Friday, 30 October 2009
Atlético Tucumán 1-2 Vélez Sarsfield
Godoy Cruz 1-2 Estudiantes
Gimnasia La Plata 0-1 Banfield
San Lorenzo 3-2 Arsenal
Huracán 1-0 Rosario Central
Independiente 3-2 Colón
Boca Juniors 3-0 Chacarita Juniors
Lanús 4-0 Tigre
Argentinos Juniors 1-2 River Plate
A midweek round spread over Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday has concertinaed everything together in the Primera Divisíon where three points now covers the top seven places. Heading the lot are Estudiantes, thanks in no small part to Gody Cruz managing to finish with just nine men. Godoy were in front through Cristian Chavez halfway through the first half, but the lead lasted just five minutes before Jorge Curbelo headed past his own keeper from a corner. Seven from time, Godoy allowed a free-kick from the left hand side to drift through a mass of bodies and Leandro Desábato stuck it in at the back post. There was still time for Leonardo Sigali to pick up a second yellow and Carlos Valencia a straight red. Banfield and Newell's are also on 23 points at the top and both were 1-0 winners, Newell's leaving Racing still without a win. The goal came from Juan Insaurralde at the end of the mother and father of all goalmouth scrambles and even the dismissal of Carlos Sanchéz Prette didn't allow Racing back into it. Santiago Silva tops the goalscoring charts after nabbing his tenth of the campaign for Banfield, a towering back-post header enough to see off Gimnasia.
San Lorenzo come next after coming from behind twice to beat Arsenal who were ahead in five minutes through Franco Jara's great run and finish. Diego Rivera equalised within ten with a heavily deflected shot from range, but Cristian Tula restored the lead five minutes after the break with a free header from a corner. Back came Los Azulgrana, Gonzalo Rovira's emphatic finish from the corner of the box squaring things up once again and, two minutes from time, Alejandro Gómez blazed home from outside the box as Arsenal failed to clear a corner. Colón went down to Independiente after the dismissal of Esteban Fuertes ten minutes into the second half. His team were 2-1 down at the time after Nestor Silvera put El Rojo ahead, the first goal in their swanky new stadium, albeit from a suspiciously offside position. Federico Nieto equalised just after the half hour, but Ignacio Piatti sent the home side in in front at the end of a lovely move. A stray elbow saw Fuertes sent to the sheds and Piatti secured the win as he carved the Colón defence wide open and finished in style. Vélez Sársfield needed the latest of late penalties to beat Atlético Tucumán (how late? Try Alex Ferguson late). Rolando Zarate put Vélez ahead with a fine finish from a seemingly impossible angle, but the sides went in level when Javier paez caught the Vélez rearguard sleeping. And that's how it looked to be ending, but four minutes into stoppages, Maxi Moralez fired in the decisive penalty.
Tigre remain bottom after a humping from Lanús. Two down heading to the break, Juan Garat picked up a second yellow and it was one way traffic from then. Sebastien Blanco added a third to Eduardo Salvio and Marcos Aguirre's first half efforts and Santiago Biglieri wrapped it up. Chacarita remain in trouble after a beating from Boca who had it signed and sealed at half-time through Federico Insua and Osvaldo Gaitan with Sebastien Battaglia's second half effort really just rubbing it in. Huracán are still in bother despite winning, Eduardo Dominguez with an early goal which they defended despite losing Pablo Jerez to a 54th minute red card. Finally, River Plate beat Argentinos Juniors to ease themselves away from the danger zone. Goals in each half from Diego Buonanotte and Mauro Rosales ensured that Nestor Ortigoza's last minute penalty didn't really matter.
The next round spreads from Saturday to Tuesday and here's how they line up:
Vélez Sársfield v Godoy Cruz
Racing v Atlético Tucumán
Gimnasia La Plata v San Lorenzo
Chacarita Juniors v Argentinos Juniors
River Plate v Lanús
Rosario Central v Boca Juniors
Arsenal v Independiente
Banfield v Estudiantes La Plata
Tigre v Newell's Old Boys
Colón v Huracán
and we'll have a round-up when the results are all in.
Palmeiras (57 points)
Sport Recife H
You'd think that the Big Green have the most difficult run in of the top 6. They have to play three teams fighting relegation but the dreaded trip to unbeaten at home Grêmio on the horizon before what could be a moster clash with Atlético-MG at the Palestra Itália.
São Paulo (55 points)
Sport Recife H
São Paulo could be in the box seat, only the one potential slip up at the Grêmio graveyard on the horizon and every other game is winnable with three midtable sides and only the one relegation candidate in Botafogo to take on.
Atlético Miniero (53 points)
Only one word to describe this run in. Ouch. If Atlético-MG are to win the league they are going to have to do it the hard was. Goiás is no easy place to go, with Flamengo, Inter and Palmeiras also to play it's going to be some effort for Atlético-MG to finish on top.
Internacional (52 points)
Sport Recife A
Santo André H
Again Inter have been blessed with not the most difficult run in, three relegation threatened sides to play and two of those games at home. Mid table sides in Santos and Barueri, their toughest game of the run in will be at Atlético-MG
Cruzeiro (51 points)
Sport Recife A
Possibly the easiest run in of the title challengers, it wouldn't surprise me if Cruzeiro managed to win all of these games and set the bar at 69 points. Three relegation candidates with two at home, a Grêmio side that had travel sickness so bad it's untrue and Atlético-PR and Santos both in the bottom half.
Flamengo (51 points)
Again, not a bad run in for Flamengo. Only Atlético-MG on the horizon but the other 5 games are defenitely winnable. Difference is only one relegation candidate in Náutico to play, the rest are all comfortable in mid table.
And now the bottom, who is heading for Série B
Fluminense (30 points)
Sport Recife A
You know, it's not really that bad a run in for Fluminense. They should write off the Cruzeiro and Palmeiras games and concentrate on their last 4. The two home games are winnable whilst they face clashes again fellow relegation candidates in their away games. Fluminese are on a 6 game unbeaten run but their Copa Sudamericana committments may get in the way.
