Friday, 26 February 2010

Copa Libertadores 2nd Phase Week 3

Group 1

Corinthians 2-1 Racing Club

In a week which saw the Big Three from Brazil join the competition, Corinthians begain their campaign with a come from behind win against Racing Club of Uruguay. The visitors were ahead within 60 seconds of the opening whistle, Martin Cauteruccio with a goal to stun last seasons Copa do Brasil winners. It stung the home side into action and ten minute later they were level through Elias. Racing were reduced to ten men when Dario Flores was sent off after 57 minutes but Corinthians, looking to win the competition in the Centenary year, grabbed the winner twenty minutes from time through a second from Elias

Group 2

Monterrey 2-1 Club Nacional
Once Caldas 2-1 São Paulo

Monterrey picked up their first win of the competition after a 2-1 home success over Club Nacional of Paraguay. All to goals came in the second half, Sergio Santana put the home side ahead on the hour only for Herminio Miranda to level from the penalty spot 6 minutes later. The sides were level for only a minute, Osvaldo Martínez grabbing the winner for Monterrey. Once Caldas came from behind to defeat São Paulo. Rogério Ceni put São Paulo ahead from a deflected free kick in the 33rd minute, but Fernando Uribe equalized for Once Caldas five minutes after half time. Dayro Moreno got the winner 18 minutes from time after picking up the ball on half way and evading three challenges before firing the ball into the far corner.

Group 3

Juan Aurich 2-0 Bolívar

After a 5-1 thumping at Estudiantes in their first game, Juan Aurich bounced back to dispose of Bolívar to give them their first win in the competition. Ricardo Ciciliano put Juan Aurich ahead in the 11th minutes and Luis Tejada doubled the lead 8 minutes before half time. Despite having Pedro Ascoy dismissed a couple of minutes later, Juan Aurich held onto their advantage comfortably.

Group 4

Blooming 1-4 Lanús
Universitario 0-0 Libertad

Blooming were all but eliminted as they crashed to their third straight defeat at the hand of Lanús. It started well for the home side when Luiz Carlos put them ahead with 9 minutes on the clock. But Blooming were behind by half time, Sebastian Blanco levelled matters after 24 minutes and when Santiago Salcedo put Lanús ahead six minutes before half time the writing was on the wall. Two goals from Diego Lagos in the second half wrapped up a first victory for Lanús and left them with an outside chance of the last 16. Meanwhile in Lima, nothing to write home about as it finished goalless between Universitario and Libertad. It's a result though that leaves both teams in first and second in the group and with some breathing space ahead on third placed Lanús

Group 5

Internacional 2-1 Emelec

Internacional opened their campaign with a come from behind victory over Emelec of Ecuador in Porto Allegre. David Quiroz put the visitors ahead four minutes after the break but the lead lasted a little over three minute before Nei equalised. The game was heading for a draw but Alecsandro grabbed a winner for Internacional three minutes from time.

Group 6

Morelia 0-0 Nacional

No goals at Morelia as the much fancied Mexicans, well by Tim Vickery anyway, were held to a goalless draw by Nacional of Uruguay. The only major incident of the game came six minutes from time when Miguel Sabah was sent off.

Group 7

Deportivo Italia 0-1 Vélez Sársfield
Cruzeiro 4-1 Colo Colo

Vélez retained their 100% record with victory in Venezuela against Deportivo Italia. The only goal of the game came nine minutes afte the break from Rodrigo López. Cruzeiro bounced back from their opening loss to Vélez to comfotably dispatch a Colo Colo side which finished with only 9 players. Cruzeiro were ahead as early as the 7th minutes when Thiago Ribeiro put them ahead. The teams went into half time level after Esteban Paredes levelled after 37 minutes. Diego Olate was the first Colo Colo player to see red after 57 minutes and 5 minutes later Kléber put Cruzeiro ahead from the spot. Roberto Cereceda then saw red in the 67th minute and Pedro Ken doubled the lead two minutes later. Kléber wrapped things up in the 72nd minute when he converted his second penalty of the game.

