RIO DE JANEIRO – Flamengo left it late but Lincoln’s goal two minutes from time was enough to give them a 1-0 win over Botafogo on Wednesday that preserved their eight-point lead in Brazil’s Serie A.

The visitors struggled for much of the first half against their city rivals but took control shortly before halftime and were dominant following the 54th minute red card shown to Botafogo midfielder Luiz Fernando.

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However, it was not until the 88th minute of the bad-tempered match that Lincoln broke the deadlock to give them their 18th win in a run of 22 unbeaten games.

Flamengo sit eight points clear of second-placed Palmeiras, who beat Vasco da Gama 2-1 on Wednesday.

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Botafogo are fourth from bottom in the relegation zone with seven matches remaining.