Sport Recife (30 points)
São Paulo A
You've got to think the writing is on the wall for Sport. It's a shocker of a run in. They have 4 of the top 6 to play with only Náutico and Fluminense as winnable games. A year the started in the Libertadores may end in Série B for Sport.
Náutico (32 points)
Sport Recife H
Santo André A
If you wanted a decent run in whilst in a relegation fight you'd be in favour of this one. Only Flamengo from the top 6 to play, one of your fellow relegation candidates to play and the rest all coming from mid table. Don't write Náutico off yet.
Santo André (32 points)
Again not a bad run in for Santo André, confident after the recent win of Palmeiras they only have Inter from the top 6 to face. Grêmio's travel sickness is well documented already and they have Náutico at home in what could be their big game. Otherwise it's mid table teams all the way.
Botafogo (35 points)
São Paulo H
Botafogo have probably the worst run in of all the relegation candidates and like Fluminense still have Copa Sudamericana committments to keep. It's not a nice run in with Inter, Palmeiras and São Paulo all to play but there are winnable games against Coritiba and Barueri as well.
Coritiba (38 points)
Coritiba could take a big step by defeating Vitória this weekend, a big clash with Botafogo follows before a toughie against Atlético-MG. Santos is a target game before inform Cruzeiro away is a game to forget. It could all come down to the last day when Fluminense are in town.
Stick with us, we'll be bringing you all the action from the exciting finish to the season in Brazil.
Atlético Paranaense 1-1 Santos
Grêmio 3-1 Avaí
Cruzeiro 3-2 Santo André
Vitória 0-1 Corinthians
Barueri 2-0 Flamengo
São Paulo 1-0 Internacional
Fluminense 2-1 Atlético Miniero
Sport Recife 1-1 Coritiba
Palmeiras 4-0 Goiás
Palmeiras remain top after week 32 after finally getting back on the horse against Goiás at the Palestra Itália. The Big Green fans must have been worried when the teams went in level at half time but Obina put them ahead just after the break, then took full control with Obina completing a hat trick and Deyvid Sacconi completing the rout. Atlético-MG drop to third after coming unstuck at the Maracanã against a Fluminense team fighting for it's Série A lives. Fred put Fluminense ahead from the spot just after the half hour but the second from Dario Conca just after the break was the hammer blow. Diego Tardelli's 17th of the season halved the defecit but there was no way back. São Paulo moved into second after a single goal from Washington just before half time was enough to see off Internacional who now drop to fourth.
Flamengo's late charge was brought to a sudden halt at Barueri. It was their first defeat since August. Val Baiano's 12th of the season put Barueri ahead just before half time and Everton finished Flamengo off with a second 20 minutes from time. Cruzeiro are now the form team after their 5th straight win, this time though they had to come from behind to see off a Santo André side still full of confidence after their win last week. All the goals came in the second half, Joffre Guerron put Cruzeiro ahead, but quick goals from Nunes and Junior Dultra put Santo André ahead. Cruzeiro still trailed as the game went into the last 10 minutes but Eliandro levelled 7 minutes from time before Thiago Ribiero won it in the last minute.
The big relegation clash came at the Engenhão as Botafogo took on Náutico. Only one goal seperated the sides and that came from the spot with 19 minutes left. Juninho converting what could be a crucial goal in Botafogo's season. Rumours abound as well that veteran Italian striker Christian Vieri is about to sign on for Botafogo as well. Sport Recife are now level on points with Fluminense after a draw at home with Coritiba. Fabiano Pereira put Sport ahead 6 minutes before half time but Coritiba levelled just before half time, Ariel with the goal to leave Sport deep in trouble.
Grêmio's remain unbeaten at home as they picked up their 12th home win of the season against Avaí. Tcheco put Grêmio ahead on the half hour but they were then reduced to 10 men when former Sporting Clube do Portugal player Fabio Rochemback was shown a straight red card. It didn't stop the home side as Maxi López 12th of the season and Souza's 10th made it 3-0 before Emerson grabbed a consolation for Avaí. In the mid table clash in Curitiba, Atlético-PR and Santos shared the spoils. The goals came three minutes apart, Kléber Pereira put Santos ahead from the spot after 49 minutes but Bruno Costa's quick replay levelled matters. Santos finished the game with only 10 men after Robson saw red. Finally Vitória were defeated at home by Corinthians, Matias Defederico with the only goal of the game mid way through the second half.
6 games left and the heat is still on at the top of the table. The big game of the weekend is the relegation clash between Náutico and Sport Recife. This is how they line up for Week 33
Avaí x Atlético Paranaense
São Paulo x Barueri
Flamengo x Santos
Goiás x Atlético Miniero
Internacional x Botafogo
Palmeiras x Corinthians
Coritiba x Vitória
Cruzeiro x Fluminense
Santo André x Grêmio
Náutico x Sport Recife
Tuesday, 27 October 2009
Rosario Central 2-0 Independiente
Banfield 3-0 Godoy Cruz
Chacarita Juniors 1-0 Huracán
Racing Club 1-1 Lanús
Vélez Sarsfield 1-2 Newell's Old Boys
Arsenal 1-0 Gimnasia La Plata
River Plate 1-1 Boca Juniors
Tigre 1-1 Argentinos Juniors
Colón 2-1 San Lorenzo
Superclasico time in Argentina this week where honours were shared at the Antonio Vespucio. River were in front shortly after Ariel Ortega missed a penalty, Marcelo Gallardo scoring a stunning 20-yard free-kick. Always a bad-tempered fixture, both sides were reduced to ten early in the second period, River's Cristian Villagra picking up and second yellow just a minute after the restart and then some horrendous play-acting from Ortega doing enough for Boca's Julio Caceres to receive a straight red. The old push-on-the-chest-but-go-down-holding-your-face routine. Worked a charm, but there was a sense of justice down when Martin Palermo banged in an equaliser thirteen minutes later and it finished one apiece.
