The match against Nova Iguaçu was Vasco’s worst game in 2024. Not because of the result – the first defeat of the year – but because of the performance. Ramón Díaz opted for a mixed team, which in the first stage was involved by the opponent and struggled a lot to create dangerous moves. In the second stage, he put some starters on the field, and the Vasco team improved, but not enough to avoid the setback.
Nova Iguaçu x Vasco – Best Moments
In a week of travel before the classic against Flamengo, from Brasília to Uberlândia, on two bad pitches, Ramón Díaz chose – rightly – to save the main players for the match against Nova Iguaçu. From midfield forward, only Vegetti would be selected as a starter – this is because the striker felt unwell during the warm-up and did not start the match among the 11.
The decision to save money proved to be the right one, mainly due to the “excessive will” of the Nova Iguaçu players. Rossi, for example, suffered two tough tackles in which the referee didn’t even call a foul. The game was marked by yet another bad refereeing in Carioca. This time, Ferj acted quickly and, in less than an hour, removed João Marcos Fernandes.
Nova Iguaçu x Vasco: Rossi is hit by Gabriel Pinheiro and the referee does not call a foul
The result could have been different if Cayo Tenório had been correctly sent off, even 25 minutes into the match. Even so, Vasco had a poor performance in Uberlândia – collectively and individually -, with many passing and marking errors, as well as little effectiveness in attack.
Cayo Tenório, from Nova Iguaçu, hits the leg of Rossi, from Vasco, but the referee doesn’t give a foul
Vasco entered the field in a 4-2-4 formation, with Serginho, Rossi, David and Rayan up front. With a midfield formed by Zé Gabriel and Praxedes, the difficulty in creating and achieving chances in attack became clear. Spaced out, the team gave opportunities to Nova Iguaçu from the beginning of the match, but the opponent only opened the scoring due to a clear error by Maicon in releasing the ball.
In the second half, Ramón Díaz returned with João Victor, Lucas Piton and Payet replacing Maicon, Julião and David. The three were the worst in the first half. Vasco improved with the changes, with their most creative players in the squad – Piton and Payet. The equalizer almost came from an unintentional cross from the Frenchman that stopped at the post.
However, there was a lack of that extra something to convert the chances, which also comes up against the squad’s lack of attacking options. In the first tests of 2024, Vasco yielded offensively, most of the time, with Payet’s brilliance. While Vegetti hasn’t found the net yet this year, the team has found it difficult to score goals when they don’t rely on the Frenchman.
At the end of the game, Vasco still found itself involved by the Nova Iguaçu team, who scored a beautiful goal in a collective play, in which there was also a failure in the marking system.
Sunday’s classic against Flamengo, at Maracanã, is the first real test of 2024. It will be the opportunity to see how Vasco will perform with the starting team without Paulinho for the first time, in one of the biggest classics in Brazil, in front of one of the teams with the most investment in the country.
After defeat to Nova Iguaçu, Emiliano Díaz apologizes to Vasco fans: “We made everything wrong”
Emiliano Díaz and the committee see Carioca as preparation for the season and will not wear out the starting team in every game. But they also know the importance of giving this answer in the first classic of the year.
– Classic we have to play life or death, like every game we are playing. Let’s play with everything we have. We are in preparation. Last year we reached the Carioca semi-final and ended the year fighting against relegation. We have a plan and we will not deviate from it, no matter what happens – said Emiliano, at the press conference after the defeat to Nova Iguaçu.
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