El Cilindro, in Avellaneda, in the capital of the three-time world champion country in 2022, saw a balanced game until Gabriel Hauche, a filly, at 26 minutes, caught Ayrton Lucas for the second time.
He had been warned with a yellow card in the first, as he was in the second by the courageous Venezuelan referee, and he didn’t have a third: sent off, leaving Racing to Flamengo.
So Gabigol missed a goal impossible to miss, at 40 minutes, in a pass by the Chilean Erick Pulgar, but he made up for the error by making it 1-0, in extra time, in another pass from the Chilean, in a rehearsed free-kick on the left: 1-0 and half way through.
Gabigol’s thirtieth goal in the Libertadores, no other Brazilian has scored so many times, to make up for his goal drought with the ball in motion since February 15, against Volta Redonda, in Carioquinha.
There were 15 games without scoring with the ball rolling, only two goals from penalties.
That Racing, even with one less, would come with everything was obvious. And it came. And he complained about Wesley’s arm penalty, at 60, but the arbitration stood firm even with all the pressure.
And to decorate the red-black night among the porteños, Dom Arrascaeta and Bruno Henrique were called by Jorge Sampaoli to replace Arturo Vidal and Pedro.
Let’s face it, exchanging the Chilean for the Uruguayan is like getting out of a Beetle and getting into a Ferrari. But the tour was short lived.
At 70, crisis!
Wesley also received a second yellow card and the game was ten against ten.
In the free kick, Oroz equalized, ball in the corner, with Santos just looking.
At 80, Fabrício Júnior delivered the comeback and the beam was Brazilian to avoid it.
In the next minute, Évertons switched to Flamengo to try to reach the same six points as the opponent, who was playing better, with the knife between his teeth.
But it was Thiago Maia who, at 45 minutes, hit the crossbar after a corner kick.
It could have won, but it didn’t.
Drawing away from home, especially in Argentina, is never bad. But it may have cost the group leadership at the end of this phase, as Racing kept three points ahead.
Flamengo looks anemic, not very forceful, without the strength it once had.
New blood will be needed.
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