Colón's win over San Lorenzo sees them leapfrog their opponents into top spot in another game that saw both sides down a man. Federico Nieto put Colón ahead ealry on, finishing a superb, sweeping move and added a second shortly after the break just after San Lorenzo had Pablo Pintos sent off. German Rivarola followed after a second yellow before a comedy own goal from Marcelo Goux reduced the lead. Colón hung on for the win. Estudiantes are up to second, Mauro Boselli's penalty enough to see off Atlético Tucumán while Banfield and Newell's Old Boys also move up. Santiago Silva got two in Banfield's cruise past Godoy Cruz, James Rodriguez with the third while Newell's came from behind thanks to two Joaquin Boghossian strikes after Jonathan Cristaldo had put Vélez Sársfield ahead.
The bottom two both drew 1-1, both coming back from early goals against. Tigre conceded a penalty which Nestor Rodriguez buried, but Martin Morel rescued a point. Racing Club will shortly be taken over by Lothar Matthaus and Claudio Yacob equalised Eduardo Salvo's early strike. Huracán are still in trouble and lost to a single Mariano Etcheverria goal which pulled Charcaritos out of immediate bother. Arsenal won through a single Diego Galván goal and Rosario Central beat ten-man Independiente. Jorge Broun got an early penalty and Emilio Zelaya increased the lead before Dario Gandín's second yellow scuppered any chance of an Independiente comeback.
Monday, 26 October 2009
Náutico 2-1 Barueri
Atlético Miniero 1-0 Vitória
Coritiba 3-2 Atlético Paranaense
Goiás 2-2 Fluminense
Internacional 1-0 Grêmio
Santos 3-4 São Paulo
Botafogo 0-1 Flamengo
Corinthians 0-1 Cruzeiro
Avaí 2-2 Sport Recife
You know. I'm not convinced now that Palmeiras want to win this title. They've fallen to three straight defeats and it's tighter than a nun's chuff at the top of the table. Palmeiras came unstuck convincingly on Wednesday night at a Santo André side which lifted themselves out of the relegation zone with their victory. A goal in each half from Nunes was enough to put Botafogo back into the relegation zone, who lost at home on Sunday in the big local derby match against Flamengo. The only goal of the game coming from Adriano after half an hour, his 16th of the season.
Of the other three teams in the title mix, all of them picked up maximum points. A 16th strike of the season from Diego Tardelli after 28 minutes was enough to give Atlético-MG a vital win over Vitória. Inter also won by a single goal, that coming from Andres D'Alessandro with only 3 minutes on the clock in the Gre-Nal. The San-São though, was a lot more entertaining. A 7 goal thriller at the Vila Belmiro saw the Champions get themselves back in the hunt. São Paulo twice came from behind to take the lead, André put Santos ahead after just 5 minutes before Henanes levelled things minutes later. Rodrigo Souto put Santos back ahead only for Washington to send the side in level at the break. Jorge Wágner then put São Paulo ahead on the hour only for Robson to level things up at the break. Cometh the hour,
cometh the man as Rogério Ceni's first goal of the season put São Paulo ahead just two minutes later. Ceni was then sent off 10 minutes later but São Paulo held on for a vital win.
The relegation dog fight continues a pace. Náutico grabbed a vital win over Barueri to lift them to 17th. The bottom two clubs though could only draw. Sport took a two goal lead inside 7 minutes at Avaí through Wilson and Luciano Henrique but they were pegged back Avaí. Marquinhos halved the defecit and Luis Ricardo salvaged a point. Fluminense grabbed what could be a vital point at Goiás after recovering from a two goal defecit. Iarley put Goiás ahead with only 5 minutes on the clock and Romerito doubled the lead 11 minutes later. Mariano halved the defecit 4 minute before half time and Ezequiel Gonzaléz grabbed the leveller 13 minutes into the second half.
In the mid table battles. Coritiba overcame Atlético-PR in the Curitiba derby. Coritiba's Ariel scored into both nets within two first half minutes, unfortunately he put the visitors ahead before levelling. Jeci then put Coritiba ahead on 68 minutes before Marcinho levelled 6 minutes later. It looked like honours were going to be even as the game went into injury time but Marcos Aurélio stunned Atlético-PR and claimed all three points for Coritiba. Corinthians season continues to fade away at as they slumped to a home defeat to Cruzeiro. Gilberto got the only goal of the game 4 minutes before half time and Fernandinho saw red for the visitos 15 minutes from time.
So three points seperate the top 5 places. The two form horses at the moment are Flamengo and Cruzeiro who lie 5th and 6th respectively. Palmeiras desperately need to find some form from somewhere whilst Atlético-MG could well be a good bet. It's all coming down to the wire and we're all at it again with a midweek round. Huge clash at the Engenhão as Botafogo play Náutico is a 6 pointer. It's 4th against 3rd at the Morumbi as the Champions entertain Internacional. Atlético-MG should dispose of Fluminense whilst Palmeiras entertain Goiás.
They line up as follows....
Botafogo x Náutico
Atlético Paranaense x Santos
Grêmio x Avaí
Cruzeiro x Santo André
Vitória x Corinthians
Barueri x Flamengo
São Paulo x Internacional
Fluminense x Atlético Miniero
Sport Recife x Coritiba
Palmeiras x Goiás
We'll be back later in the week with a round up of all these games.
Friday, 23 October 2009
River Plate Montevideo 0-1 San Lorenzo
Cerro Porteño 2-1 Botafogo
Fluminense 2-2 Universidad de Chile
My two favourites to lift the crown this year have ended up being drawn against each other in the last 8. I suspect the winner of this tie may well go on to lift the competition come finals time in December. So on Tuesday night Vélez and Liga da Quito met and it was the home side who got the best possible start when Hernan López headed the V ahead with only 6 minutes on the clock. Liga now have a wealth of experience on the big stage and managed to bag themselves an away goal 8 minutes into the second half when Claudio Bieler's remarkable equaliser gave Liga what could be a vital away goal.
At the Centenario in Montevideo, 10 man San Lorenzo grabbed the only goal of the game to take a vital advantage over River Plate. A header from Pablo Pintos claimed the only goal of the game 19 minutes from time but they will be without Juan Torres for the return match after he saw a straight red 9 minutes into the second half.
