Rio de Janeiro, April 22 (IANS) Uruguay international striker Loco Abreu scored a hat-trick to send Botafogo into the final of the Rio Cup with a 4-2 victory over Bangu at Rio's Engenhao stadium.
Abreu's tally, which came within a 20-minute period either side of the break, could have been greater were it not for a missed penalty, his fifth in succession.
An own-goal by Botafogo's Lucas followed by a Sergio Junior strike reduced the margin to a goal midway through the second half.
But Maicosuel's cool finish Saturday on the counterattack sealed Botafogo's berth in next weekend's final against the winner of the other semi-final between Flamengo and Vasco da Gama.
After the match Abreu preferred to take the focus off his own performance by praising his teammates.
"We secured our prime objective and that was to make the final," Abreu was quoted as saying by Xinhua. "Congratulations to the entire team. The fans came and we played for the honour of the club."
Botafogo coach Oswaldo de Oliveira backed the former Deportivo de la Coruna forward to continue taking penalties.
"He scored three goals which more than cancels out anything else. If the score had been 0-0 or 1-1 it would have been different. I would have ordered someone else to take the penalty."
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