winger played in the Champions League for Sheriff, from Moldova. Willian, for example, is a three-time champion: once for Corinthians, in 2012, and twice for Palmeiras, 2020 and 2021, totaling 61 matches in the tournament.

If you win with international experience, one of Fluminense’s difficulties will be managing an older cast among the holders. The average age of the entire group of 35 players is 27.2 years, but in the team that has started the matches the number rises to 29.2, including Fred and Felipe Melo, both 38 years old. In the current Flu, 12 athletes were revealed in the basic categories.

With high expectations, reaching the group stage of Libertadores is seen as an obligation within Fluminense. Not only because of the dream of winning the competition for the first time, but also because of the big investment made thinking about the tournament. If they pass Millonarios, whom they face this Tuesday and on March 1st in São Januário, Flu will face the winner of Atlético Nacional (COL) and Olímpia (PAR) in the third and final phase.