Rio de Janeiro, Sep 8 (IANS) Uruguay international Giorgian De Arrascaeta struck late to earn Cruzeiro a 1-1 draw with Flamengo in the first leg of the Copa do Brasil final here.
Flamengo opened the scoring in the 75th minute of Thursday evening’s game at the Maracana Stadium when Rever’s powerful drive was punched clear by Cruzeiro goalkeeper Fabio only for Lucas Paqueta to smash in the rebound, reports Xinhua news agency.
The equaliser came nine minutes later when Flamengo keeper Thiago failed to grasp a tame long-range effort from midfielder Hudson, allowing De Arrascaeta the easiest of tap-ins.
The return leg will be played on September 27 at Cruzeiro’s Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte.
Flamengo are aiming to win the Copa do Brasil for the fourth time while Cruzeiro are vying for a fifth title.
The winner will earn an automatic berth in next year’s Copa Libertadores, South America’s top club football competition.