In Paraguay a game of three red cards saw the home team gain a small advantage to take into next weeks second leg at the Engenhão. Cerro Porteño took the lead through Carlos Recalde 10 minutes before half time but Botafogo grabbed what could be a vital away goal when Reinaldo struck 13 minutes into the second half after blocking an attempted clearance. Botafogo were then reduced to 10 men when Leo Silva received a red card for an alleged stamp and then Emerson was also dismissed with 10 minutes to go to reduce the visitors to 9 men for pulling back in the box, Roberto Nanni won the game for Cerro Porteño when he converted from the spot with 9 minutes to go but opening scorer Recalde stupidly got himself sent off in injury time for a kung fu style challenge.
Fluminense will be kicking themselves after letting a two goal lead slip against Universidad de Chile at the Maracaña. Mauricio Victorino unfortunately put the ball into his own net to give Fluminense a first half lead on the nod of the assistant and then Fred doubled the advantage at the second attempt a minute into the second half. But the frailties that have haunted Fluminense all year reappeared when Walter Montillo pulled a goal back with 51 minutes on the clock and then 6 minutes after that it was all square, Juan Olivera tapped the equaliser into an empty net to leave Universidad in the box seat to qualify for the semi finals.
The second legs take place in two weeks time (I believe).
Monday, 19 October 2009
Avaí 2-1 Goiás
Barueri 0-0 Santos
Sport Recife 2-0 Corinthians
Grêmio 2-0 Coritiba
Fluminense 2-2 Internacional
Palmeiras 0-2 Flamengo
Cruzeiro 1-0 Botafogo
Vitória 3-1 Náutico
Atlético Paranaense 3-0 Santo André
It would seem most of the top teams are stumbling as we get to the business end of the season in Brazil. Again the top two lost with only Atlético-MG of the leading pack winning as Flamengo make a late run for a Copa Libertadores spot.
We started at the Morumbi on Saturday night where second took on fourth and thanks to a well known internet site, I settled down to watch the game. There was a large following from Atlético-MG and they has plenty to celebrate when Diego Tardelli's 15th goal of the season with just 67 seconds on the clock settled things. He was left unmarked at the back post and slotted past Rogerio Ceni. Avaí's great debut season in Série A continued as they came from behind to defeat Goiás. Leandro Euzebio put Goiás ahead in the 13th minute but Avaí again showed their second half fighting spirit when Leo Gago levelled 7 minutes into the second half and Marquinhos claimed the points 8 minutes later. There were no goals in the Paulista derby between Barueri and Santos, but the visitors were reduced to 10 when Kléber Pereira was dismissed with 15 minutes to go.
Sport continued their recent good run with a comfortable victory over Corinthians at Ilha do Retiro. Juan Carlos Acre put the home side ahead 9 minutes before half time before Wilson secured the points with a second half way through the second half. Grêmio's marvellous home form continued when they picked up their 11th home win of the season against Coritiba. Edixon Perea put Grêmio ahead bang on half time before Souza's 11th of the season wrapped things up 8 minutes from time. Fluminense's desperate battle against the drop continued at the Maracaña after a battling draw with Internacional. Alecsandro's 13th minutes opener for Inter put him in the three way tie at the top of the scoring charts but Gum got Fluminense back in it with an equaliser three minutes before half time. Marquinhos then put Inter back ahead twenty minutes into the second half but a second from Gum, 4 minutes from time rescused what could be a vital point for Fluminense.
After the defeat of São Paulo on Saturday night Palmeiras had the chance to extend their lead to 7 points at the top of the table but they came unstuck against at Flamengo side which is making a late charge for a Libertadores spot. Serbian midfielder Dejan Petkovic was the hero for Flamengo with a goal in each half to lift his team to 5th, a point off a Libertadores spot and a decent outside bet for the title. Wagner Love though missed a penalty for the league leaders who have now lost two straight. Botafogo remain in strife after a goal from Thiago Ribiero on the hour condemned them to defeat against Cruzeiro. The victory lifts Cruzeiro to 7th and an outside chance of scraping into the Libertadores. Náutico remain in trouble after letting a lead slip against Vitória. Burno Miniero continued his recent good run of form by putting Náutico ahead a minute into the second half. It all went wrong through on the hour when Vágner Silva was shown a straight red card. Vitória took immediate advantage when Leandrao levelled a minute later. Vitória piled on the pressure and Náutico cracked 8 minutes from time, Leandrao getting a second before Jackson put the icing on the cake in injury time.
Santo André are looking doomed. Since a promising start they've only picked up 15 points out of a possible 60 and Atlético-PR were the latest team to benefit. After a promising start Santo André shipped two goals inside a minute, firstly Paulo Baier put Atlético-PR ahead with 26 minutes on the clock and Alex Sandro doubled the advantage a minute later. There was no way back into the game for Santo André and Marcinho hammered the final nail into the coffin just beyond the hour to leave Santo André in 18th and Atlético-PR seemingly safe with 39 points on the board.
Week 31 begins on Thursday night when Santo André take on leaders Palmeiras in a Paulista derby. The big game of the weekend is in Porto Alegre where the Gre-Nal takes place on Sunday evening. Derbies galore this weekend as Botafogo and Flamengo clash at the Engenhão and Atletico-PR and Coritiba clash as well and just for good measure it's the San-São as well.
