Seedorf’s Botafogo wins Campeonato Carioca

Rio de Janeiro, May 6 (IANS) Botafogo survived a missed Clarence Seedorf penalty to clinch their 20th Campeonato Carioca title with a 1-0 victory over Fluminense.

Rafael Marques scored five minutes before half-time at the Raulino de Oliveira Stadium in Volta Redonda Sunday after a deflected shot from Lucas fell at the striker’s feet, reports Xinhua.

Botafogo dominated the second half and appeared to make it 2-0 when Doria struck from close range in the 78th minute.

But referee Marcelo de Lima Henrique disallowed the goal and awarded a penalty to Botafogo after Bolivar was bought down moments earlier by Digao in the box. Seedorf, 36, missed the chance to put the result beyond doubt when his spot-kick cannoned off the cross-bar.

In the end, it mattered little as Botafogo withstood a tense final 10 minutes to secure their second Campeonato Carioca in four years. After the match, Seedorf, the only player to have won the UEFA Champions League with three different clubs, hailed the importance of his latest trophy.

“Every trophy is special because it requires a lot of hard work. This is testament to our dedication throughout the competition. We have gone through some difficult moments but everybody should be congratulated for the way we have been able to keep working hard and perform the way we have,” said the former AC Milan, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Ajax playmaker.

A tearful Botafogo coach Oswaldo de Oliveira singled out Seedorf for special praise.

“We wouldn’t have been able to achieve this without him. Since he has come here he has made all the difference,” Oliveira said.

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