Group 8

Flamengo 2-0 Universidad Católica

More red cards at the Maracanã as the Champions of Brazil, Flamengo began their campaign with a 2-0 home win of Universidad Católica of Chile. The quickest red card of the week came after only three minutes for the home sides Willians. It didn't deter Flamengo and they took the lead in the 11th minute through Leo Moura. It was 10 players each by half time when Milovan Mirosevic was sent off for Universidad Católica and Adriano wrapped things up for Flamengo 13 minutes into the second half.

No games next week due to the internationals taking place around the globe. The competition return on March 9th when all 32 teams will be in action through the week.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Vélez lead after win over Independiente

Chacarita Juniors 1-2 Colón
Vélez Sársfield 3-0 Independiente
Tigre 1-1 Gimnasia La Plata
Newell's Old Boys 1-1 Lanús
Racing Club 1-0 San Lorenzo
Banfield 0-0 Rosario Central
River Plate 1-1 Arsenal
Atlético Tucumán 1-1 Argentinos Juniors
Godoy Cruz 1-1 Boca Juniors
Estudiantes 2-0 Huracán
Banfield 3-0 Argentinos Juniors

Argentinos finally got through a week without having a match abandoned as the rain held off for the final 82 minutes of the game at Banfield. And what a stroll it was for the champions too, Sebastien Fernandez and Marcelo Quinteros giving them a 2-0 half-time lead and Ruben Ramirez making it three shortly before a second yellow for Juan Sabia saw Argentinos reduced to ten, ending any chance of a comeback. That followed Banfield's goalless draw at home to Roasrio Central at the weekend and those four points shove the champs right back into the frame at the sharp end of the table.

Vélez won the big battle at the top end, sticking three past Independiente who finished with ten with Luciano Vella sent off in stoppage time. Juan Martinez put Vélez ahead just before the break and Maxi Morales and Santiago Silva sealed it in the second half. Federico Nieto scored a winner for Colón deep into stoppage time against Chacarita Juniors to keep pace with the leaders. Estudiantes and Huracán finished ten-a-side, but not until Estudiantes had built up a two-goal lead through the much sought after Mauro Boselli and Juan Veron while Godoy Cruz lose ground thanks to a late equaliser from Martin Palermo who rescued a point for Boca.

Racing Club beat ten man San Lorenzo who are really struggling now. Jonathan Bottinelli was sent off ten minutes into the second half and Racing eventually took advantage eight minutes from time. Elsewhere, draws were order of the day. River Plate hung on for a point despite Matias Almeyda being sent off just three minutes after Macelo Gallardo had equalised Sergio Sena's opener for Arsenal. Atlético Tucumán were ahead in three minutes against Argentinos, Claudio Sarria on target, but Javier Paez put through his own net the level. Early goals from Tigre and Gimnasia cancelled each other out and Lanús overcame a one man disadvantage to snatch a point at Newell's. Jorge Achucarro put Newell's ahead and that looked like being enough, especially as Agustin Pelletieri saw a straight red moments later. But Santiago Salcedo nicked a point shortly before the end.

This week:

Arsenal v Chacarita Juniors
Boca Juniors v Estudiantes
Huracán v Vélez Sársfield
Independiente v Racing Club
Colón v Rosario Central
Lanús v Atlético Tucumán
San Lorenzo v Tigre
Argentinos Juniors v Godoy Cruz
Newell's Old Boys v Banfield
Gimnasia La Plata v River Plate

The big one this week is Banfield's trip to Rosario to take on Newell's. San Lorenzo's troubles look set to continue against Tigre as Diego Simeone takes on his first major challenge in his managerial career and we'll wrap all that up early next week ahead of a midweek round of fixtures.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Campeonato Carioca - Taça Guanabara Final

Vasco da Gama 0-2 Botafogo

Written off just a month ago after a 6-0 defeat by Vasco da Gama, a reverse which saw coach Estevam Soares replaced by Joel Santana. Botafogo turned the formbook on it's head to win the Taça Guanabara in front of 66,957 fans at the Maracanã. Fabio Ferreira headed Botafogo after 69 minutes but Vasco were reduced to 10 men three minutes later when Titi was sent off for a foul on Botafogo's semi final hero Ciao.

