He gave Botafogo! Under strong suspicion due to recent performances and events of the week, the team received São Paulo at Nilton Santos and won 1-0. Author of the winning goal in the second half, the midfielder kayak is the symbol of the dedication to the field and the adaptive ability that Glorioso needs to be a championship competition. Good defensive performance, with a lot of energy and concentration, also attracted attention and was the key for Alvinegro to continue on the path to victories and leave the relegation zone.
The encounter is a battle of opponents. Botafogo came off a poor streak of four straight losses and five games without a win that took the team to the relegation zone of the championship. Tricolor paulista, in third place in the classification, came to Nilton Santos defending an unbeaten record in nine games. However, if Glorioso’s campaign at Nilton Santos was disappointing – the third worst campaign as a home team in Brasileirão -, São Paulo came to Rio de Janeiro as the sixth worst guest, with five draws and one loss from Morumbi.
Another fact that is definitely worrying Luís Castro in preparation for the duel is the number of goals scored by Alvinegro and scored by the opponent. While Botafogo did not concede a goal in just one match of the competition (1-0 win over Flamengo), São Paulo came in as the only team to score in all championship games (as of Thursday, has 17 goals in 11 games).
Thinking about improving the team’s defensive system and a series of losses, the coach highlighted a profound change in Glorioso’s formation. The foremost is the system with a line of three defenders, with the entry of captain Joel Carli to form the defense alongside Kanu and Cuesta. Saravia returned to the team to play as a right winger. In midfield, total reformulation: Kayque, Patrick de Paula and Lucas Piazon are Castro’s options. The ‘footprint’ Kayque has given the team in the last two games off the bench, guarantees the opportunity as a starter behind the wheel. Both Patrick and Piazon, who have little coaching prestige due to the poor performance presented so far, have had another chance to show service in an important game.
The presence of Jonathan Calleri on the field, the championship’s top scorer, will help understand Carli’s entry into the starting lineup. Of the nine goals the Argentine forward scored, four led. São Paulo was the team to hit the most crosses in the championship, with an average of 6.36 per game. Throughout the 2022 season, the alvinegra defense has shown insecurity with the balls being raised in their area. Luís Castro’s pick for a 3-4-3 (eventually varying to a 5-2-3 in the defensive phase) to strengthen the defense in strength and length, in addition to increasing the pressure on sides of the field, where The São Paulo team’s game usually develops.
And it was a good start to the game for Glorioso. Defensive impetus and scoring speed complicate the game for the opponent. At the same time, the offensive speed transfer worked well, especially with wingers Saravia and Hugo. From the foot of the pair came the team’s first good chance in the first half. The first four shots of the game are Botafogo, even if they are all wrong.
The tricolor’s answer is to give ownership value to stop the pace of the game and Botafogo’s enthusiasm. In the 25th minute of the first half, São Paulo’s possession reached 70% and the trio formed by Rodrigo Nestor, Igor Gomes and Patrick started looking for space to play in the final third of the field. Defensive duo Kayque and Patrick de Paula have difficulties in defensive positioning to cut passing lines and, at times, they find themselves involved in exchanging passes and moving into the opposing midfield. With the ball at their feet, the two also struggled to get involved in the team’s offensive construction. Of the team’s 14 foul passes in the first half, seven were from defensive midfielders.
On offense, players are forced to participate a lot in the game. Looking for a direct game, without continuing possession if the defenders left the ball, Vinícius Lopes, Piazon and Erison were very active in the first half. Among the three, Vinícius is the one with the most performances, both in the offensive transition game and in the defensive recomposition, helping Saravia in the sector where São Paulo is more dangerous. Lucas Piazon played a game of great dedication, his strongest participation in a white shirt, aspiring to be a link between midfield and attack. Erison had difficulties confronting the São Paulo defense and lost seven of the eight ball disputes in which he was involved in the first half. The team’s top scorer of the season has some limitations when the team needs to find in him a piece for a more supported and associative game.
Botafogo entered the break with 39% possession of the ball and 107 accurate passes were converted, numbers below the championship team’s average. However, the team made seven shots (none towards the goal) against one from the opponent. One highlight was the eight tackles, four interceptions and 19 hits the team made in the first 45 minutes. In recent fights, even though they have little possession of the ball, Glorioso has lost a fight on defensive actions. The message is clear: by maintaining intensity and defensive organization, the team can be competitive against any team in Brazilian football.
The second half began similarly to the first. São Paulo’s bigger ball possession, Botafogo’s more shots. Another attribute of Alvinegro that should be emphasized in the game is the level of concentration. Forced for results, the team kept their head straight and without hesitation during the game. Very focused, Glorioso balanced the game and was more dangerous to return to the break.
Saravia, Patrick de Paula and especially Kayque grew into the game in the second period. In 15 minutes, with a counterattack pulled from the right back, Kayque won the rebound, advanced to the spot and scored a beautiful goal that dribbled the mark. The goal crowns a confident appearance of the defensive midfielder and demonstrates a basic role for the team to play: that of the midfielder (or inside midfielder) who is always seen in the area causing an imbalance in opponent’s defense system and, finally, to end games. Kayque may not be the technical refinement player Botafogo is looking for to build the Botafogo Way proposed by Textor. Now, however, the midfielder is the player the team needs to be more vertical and competitive in Brazilian football.
After scoring the goal, Botafogo played an intelligent and reasonable game to avoid pressure from the opponent. São Paulo is changing to play a more open game, looking for doubles on the edges of the field to get crosses. Castro kept the changes and acted for the first time in just the 31st minute. Saravia was drawing, who received a yellow card and was desperately asked to mark, for Daniel Borges ’entry. Then Kayque, wounded, was replaced by Barreto. The two players who came out of the seat took a long time to get into the rhythm of the game and made silly mistakes in the first few minutes. Finally, Chay and Matheus Nascimento joined forces to change the team’s breath.
A big defensive show was decisive for the avinegra win. The team that conceded a goal in almost every game did not concede, scoring in all previous games went blank. The win is important for the team to regain confidence, whether on the pitch within 90 minutes, or to regain the fans ’trust in the players and the project. And, in addition to the three points, the show could show a change in the reading of the teaching staff on how to deal with this start to the Botafogo journey. Before implementing a propositional game model that requires time and specific players, it is important to compete. And in order to compete, sometimes, the team has to adapt to the conditions of the game imposed by the opponent. Against São Paulo, it was a point for Castro and his commission to know how to cancel out the opponent’s strengths and play a game of exceptional defensive security.
Botafogo will continue the tough lineup against the teams at the top of the table next Sunday (19), at 6 p.m., when they will face the Internacional in Beira-Rio. Undefeated in ten rounds, Colorado is fourth in Brasileirão and still undefeated under Mano Menezes.
Game numbers 🙁footstats)
Get a ball – BOT 38% x 62% SAO
Correct transmission – BOT 200 (87%) x 495 (89%) SAO
Shooting – BOT 16 (3 on goal) x 5 (2) SAO
Graduation aids – BOT 11 x 5 SAO
Disarmament – BOT 13 x 18 SAO
Interceptions – BOT 4 x 4 SAO
Hits – BOT 32 x 33 SAO
Crossing – BOT 5/21 (24%) x 4/19 (21%) SAO
Launch – BOT 11/39 (28%) x 6/16 (37%) SAO
Game Turns – BOT 1 x 1 SAO
Dribbling – BOT 4 x 7 SAO
Ball possession losses-BOT 35 x 27 SAO
Fouls – BOT 16 x 16 SAO
Yellow cards – BOT 5 x 3 SAO