Santo André x Palmeiras
Náutico x Barueri
Atlético Miniero x Vitória
Coritiba x Atlético Paranaense
Goiás x Fluminense
Internacional x Grêmio
Santos x São Paulo
Botafogo x Flamengo
Corinthians x Cruzeiro
Avaí x Sport Recife
Tigre 2-2 Huracán
Banfield 1-1 Atlético Tucumán
Godoy Cruz 1-1 Newell's Old Boys
Colón 4-1 Arsenal
Vélez Sársfield 1-0 Argentinos Juniors
Racing Club 1-2 Boca Juniors
Chacarita Juniors 0-2 San Lorenzo
Rosario Central 1-1 Gimnasia La Plata
Estudiantes 1-1 Lanús
River Plate 1-3 Independiente
San Lorenzo 1-0 Rosario Central
Lanús 1-1 Vélez Sársfield
Gimnasia La Plata 1-2 Colón
Atlético Tucumán 1-1 Godoy Cruz
Argentinos Juniors 2-0 Racing Club
Arsenal 1-1 Banfield
Independiente 1-1 Chacarita Juniors
Huracán 0-0 River Plate
Boca Juniors 2-1 Tigre
Newell's Old Boys 2-1 Estudiantes
Friday, 16 October 2009
Always gracious in victory, Maradona launched into a foul-mouthed rant against his critics in the press (i.e., the press). After telling assembled hacks that they all are on the receiving end of anal sex - and I don't think he meant it in a good way - he went all Malcolm Tucker with the brilliant line "All you who doubted me can fuck off and keep fucking off".
Some weeks ago, I suggested he be sacked for the good of Argentina. I completely withdraw that, for who am I to deny this entertainer a world stage on which to launch invective at all and sundry and come up with some other stunt that is batshit crazy? Given his chequered past, his efforts to out-crazy himself are Herculean. In fact, he's the Sergei Bubka of craziness, each time edging that bar a centimetre higher. The finals should be worth it for Maradona alone.
Tuesday, 13 October 2009
Flamengo 2-1 São Paulo
Santo André 1-2 Fluminense
Internacional 1-1 Atlético Paranaense
Coritiba 1-2 Barueri
Botafogo 2-2 Avaí
Atlético Mineiro 0-1 Cruzeiro
Náutico 3-0 Palmeiras
Goiás 1-1 Sport Recife
Santos 0-0 Vitória
São Paulo were denied top spot as they were beaten by Flamengo despite taking the lead midway through the first half. They're in rotten form are SPFC with one win in five while Flamengo are upwardly mobile and so it started with Flamengo all over their visitors. It was something against the run of play when Hernanes plucked a 60-yard ball out of the sky, took it round the keeper and rolled it home. The Rubro-Negro got their just desserts in the second half after a string of missed chances. It took a retaken penalty to get them level. The award itself was controversial - it looked an innocuous challenge - as was the retake - the keeper barely moved and still had one foot on the line - but Dejan Petkovic kept his cool and chipped it home. The winner came ten minutes from the end, an inch-perfect through ball for Ze Roberto saw him poke it just inside the far post.
Internacional were held 1-1 by Atlético-PR, left it very late and also finished with ten men. Denied a blatant penalty by a ref who couldn't keep up with play, Atlético went ahead 12 minutes from the end, Patrick slotting home at the second attempt after Lauro parried his initial shot right back at him, but they couldn't hold on. A minute from time, Alecsandro ghosted in at the near post to snatch a point. Deep in stoppage time, Bolivar's rash lunge earned him a second yellow and a slightly early bath.
Fluminense remain bottom, but pulled within striking distance of Santo André thanks to a win over them. Brazilian nicknames really aren't as good as they used to be, but Alan cracked in a toaster from the edge of the box to put Fluminense ahead and Fred's penalty made it two, the ex-Lyon man sending the keeper the wrong way in style. Camilo headed in half way through the second half to pull one back, but Fluzão hung on. Corinthians moved above Grêmio by beating them 2-1. A speculative long-range effort from Ronaldo crept in to put Corinthians ahead and the big man turned provider to send Elias clear to make it two. Réver headed in from a corner to pull one back, but Corinthians were worthy winners. Late action at the Couto Pereira where Barueri came out winners. It was into the last twenty minutes when Marcio Careca poked home a well-weighted cross to put the visitors ahead, but Coritiba were back level within five minutes, Marcos Aurélio's cross spilled at the feet of Bruno Batata who couldn't miss. The winner came in stoppage time, a lovely exchange of passes finishing with Thiago Humberto lashing it high past the stranded keeper.
Atlético-MG lost again, Wellington Paulista again doing the damage as Cruzeiro ended the week on a high, but Palmeiras couldn't take advantage, going down against Náutico. Failure to clear a corner saw Claudio Luiz gifted a sixth-minute opener and Bruno Mineiro scored in each half to seal it. The first was swept in at the near post, Palmeiras caught short down the flanks, his second a free header, the Palmeiras defence standing around like those big heads on Easter Island. Sport's point keeps them off the bottom on goal difference. They came from behind to get it, equalising Leo Lima's headed opener ten minutes from time through Lucian Henrique with a bullet header, none of the Goiás defence picking up his late run. Santos had the better of the game against Vitória but couldn't find a way past Gléger Zorim in the Vitória goal who pulled off a string of top drawer saves to earn his side a point.
Back to a regular Saturday/Sunday programme next week:
São Paulo x Atlético Mineiro
Avaí x Goiás
Barueri x Santos
Sport x Corinthians
Grêmio x Coritiba
Palmeiras x Flamengo
Fluminense x Internacional
Cruzeiro x Botafogo
Vitória x Náutico
Atlético Paranaense x Santo André
Friday, 9 October 2009
Colombia v Chile
Venezuela v Paraguay
Argentina v Peru
Ecuador v Uruguay
Bolivia v Brazil
Peru v Bolivia
Brazil v Venezuela
Paraguay v Colombia
Uruguay v Argentina
Chile v Ecuador
Brazil and Paraguay are already confirmed on the place to South Africa after the last round of fixtures, Chile are near as damn it there. It will take come kind of miracle for them not to qualify, in fact a point form their two games should be enough. At the other end of the table, Peru and Bolivia on the other hand are done and dusted, Bolivia have no impact on any of the final fixtures. They face Brazil in La Paz first up then travel to Lima in a dead rubber against Peru.