Six minutes from time Nilton was the second Vasco player to be sent off after a foul on Sebastian Abreu in the area and "El Loco" stepped up to convert the penalty to hand Vasco their first loss of the season and see Fogo retain their title. Abreu was a happy man after the game, he said "Sometimes we are not able to play great football, but we can always overcome that by playing with a lot of heart, like we did today." The celebrations began as Botafogo picked up the Taça Guanabara safe in the knowledge they will now contest the two legged state final at the end of April against the winner of the Taça Rio, unless of course Botafogo do the double.

The Taça Rio gets underway next weekend after Taça do Brasil and Libertadores committments are fulfilled in midweek and they line up like this.

Madureira x Boavista
Resende x Bangu
Macaé x Flamengo
Fluminense x Friburguense
Duque de Caxais x América
Olaria x Tigres do Brasil
Vasco da Gama x Volta Redonda
Americano x Botafogo

Campeonato Paulista A1 - Week 10

Ituano 1-0 Sertãozinho
Portuguesa 2-1 Paulista
Corinthians 0-0 Rio Branco
Ponte Preta 1-3 Oeste
Monte Azul 3-2 Rio Claro
Mirassol 1-2 Santos
Palmeiras 2-0 São Paulo
Barueri 1-3 Santo André
São Caetano 1-0 Mogi Mirim
Bragantino 2-0 Botafogo SP

Ituano snapped a three game losing streak with a narrow 1-0 success over Sertãozinho, Lincon with the only goal of the game seven minutes after half time. Portuguesa climbed to ninth after two first half goals were enough to see off Paulista. Luiz Carlos put Portuguesa ahead with 11 mintues on the clock and Heverton doubled the lead half way through the first half. Felipe Azevedo pulled a goal back twenty minutes into the second half but Portuguesa held on to claim their fourth win of the season. Ahead of their Libertadores opener in midweek an understrength Corinthians were held to a 0-0 draw by Rio Branco. Oeste's climb up the table continued with their third win in four, Ponte Preta the victims. Oeste were ahead in the second minute through Ricardinho. Guilherme levelled four minutes into the second half but Rivaldo restored Oeste's lead and Kleber made the game safe 11 minutes from time.

Monte Azul picked up their first win of the season after nail biting 3-2 in over Rio Claro. Monte Azul were two up by half time, Edmilson opened the scoring with 7 minutes gone and Marcelinho Gil doubled the lead on the half hour. Then a crazy finish to the game, a quick fire double in the 83rd and 84th minute from Osny levelled matters before Silvio won it a minute later. Santos made it seven wins on the spin after an away success at Mirassol. Wesley put the leaders ahead after 26 minutes but Gérson levelled ten minutes later. Madson won the game for Santos after his goal 13 mintues into the second half. Palmeiras made a winning start under their new manager with a 2-0 win over a São Paulo side with a trip to Once Caldas on it's mind. Both goals came in the second half, Robert with a double strike in the 53rd and 69th minutes.

Santo André moved up to second after a convincing 3-1 win over Barueri. Bruno Cesar put Santo André ahead but Wesley Morias levelled the game three minutes into the second half. And own goal by Diego twenty minutes into the second half restored the lead for Santo André and Ricardo Goulart finished things off three minutes later. São Caetano moved up to fifth after victory over Mogi Mirim. Only one goal seperated the teams it came on the half hour from Wanderley. Finally, Botafogo SP lost their first game since Week 3 as Bragantino recovered from conceding six in midweek to record their third win of the season. Frontini put Bragantino ahead from the penalty spot three minutes into the second half and Paulinho made the game safe 22 minutes from time.

