Paulo Sousa expected Flamengo to face 'difficulty' at minnows Altos | OneFootball

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OneFootball

Seamus Leonard·2 May 2022

Paulo Sousa expected Flamengo to face 'difficulty' at minnows Altos

Article image:Paulo Sousa expected Flamengo to face 'difficulty' at minnows Altos

Flamengo manager Paulo Sousa insisted he was not surprised by the challenge his side encountered during their 2-1 Copa do Brasil win at third-tier Altos on Sunday.

Manoel gave the hosts a shock lead early in the second half with a fabulous overhead kick, but goals from Pedro and substitute João Gomes ensured the Rubro-Negro would lead going into the second leg of the tie on 11 May.

Article image:Paulo Sousa expected Flamengo to face 'difficulty' at minnows Altos

The visitors were certainly at less than full strength, but still had enough experience and quality on the field to account for their Série C opponents.

However Sousa claimed the circumstances surrounding the fixture at the Albertão were always going to lend themselves to a tricky outing for his Rio de Janeiro giants.

“What I expected was difficulty because this competition involves difficulty, especially when we have a period of great wear, constant travel, integrating players and giving minutes to maintain the level, because we need everyone in the entire championship,” Sousa said afterwards.

“A field that didn’t give speed to the game, with taller grass, drier, a low block.

“It’s an away game, with all these travels, with all these circumstances. Our audience gained from it. I want to send a message of affection, of love for the way they received us.”

Sousa was referring to incredible support in the ground for Flamengo, despite the game taking place some 2,500km north of the Maracanã.