The fun and games come with who is going to get fourth, which secures a place on the place, or fifth which get a play off game against the fourth ranked team from the CONCACAF region. Ecuador are currently in the box seat in fourth, they entertain Uruguay first on Saturday and a victory for them, combined the right results for Argentina and Venezuela will see them on the plane with a game to spare. Argentina though, should win on Saturday. They entertain Peru at La Monumental and should be bankers for a victory if Diego Maradona can rally his troops. Venezuela, still in seventh, entertain already qualified Paraguay in Puerto Ordaz and a victory could throw them right back in the mixer as well. Colombia entertain Chile in what is a must win game for them if they are to have any chance of snatching fifth..
The big game could well come on Wednesday night in Montevideo, where Uruguay and Argentina meet at the Centenario in what could turn out to be a winner takes all encounter. Ecuador travel to Chile, who could already be qualified needing something from the game to put them into one of the qualifying spots. Venezuala's chances on Wednesday could be hampered by a trip to the Morenão in Campo Grande to take on Brazil. Colombia's hope may have already been dashed by results beyond their control on Saturday and a trip to Paraguay possibly needing a positive result is tough tough ask for them.
It's all going to do down to the wire in the CONMEBOL region for who will join Brazil and Paraguay in South Africa. Will Argentina fail to qualify for the first time since 1970 or can Diego Maradona inspire his charges. There are so many questions to be asked, and the answer will come within the next week. Stick with us here as we'll be bringing you all the reaction and results.
Sport Recife 0-1 Santos
São Paulo 2-2 Coritiba
Atlético Paranaense 0-0 Grêmio
Fluminense 1-1 Corinthians
Vitória 3-3 Flamengo
Internacional 3-1 Náutico
Botafogo 3-1 Atlético Miniero
Palmeiras 2-2 Avaí
Cruzeiro 3-0 Goiás
Nothing to really write home about as Barueri and Santo André finished goalless. Both teams did hit the woodwork but Marcelinho Carioca will still be wondering now how he didn't win the game for Santo André. Sport were plunged deeper into relegation trouble after a single goal home defeat to Santos. After a wonder save from Santos keeper Felipe kept the game score less the visitors grabbed the winner 8 minutes before half time when Felipe Azevedo blocked a clearance and put the ball past Magrão. São Paulo, the main challengers for the title, dropped two points at home to Coritiba. Hernanes put São Paulo ahead after 23 minutes but the visitors went into the break ahead. Renathino levelled after Rogerio Ceni failed to handle a shot and then Marcelinho's corner went straight in to hand Coritiba a shock lead. São Paulo snatched a point 20 minutes into the second half, Washington on hand to put home a rebound to level things up but São Paulo will view this a two points dropped.
Grêmio still only have one away win to their name all season after a scoreless draw at Atlético-PR. They will be kicking themselves though, they had more than enough chances to win the game. Fluminense picked up a valuable point in their fight against the drop. Alan put Flu ahead with only 4 minutes on the clock but they were pegged back after 23 minutes. Denthino with a header past Rafael to leave Fluminense still rooted to the bottom of the table. Meanwhile neighbours Flamengo shared 6 goals with Vitória. Without Adriano due to international duty Denis Marques put Flamengo ahead after 13 minutes but they were pegged back 4 minutes later when Roger levelled matter. Two minutes later Flamengo were ahead again, Dejan Petkovic's free kick sneaking in at the near post. That lead lasted only three minutes before a Ramon Menezes free kick left Bruno unmoved in the Flamengo goal. Menezes then put Vitória ahead before half time after finishing off a flowing move. Flamengo chased the game for all of the second half but they only levelled in the last minute when Ze Roberto was at the back post to slot home.
Internacional put their recent poor run of form behind them as they picked up their first win in seven against Náutico. Alecsandro put Inter ahead after 23 minutes but Náutico levelled 6 minutes before half time through Bruno Miniero. Inter went in ahead at half time, Andre D'Alessandro with a free kick which beat the wall and the keeper. Alecsandro grabbed a second in the last minute to wrap up the points for Inter. Palmeiras were forced to fightback from two goals down at home to Avaí to keep their 5 point lead at the top of the table. William's header put Avaí ahead after 8 minutes and another header from Emerson doubled the lead on the half hour. Wagner Love began the fightback 7 minutes before half time when he lashed home from 6 yards out. It looked like Avaí were going to hang on for a famous victory but they were undone 5 minutes from time when a cross from Ortigoza was met by Robert and he headed home the leveller. Wagner Love then got himself sent off for a poor challenge but Palmeiras still remain on course for a first title since 1994. Goiás dropped out of the Libertadores places after crashing 3-0 at Cruzeiro. All the goals came in the second half, Leandro Lima put Cruzeiro ahead a minutes into the second half and then Wellington Paulista doubled the advantage a couple of minutes later. Leandro Eusebio was then sent off for Goiás for a knee high challenge and Wellington Paulista lashed home a second to seal the points for Cruzeiro.
Botafogo finally moved out of the relegation zone after a crushing first half display against Atlético-MG. Andre Lima put Botafogo ahead after beating the Atlético-MG offside trap with just 8 minutes on the clock. Four minutes later and the lead was doubled, Lucio Flavio weaving his way through the Atlético-MG defence to curl the ball home. Reinaldo made it three just after the half hour when Botafogo caught Atlético-MG on the break and the shot from the edge of the box found the top corner. Corrêa pulled a goal back for Atlético-MG from the penalty spot just after the hour but a miserable day for the visitors was completed when Jorge Luiz was sent off 10 minutes from time.
Games this weekend are split between Saturday and Monday and they line up like this....
Corinthians x Grêmio
Flamengo x São Paulo
Santo André x Fluminense
Internacional x Atlético Paranaense
Coritiba x Barueri
Botafogo x Avaí
Atlético Miniero x Cruzeiro
Náutico x Palmeiras
Goiás x Sport Recife
Santos x Vitória
Wednesday, 7 October 2009
Argentina are currently in 5th in the CONMEBOL qualifying table and are in the play off spot as things start but there are five teams still in contention for fourth, which guarantees a spot in South Africa, and fifth which is a play off against the fourth ranked team in the CONCACAF region (currently Costa Rica).