No midweek games as the Taça do Brasil and the Libertadores take centre stage. We're back next weekend with a full round. They line up like this

Rio Branco x Ituano
Botafogo SP x São Caetano
Santo André x Portuguesa
Sertãozinho x Bragantino
Mirassol x Oeste
Santos x Corinthians
São Paulo x Monte Azul
Rio Claro x Palmeiras
Mogi Mirim x Paulista
Barueri x Ponte Preta

Friday, 19 February 2010

Argentine round-up

Since the tragic death of a 14-year old boy on his way back to Rosario from a game, it's been hard to drum up any enthusiasm for Argentine football these last two weeks (that and it coincided with our correspondent's holiday). Anyway, here's what's been happening.

Week 3:
Lanús 3-6 Argentinos Juniors
Newell's Old Boys 4-2 Boca Juniors
Vélez Sársfield 2-1 Gimnasia
Tigre 2-2 Colón
Chacarita Juniors 2-1 Banfield
Estudiantes 2-0 San Lorenzo
River Plate 0-0 Rosario Central
Racing Club 2-4 Arsenal
Atlético Tucumán 0-0 Huracán
Godoy Cruz 0-0 Independiente

Argentinos Juniors were the stars, coming from 2-0 down to batter Lanús. Rodrigo Erammuspe put through his own net to make it 2-1 and then Argentinos were away, Nicolas Pavlovich with two as they ran into a 6-2 lead. Leandro Diaz pulled one back - mere consolation - and Argentinos finished a man down, Juan Sabia with his second yellow in stoppage time, though the game was over. Banfield fielded a virtual reserve side as they prepared to debut in the Copa Libertadores and went down to Chacarita despite Cristian Garcia putting the champions ahead on nine minutes. Atlético Tucumán and Rosario Central both picked up their first point of the campaign in goalless draws.

Week 4:
Rosario Central 1-1 Chacarita Juniors
Arsenal 0-2 Tigre
Banfield 2-0 Lanús
Huracán 0-0 Godoy Cruz
Gimnasia 1-0 Racing Club
Independiente 3-2 Estudiantes
San Lorenzo 0-0 Vélez Sársfield
Boca Juniors 0-0 Atlético Tucumán
Colón 1-0 River Plate
Argentinos Juniors 0a0 Newell's Old Boys

The match between Argentinos and Newell's was abandoned after 65 minutes, which means that Argentinos have still only played twice so far this season. Banfield, bouyed by Libertadores success, won well on their return to league action against nine man Lanús. Estudiantes are struggling in league and cup and lost again, Ignacio Piatti with the winner for Independiente after they'd blown a two-goal lead. Vélez could only manage a 0-0 draw with struggling San Lorenzo, but remain top of the table, although only by a single goal from Independiente, Colón and Godoy Cruz. Tucumán and Rosario both drew again for their second point of the campaign, but remain level at the bottom.

This week:

Chacarita Juniors v Colón
Vélez Sársfield v Independiente
Tigre v Gimnasia
Newell's Old Boys v Lanús
Racing Club v San Lorenzo
Banfield v Rosario Central
River Plate v Arsenal
Atlético Tucumán v Argentinos Juniors
Godoy Cruz v Boca Juniors
Estudiantes v Huracán

Banfield v Argentinos Juniors

Will Argentinos get through a game? Wednesday next week sees them try again against Banfield in the first of their abandoned clashes, but both have work to do before that against the bottom two, Banfield at home to Rosario and Argentinos at Atlético. Top game sees Vélez take on Independiente - first versus second - in what looks a cracker on paper. Estudiantes need to get their show on the road before it's too late and they go to Huracán this week.

Copa Libertadores 2nd Phase Week 2

Group 3

Alianza Lima 4-1 Estudiantes

Huge shock in Lima as the holders Estudiantes were humbled by Alianza. The game has started so well for Estudiantes when Jose Sosa put them ahead with their first attack of the match. Alianza fought back and a double strike from Wilmer Aguirre put the home side ahead at the break. Aguirre then completed his hat-trick with 74 minutes on the clock and Jose Fernández put the home fans into dream world by adding a fourth six minutes from time.

