The Copa do Brasil final between Flamengo and São Paulo will have its second and decisive clash at Morumbi. A draw at the headquarters of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) defined the field commands, and the São Paulo Tricolor will have the privilege of “setting the parade” in its domains. It’s not a new situation for the Rubro-Negro, the competition’s biggest finalist, with nine participations, but it brings bad memories to the fan.
Of the eight previous decisions, Flamengo decided three away from home and only managed to win the title on one occasion. Sampaoli’s team even has an asset and a curious situation to put on the table, but the record in the Copa do Brasil finals away from Rio de Janeiro is not good. One more mountain for the Rubro-Negro to climb.
Good start, tragic end for Flamengo
The only decision that the Gávea club won away from Rio de Janeiro was precisely the first in its history, in 1990. On the occasion, Flamengo beat Goiás in Maracanã, by 1-0, with a goal by Gaúcho, and held Esmeraldino in the Serra Dorada. The goalless draw gave the title to Rubro-Negro, but the following finals did not bring good memories.
13 years later, Flamengo finished runner-up in the Copa do Brasil, facing Cruzeiro in the final. The red-black team was considered much more fragile than the club from Minas Gerais, which won the Triple Crown that season, commanded by Vanderlei Luxemburgo and Alex. The 1-1 draw at Maracanã paved the way for the Raposa title, beating Rio by 3-1, with a show by Deivid.
The last final in which the decision was away from Maracanã was in 2017, when Flamengo and Cruzeiro faced each other again. This time the teams showed balance on the field, and the aggregate showed it, with two draws: 1-1 in Maracanã and 0-0 in Mineirão. That edition of the Copa do Brasil no longer had the away goal as a tiebreaker in the final, that is, everything was decided on penalties. Fábio’s star shone, Diego Ribas lost, and the miners won again.
2006 and the curious final between Flamengo and Vasco
Even if the retrospect is bad, Flamengo has a bonus in the cut of decisions without the field command in the Copa do Brasil. In 2006, after two consecutive runners-up, Rubro-Negro finally won its second tournament title, beating archrival Vasco da Gama in the decision. Interestingly, the Gávea club decided to “away from home”.
Although the two games of the decision were played at Maracanã, the field command in the return was Vasco. Flamengo ended up taking advantage of the situation to win the two and end up with an aggregate of 3 to 0, goals from Obina and Luizão (first duel) and Juan (second duel).
Flamengo won recent title at Morumbi
The main asset of this Flamengo squad to go to Morumbi and become champion is precisely the experience. Not because of the age of the athletes, as some are quite advanced, but the fact that Rubro-Negro won a title recently at Cícero Pompeu de Toledo. It was at the 2020 Brazilian Championship, played in consecutive points, but which ended up being decided only in the last round.
With the leadership assured and needing to repeat the result of Internacional to win the octa, Flamengo entered the field in Morumbi and, even with the defeat by 2 to 1, lifted the cup. Internacional was unable to beat Corinthians, in Porto Alegre, and ended up with the runner-up. The enemy is now different, however.
In addition to disputing the title directly with São Paulo, Flamengo will have a practically complete stadium against them. In 2020/2021, the stands were still closed due to the coronavirus pandemic protocols. The expectation is that Morumbi will be fully booked in the decision.
Flamengo and São Paulo will decide the Copa do Brasil on the 17th and 24th of September. For Rubro-Negro, it is worth the fifth title, which would place him as the second biggest champion of the tournament, while São Paulo lives the unprecedented achievement.