The problem origninally stems from the 6-1 humping that Argentina got in La Paz against Boliva and the results since then haven't been much better with them losing the last three games against Ecuador, Brazil and Paraguay. The blame is mostly lying with Maradona, who has many critics for his team selection and tactics.
Maradona is apparently unhappy with the involvement of technical director Carlos Bilardo and his apparent interference with the team. Media reports state that the two are not totally on speaking terms. Argentina, who haven't missed out on the finals since 1970, face Peru this weekend at La Monumental before finishing their campaign across the River Plate at the Centenario against Uruguay.
Maradona stated that even if his side managed to qualify for South Africa he may not lead them there next season, stating that he wants to do things his way and on his terms and conditions. He also said he needs to chat with AFA President Julio Grondona after the games over the next week to thrash out the future.
Tuesday, 6 October 2009
Well. Quite a few teams have already qualified for the competition next year. The Mexican clubs will return to the competition after being rather rudely punted out due to the Swine Flu outbreak this year and it had been announced by CONMEBOL that Guadalajara FC and San Luis will start in the competition at the round of 16, the same stage of the competition they "withdrew" at last year. They will be joined by a further three clubs via the league system in Mexico.
Estudiantes qualify by right because of their victory in the competition last year and they are joined so far by Vélez Sársfield who were the victors in the Clausura in Argentina this year. The Apetura champions will also qualify and then the final three places are decided by average over both competitions. Don't be surprised if Boca Juniors and River Plate don't make it.
Bolivár, the Apertura champions of Bolivia are the only qualifiers from that country at the moment, as are Corinthians from Brazil thanks to their victory in the Copa do Brasil. Universidad de Chile, currently in the last 8 of the Sudamericana are Chile's only qualifiers so far. In Colombia, Once Caldas return to the big stage with places still to be decided whilst all the berths in Ecuador and Peru are still up for grabs. Cerro Porteño, another team doing well in the Sudamericana this year, are the only Paraguayan qualifiers so far.
Only in Uruguay and Venezuela are the qualifiers already known. In Uruguay Primera División winners Club Nacional are joined by Cerro and Racing Club de Montevideo whilst in Venezuela champions Caracas will be joined by Deportivo Italia and Deportivo Táchira.
The competition gets underway with 12 teams entering the Preliminary knockout stage in January. The group stages will take place before the end of May but due to the FIFA World Cup the knockout stages will be held over until the conclusion of events in South Africa which will put the final sometime in August.
We'll be following the action all the way here at CONMEBalls.
Monday, 5 October 2009
Corinthians 1-3 Atlético Paranaense
Santo André 1-0 Vitória
Atlético Miniero 2-1 Barueri
Santos 1-3 Palmeiras
Grêmio 3-3 Sport Recife
Goiás 1-3 Botafogo
Flamengo 2-0 Fluminense
Coritiba 2-0 Internacional
Avaí 2-2 Cruzeiro
The round began on Thursday night as São Paulo temporarily cut the lead of Palmeiras at the top of the table to 2 points after a come from behing win over Náutico in a game that finished 9 a side. Náutico missed an early penalty before Bruno Miniero put them ahead with 12 minutes on the clock. São Paulo then had Junior Cesar sent off for a second yellow card before half time and it was all going wrong for São Paulo. A change of shirt bought São Paulo better luck in the second half when Hernanes equalised with a free kick on the hour. They were then reduced to 9 men when Richarlyson went for a second yellow. Then with 5 minutes left Náutico had Claudio Luiz sent off for a second yellow and were hit with a sucker punch when Hugo slammed home the winner much to the joy of the large travelling contingent. There was still time for Michel to become the fourth players to see red, this time a straight one for a two footed challenge.
Corinthians poor September finished with a home defeat to Atlético-PR, all the goals came in the second half. Paulo Baier put Atlético-PR ahead 6 minutes after the break and Wallyson doubled the advantage. Jucilei pulled a goal back for Corinthians but Wesley wrapped things up for Atléico-PR in the last minute after some poor goalkeeping. Santo André gave their relegation fight a big boost with a big win over Vitória. A header from Nunes the only goal of the game scored in the very first minute of the match. There were also two red cards before half time, Neto Berola for Vitória on the half hour for a nothing challenge but the card issued to Nunes was even more baffling. Atlético-MG remain Libertadores bound after condeming Barueri to a third straight loss. Diego Tardelli put Atlético-MG ahead with 15 minutes gone before Barueri missed a penalty. Corrêa doubled the advantage with 10 minutes to go after Xandão had been sent off for a second bookable offence. Flavinho's goal two minutes from time nothing more than consolation for Barueri.
Palmeiras remain 5 points clear at the top of the table after a come from behind derby win at Santos. Luizinho put Santos ahead 8 minutes into the second half before Palmeiras responded with 3 goals in 16 minutes. Diego Souza's header levelled matters just after the hour, Robert slid in at the back post to put the Big Green ahead and Wagner Love wrapped things up. Sport claimed a valuable point at Grêmio in a see saw game. Jonas put Grêmio ahead with 8 minutes on the clock only for Vandhino to level matters two minutes later. Maxi López put Grêmio ahead again by half time but again Grêmio were pegged back five minutes after the break when Paulinho pounced after some poor goalkeeping. Magrão then pulled off a superb save from a penalty to keep Sport in the game but a header from Maxi López again restored Grêmio's lead. Sport though didn't give up a levelled for a third time through Fininho after some poor defending. Two teams who had been in midweek Sudamericana action clashed and it was Botafogo who showed not after effect of their trip to Ecuador as they picked up a vital win in the fight against relegation. Goiás were reduced to 10 when João Paulo was sent off after 36 minutes for two yellow cards. Jobson put Botafogo ahead 4 minutes into the second half before Goiás hit the post. Victor Simões volley on the hour doubled the lead for Botafogo and Andre Lima made the game safe two minutes later with his turn and shot. Lucio Flavio missed a penalty for Botafogo before Amaral got a consolation for Goiás in the last minute.
