A spot in the quarterfinals is on the line for Botafogo as they host America Mineiro at Estadio Nilton Santos on Thursday. However, they enter the second leg of their Copa Brasil tie facing a significant deficit.
Coelho won the first match by a score of 3-0 at the end of June, and they now have the chance to make it to the round of eight for the second time in three years.
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Since Fogo now have a difficult challenge ahead of them to try to reverse a three-goal lead, a bad start in the first game a couple of weeks ago appeared to damage their confidence early on.
This team’s enthusiasm on the field has been essentially depleted by giving up the first goal throughout the entire season; they have lost five of their previous six games when this has happened, and they have failed to score in each of those losses.
Luis Castro has frequently emphasized the value of patient possession and controlled line-breaking, which is a challenging strategy to adopt when you are trailing by two goals at the half, as they were against America in the first leg. This team has demonstrated that scoring three goals is well within their capabilities, winning both of their games in the third round by a score of 3-0 while also scoring three times in league play on three different occasions. The road to the quarterfinals may currently seem long.
There is some cause for optimism going into this match on Thursday when you consider the fact that they have never lost to America at home, twice scoring three goals or more while also maintaining two clean sheets.
At the present, Fogo’s offense is struggling; they haven’t scored in three of their previous four matches in all competitions, and they have won just one of their past four home games. America Mineiro ended a five-match winless streak in which they failed to score in each of those games by coming out eager and focused in the first leg at home last month.
Vagner Mancini could not have asked for much more from his team in that game, as they managed to successfully close off the open spaces in the penalty area and struck seven shots on goal.
The next step for them would be to improve their performance away from home, where they have appeared passive when in possession and afraid to take risks, conceding in stoppage time on Monday as they lost 1-0 to Internacional. They have gone four road games without a goal.
Mineiro hasn’t given up a goal in any of their three games so far in this competition, but you’d think they’d be aware of some lopsided road losses they’ve already experienced this year, like on the final matchday of their Copa Libertadores group stage campaign when they lost at Independiente del Valle.
Their lone attacker up front has frequently been isolated and has struggled to find enough quality movements to get open, scoring the fewest goals so far in Brasileiro Serie A season even though they are rarely caught on the break .
Since Coelho struggles with organization and structure away from home, we anticipate that Fogo will have a few scoring chances. However, the home team hasn’t shown enough consistency in the final third to imply that they can triumph in the same resounding manner that America did last month.