Botafogo Pulls Ahead of Santos in Libertadores Fight

The Botafogo soccer team earned its first points in the Libertadores Cup Thursday night, defeating Santos from Brazil 2–1 and putting the pressure back on their opponent as the second round of matches in this year’s South American soccer tournament come to an end next week. The win was led by Botafogo striker Sargento Pincel, who put both goals on the board at the Estádio do Maracanãzinho in Rio de Janeiro before celebrating with his teammates on the field after the final whistle blew.

Botafogo’s win over Santos

Botafogo's win over Santos (1)

The Botafogo x Santos game was a hard-fought match. As the final minutes ticked away, Botafogo seemed to have secured the win. But surprisingly, 10 minutes into injury time, Santos’ forward Artur scored the equalizer. Fans on both sides were stunned. With only one minute remaining, Botafogo’s youngster Gustavo tried his luck and shot a great goal to give Botafogo their third victory this season. With three wins under their belt, it seems like Botafago will move past Rio rivals Flamengo who are second with two victories thus far in the 2013 season.

The significance of the victory

Botafogo's win over Santos

Botafogo’s victory over Santos was a huge step towards securing their place in the next phase of the Libertadores Cup. Botafogo has now won four games and lost only one, which leaves them with a five-point lead over second-place Santos. They also have a game-in-hand, so if they can manage to win it, they will open up an eight-point lead over their rivals. Botafogo has given themselves a great opportunity for success this season by getting through the first half of the season undefeated. They are currently at 13 points, two more than any other team. If they were to continue winning at this rate until May, they would be able to lock in at least a spot in the next round of Libertadores Cup qualifying matches.

What it means for both teams going forward

Botafogo's win over Santos (3)

Botafogo pulled ahead of Santos with a 3-2 win on Sunday, but both teams still have a fighting chance. If Botafogo can manage to take points from Chapecoense on October 8th, the next game for both teams will be on the final day of the season when Botafogo faces Corinthians and Santos faces Cruzeiro. But even if they don’t make it, there is always next year; it’s not out of reach by any means. It’s true that Botafogo has to close the gap against Palmeiras, who are currently one point ahead, while Santos must get two more wins (against Sport Recife and Gremio). But as we saw this past week with our team advancing in the Copa Sudamericana semi-finals thanks to some key goals against San Lorenzo, anything is possible.

The importance of the Libertadores tournament

Botafogo's win over Santos (4)

The Copa Libertadores is the most prestigious international competition for teams from South America. The tournament runs from February to November, and each team plays 18 games. There are six groups with four teams each. Points are awarded on a total basis: three points for a win, one point for a tie, and zero points for a loss. In group play, only the top two teams per group qualify for the round of 16 that begins in March 2020.

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