Fluminense look doomed after defeat in the 370th Fla-Flu at a rainy Maracanã, they are now 7 points away from safety. Two second half strikes from Adriano took him clear at the top of the scoring charts and put a nail into the Fluminense coffin. The first came five minutes into the second half, a power left foot shot before the second 12 minutes later came after he sprung the Fluminense offside trap to put Flamengo 3 points behind a Libertadores spot. Inter's miserable week was rounded off by a 2-0 defeat at Coritiba. Marcos Aurélio put the home side ahead 15 minutes from time after the ball somehow found him waiting at the back post before Thiago Gentil rounded things off a minutes from time when his deflected shot spun away from Lauro in the Inter goal. Finally the mid-table clash between Avaí and Cruzeiro finished all square. A tap in from Leonardo Silva put the visitors ahead 3 minutes before half time against the run of play but Leo Gago levelled things up 8 minutes after the break. Fabricio's header restored the lead for Cruzeiro but Avaí showed the fighting qualities that have been part of their whole season and Cristian levelled things after good control from Muriqui.
International break? Not likely chaps. A midweek round this week with 7 games on Wednesday and the rest the following night. And here is how they line up.....
Barueri x Santo André
Sport Recife x Santos
São Paulo x Coritiba
Atléico Paranaense x Grêmio
Fluminense x Corinthians
Vitória x Flamengo
Internacional x Náutico
Botafogo x Atlético Miniero
Palmeiras x Avaí
Cruzeiro x Goiás
A full round up those will appear sometime on Friday.
Independiente 2-1 Tigre
Huracán 3-1 Racing Club
Argentinos Juniors 1-0 Estudiantes
Arsenal 1-0 Rosario Central
Newell's Old Boys 3-0 Atlético Tucumán
Gimnasia La Plata 2-0 Chacarita Juniors
San Lorenzo 2-1 River Plate
Boca Juniors 3-2 Vélez Sársfield
Lanús 1-0 Godoy Cruz
River Plate Montevideo advances 4-1 on points
Fluminense 4-1 Alianza Atlético Sullana
Fluminense advances 4-1 on points
Unión Española 2-2 Vélez Sársfield
Vélez Sársfield advances 4-1 on points
Universidad de Chile 1-0 Internacional
Universidad de Chile advances 4-1 on points
Emelec Guayaquil 2-1 Botafogo
Botafogo advances on goal difference
Lanús 1-1 Liga de Quito
Liga de Quito advances 4-1 on points
Cienciano Cusco 0-2 San Lorenzo
San Lorenzo advances 6-0 on points
Goiás 3-1 Cerro Porteño
Cerro Porteño advances on away goals
Vitória didn't climb the required mountain as two late goals saw River Plate Montevideo claim a draw to advance into the last eight. Not that Vitória didn't go for it, they battered River but wasted a host of chances. Vitória eventually went ahead three minutes from time when Elkeson's shot from the edge of the area found the net but they were caught on the break deep in injury time and Jorge Córdoba levelled matters. Fluminense continue to leave their poor league form behind as they advances to the last 8 after crushing Alianza Atlético Sullana. The visitors went ahead when Marcio Valverde converted from the penalty spot after a hand ball. Dario Conca levelled things 5 minutes before half time with a cracking free kick. Then the fun started, Marcio Valverde and Luiz Alberto were shown straight red cards after an altercation. Alan then put Fluminense ahead before Alianza were reduced to 8 men with Ruben Mori and Rafael Farfán sent off for second yellow cards in the space of three minutes. Fluminense took full advantage and a brace from Adeilson sent Fluminense into the last 8.
Vélez Sársfield left it late to sneak into the last eight after a comeback in Chile against Unión Española. The home side were two up before the break, Jorge Ampuero put Unión ahead after 20 minutes and Gustavo Canales header doubled the lead 5 minutes before half time. Leandro Caruso got Vélez back in the game with a disputed goal 70 seconds into the second half and then broke Unión hearts with his second 7 minutes from time after being left unmarked on the edge of the six yard box. Internacional's reign is over after they were knocked out by Universidad de Chile in Santiago. It took a single goal from the hosts 8 minutes from half time, Juan Olivera heading home from a free kick to send Universidad through and Internacional to concentrate on qualifying for the Libertadores next year.
Botafogo were another team to put poor league form behind them to qualify for the last 8 despite defeat to Emelec. The game started well for the Botafogo as Andre Lima's header grabbed them what could prove to be a vital away goal. Emelec threw everything at Botafogo but had to wait until the 53rd minute when Carlos Quinonez equalised. Five minutes later Emelec were ahead after a header from José Quinonez but Botafogo held on to qualify on goal difference. After a comfortable win last week Liga de Quito sent a virtual reserve team to Lanús and still came away with an impressive draw. Claudio Bieler put Liga de Quito ahead with a 30 yard free kick with 20 minutes to go but Lanús restored parity and pride when Santiago Salcedo levelled things 6 minutes later with a near post header.
San Lorenzo completed their comfortable passage against Cienciano after an excellent win in Peru. Cristian Gonzalez put the visitors ahead after 35 minutes after his shot from the edge of the area found the back of the net. Gonzalo Govira doubled the advantage six minutes from time with a rasper as the 2003 winners progressed into the last 8. 10 man Goiás crashed out despite a 3-1 victory over Cerro Porteño. Felipe opened the scoring for Goiás 5 minutes before half time but then Everton was sent off for a shocking knee high challenge. Carlos Recalde got what proved to be the vital goal for Cerro Porteño when he arrived at the back post to fire home with 20 minutes to go. Two minutes later, Felipe grabbed his second of the night to edge Goiás ahead on the night and then with 10 minutes to go Léo Lima's header levelled the scored on aggregate but Cerro Porteño held on and sneaked through into the last 8.
The last 8 draw looks like this. First legs are on October 20-22 with the return legs on November 3-5. If I were a gambling man, I'd predict the winner of the whole competition will come from the winner of the Vélez v LDU tie.
Cerro Porteño v Botafogo
Vélez Sársfield v Liga de Quito
River Plate Montevideo v San Lorenzo
Fluminense v Universidad de Chile