NICK LEYDEN - Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Freddy Adu made an impressive Brazilian debut as a substitute in a 1-1 tie with Vitoria, but Bahia lost the state championship 8-4 on aggregate.
Vitoria 1-1 Bahia
Having won the first leg 7-3 in Bahia's home stadium, the Vitoria fans began celebratory chants of ole early in the first half.
Dinei actually added to the party atmosphere by extending Vitoria's aggregate lead in the 18th minute, sweeping home a cross to open the scoring in the pouring rain.
To Bahia's credit, though, they fought back in the second half to tie the second leg 1-1 and maintain at least some dignity.
Burly striker Fernandao scored the equalizer on a breakaway in the 66th minute, just a few minutes after Adu had replaced Diones.
Adu played roughly 30 minutes as a number 10 and by and large impressed with his passing and dribbling, injecting life into a fairly staid Bahia attack.
The result handed Vitoria the state championship over their biggest rival, but both teams have a quick turnaround as the national league begins next weekend.
Bahia opens the season on 5/26 against Criciuma, who just won the Santa Catarina state championship.
Adu will hope his debut performance earned him some more playing time under brand new coach Cristovao Borges.