Romario jeered, teams brawl as Fluminense held by minnows

  • Other Sport
  • Saturday, 22 Feb 2003

RIO DE JANEIRO: Veteran striker Romario was jeered, coach Renato Portaluppi suggesting pulling the team out of the competition and both teams brawled when Fluminense were held 2-2 by modest Friburguense in a Carioca championship match. 

Fluminense needed two goals in the last 10 minutes from Carlos Alberto and Cesar to force a draw in Wednesday's game after their opponents had taken a two-goal lead through Abdi and Ziquinho early in the second half despite having defender Max sent off. 

But Fluminense were still furious after having what appeared to be a legitimate goal by Carlos Alberto disallowed for offside in the 75th minute. 

“We've been robbed again,” fumed Renato. “If I were the president, I would pull the team out of the championship.” 

The end of the match was marred by a brawl which began when a ball-boy became involved in a fight with a member of the Fluminense bench. 

Fluminense were already unhappy with the ball-boys, saying they had disappeared when the home team went two goals ahead and the players had had to fetch the balls themselves. 

To cap it all, Romario, 37, playing on the pitch where he suffered the injury that kept him out of the 1998 World Cup, barely touched the ball in an apathetic performance and was jeered by Fluminense supporters. 

Fluminense stayed fourth in the table but dropped to eight points adrift of leaders Flamengo, who won 2-1 at Madureira. 

Yugoslav midfielder Dejan Petkovic is the competition's topscorer, after converting a penalty in Vasco da Gama's 3-1 win over Olaria to take his tally to seven. 

Sao Paulo coach Oswaldo de Oliveira was under pressure again as his team crashed to a shock 2-0 defeat away to Sao Raimundo in the first round of the Copa Brasil, a nationwide knockout contest which involves teams from the most distant corners of the country. 

Oliveira had earned a reprieve when his team beat Santos 2-1 in the Paulista championship, a match in which a defeat could have cost him his job, but had said at that time that his job would only be safe “until the next defeat”. 

Guara and Delmo scored for Sao Raimundo, who are based in Manaus in the heart of the Amazon rain forest, and Sao Paulo substitute Itamar was sent off only minutes after coming on in the first leg match. 

CFZ, the team founded by former Brazil captain Zico, lost 1-0 to Fortaleza in a second-leg game and were eliminated. – Reuters 

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