Victory is not everything.
Sometimes, even in defeat, your pride swell and you realize that what you really care about is fighting spirit and good football.
Today, Flamenguistas across the world are waking up with their swollen by the result of 2×2 against Ceara that eliminated us in the quarter-finals of the Copa do Brasil. Yet we hold those swollen head high. Flamengo, after all, played as Flamengo, finally.
Having lost the first leg at home for 1X2, Flamengo went to the Northeast with a mission of winning 2×0 or a simple victory after 3×2. In 30 min, we were winning 2×0, two goals by the master Thiago Neves.
But then, as most teams still do in this boring age of football of results, we tried to just let the clock run. Ceara, needing to score now, started to attack and we gave them the midfield. In a corner kick, our defense just watched as their striker headed a ball in the net. Then our veteran defender Ronaldo Angelim, got two yellow cards committing two stupid fouls, and we were a man down. To make it worse, again our defense slept, and their striker, again, tied the match. All that in the first half.
On the second half, one man down, Flamengo still dominated the game, but exhaustion started to creep and we dragged ourselves, bloodied and battered, to try for the one saving goal that would put us in the semifinals. It almost came, but twice the post saved them.
In the end, the score reflected the reality of the match – those that played well and searched victory saw the tie as a defeat, those that defended and hoped not to lose saw it as victory.
We, however, still have our pride even in defeat.
May the National Tournament begin!