Analysis: hardworking, Vasco throws open his own limits in the draw with Sport | vasco

Vasco, as far as possible, played a good game this Sunday afternoon, at Maracanã. Defensively safe, as it used to be in the season, the team also showed an offensive repertoire (especially in the first half), hit the ball on the post and gave Sport a hard time. But none of that was enough to take zero off the scoreboard.

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Hard to point the finger at someone who has played very badly. There were cases like that of Palacios, from whom a lot is expected and, therefore, it is fair to say that he was in debt; or Raniel, who had difficulty following up on some moves, for example. But that’s not the reason for the tie that frustrated more than 60,000 fans.

The match served to open Vasco’s own limits, a hard-working, competitive team, with a well-defined game system, but that occasionally runs the risk of tripping over its own legs as it was this Sunday. Even more without Nenê, the team’s technical reference, who was out because of calf pain.

Vasco players thank the support of the crowd at Maracanã after the game against Sport — Photo: André Durão / ge

From a sequence of four consecutive victories, Maurício Souza’s team now comes from a game where they suffered their first defeat in the competition and another in which, in a full stadium, they wasted the chance to increase their advantage at the top of the table. Luckily, the opponents’ campaign is similar – with the exception of leader Cruzeiro, of course.

Even without winning for two games, the distance to fifth place is still eight points. It is necessary to shake the dust, try to react in the next match against Criciúma and hit the signings in the window that opens this month so as not to lose the access route.

Pressure and wrong decisions

Vasco probably had their best start to the game of the entire season against Sport.

With an aggressive marking, which did not let the Pernambuco team even cross the line that divides the field, the Cruz-Maltino team compacted on the field and suffocated the opponent. There were several moments when Vasco seemed to have numerical superiority. He surrounded the opponent, stole the ball and went on the attack. He fenced, stole and went on the attack.

Raniel, Pec, Palacios, Figueiredo, Andrey and Yuri approach and steal the ball to Vasco: this happened several times at the beginning of the game — Photo: Reproduction

Thus, the team arrived with danger three times in six minutes. In the first move, a great move by Andrey in the steal, Gabriel Pec received it inside the area, but got in the way when it came time to secure his right foot for support and kicked completely crookedly. The conclusion of the moves and the wrong choices were Vasco’s biggest sin in the game.

Pec himself is the greatest example of this. He and Andrey were the players of the Vasco who finished the most in the match: four for each. The attacker made a good start (dribbled on the wing, started from the midfield…), but it gives the impression that he usually makes the wrong decision when he finishes. A stigma that falls on him is not new.

With an interesting offensive repertoire and triangulations that involved Sport’s defense, Vasco hit a point in the attacking field and explored the runners a lot. Léo Matos, Edimar, Pec, Palacios and company arrived there with freedom to cross, but the ball did not go round to the area – Nenê was fouled in that sense. In one of the few moments that the shower worked, Danilo Boza stamped the post with a header after the corner.

Vasco came back from the break with a more balanced pace, because it is very difficult to maintain the same commitment in marking for 90 minutes. The team arrived in a header by Léo Matos (who had a good performance) at three minutes. And then, only at 22, in a kick by Figueiredo from the middle of the street that almost catches the goalkeeper Maílson in short pants.

Maurício Souza put Juninho in place of the tireless Yuri Lara soon after. And, within what was possible, the coach seems to have done what he could: he put in Bruno Nazário, Getúlio and even had to burn a substitution when Boza was injured. It is true that Erick was on the bench, but at the press conference he explained that he preferred to put Riquelme on the field, betting on the spaces that could appear on the left. Fair enough, although it didn’t work in practice.

Maurício Souza, Vasco’s coach, was insulted by the crowd after the game, but he is not the biggest culprit — Photo: Daniel Ramalho / CRVG

In addition to Erick and goalkeeper Halls, Luiz Henrique, MT, Zé Gabriel, Matheus Barbosa and Weverton were on the bench. Palacios, the player who usually ignites the second half, started playing because of Nenê’s absence and at that point he was already showing signs of fatigue – the Chilean was Vasco’s player with the most wrong passes (14) in the match.

Not being able to maintain the same level, the team naturally gave more space to Sport, who experienced a lot of kicks from outside the area without problem defended by Thiago Rodrigues. Vasco from half of the second half until the end was more will than quality and organization. The ball doesn’t always go in that way.

Against Criciúma next Saturday, Vasco can have the turns of Gabriel Dias and Nenê, but, on the other hand, lost Edimar and Gabriel Pec for the third yellow card. The time of the season has come when having a good squad can make a difference.

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About Abhishek Pratap

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