Group 4

Libertad 4-0 Blooming
Universitario 2-0 Lánus

Blooming continue to struggle to find their feet at this level, the Bolivians were easily disposed of by Libertad of Paraguay. Victor Cáceres put Libertad ahead on the stroke of half time, but Blooming didn't help their own cause. Losing two players to red cards in the space of three minutes. Fabricio Brandao was the first to go four minues after half time and Andres Imperiale followed soon after. Both dismissed for second yellow cards. Libertad weren't going to say no to this opportunity and cashed in. Rodolfo Gamarra doubled the lead, Victor Ayala added a third and a second from Gamarra wrapped things up. Universitario made it two from two after victory over Lánus. Peiro Alva put the home side ahead in the 18th minute and as Lánus chased the game Gianfranco Labarthe added a second two minutes from time.

Group 6

Deportivo Cuenca 1-4 Banfield

Banfield continued their impressive start with a second successive win. Walter Erviti put them ahead in Ecuador against Deportivo Cuenca after 35 minutes and Sebastian Fernández doubled the lead three minutes later. A second from Fernández on the hour put the game safe and James Rodriguez wrapped things up. The only downside for Banfield was the dismissal of Marcelo Bustamante in the incident which allowed Gabriel Mendez to claim a consolation from the spot for Deportivo Cuenca.

Group 7

Colo Colo 1-0 Deportivo Italia

Colo Colo and Deportivo Italia made their opening appearances in the group stage in this years competition and it was the Chilean team who staked their claim with an opening victory. The Venezuelan team, in their tenth appearance in the competition will be proud of their efforts in their first game on this stage since 2001. The game was decided by a single goal and that came from Esteben Paredes with 58 minutes on the clock.

Group 8

Universidad de Chile 1-0 Caracas FC

A single goal from the penalty spot from Juan Manuel Olivera with just two minutes on the clock was enough to see Univerdidad de Chile home against Caracas of Venezuela. The other two teams in the group begin their campaigns next week.

Campeonato Paulista A1 - Week 9

Rio Branco 0-0 Monte Azul
Rio Claro 1-0 Ituano
Paulista 0-1 Ponte Preta
Oeste 1-2 Portuguesa
Sertãozinho 2-3 Santo André
Mogi Mirim 0-3 Corinthians
Palmeiras 1-4 São Caetano
Mirassol 1-1 Botafogo SP
Santos 6-3 Bragantino
São Paulo 3-1 Barueri

Rio Branco edged away from the relegation zone after a goalless draw with Monte Azul. It was Monte Azul's fifth draw of the season and left them still searching their first victory of the season. Ituano's wretched run of form continued when they were defeated by Rio Claro. Jackson grabbed the only goal after 34 minutes to give Rio Claro their second win of the season. Ponte Preta remain on the edge of the play offs after a single goal from Deda half way through the first half was enough to see off Paulista. Portuguesa picked up their first win since Week 2 with a come from behind victory at Oeste. Kleber put Oeste ahead five minutes after half time but Fabrice Silva levelled the game with thirteen minutes to go. With the game heading for a draw, Portuguesa grabbed all three points in the last minute when Glauber struck.

Santo André remain in a play off place after twice coming from behind against Sertãozinho. Santo André were beind in the 14th minute when Mendes scored but the lead lasted only three minutes before Rodriguinho levelled. Pablo restored the lead of Sertãozinho after 32 minutes but a second from Rodriguinho saw the teams in level at half time. Marcel grabbed the winner for Santo André 11 minutes from time to keep them in fourth. Corinthians build up to the Libertadores continued with a comfortable win at Mogi Mirim. Souza put the Champions ahead after 33 minutes and then doubled the lead six minutes into the second half. Chicão wrapped things up fifteen minutes from time. Palmeiras coach Muricy Ramalho was fired after his teams 4-1 home defeat to São Caetano. A double from Eduardo and a third from Marcelo Batatais saw the vistors go into hald time three goals to the good. It got better for São Caetano five minutes after half time when Luciano Mandí made it four. Diego Souza got a consolation for Palmeiras with 64 minutes on the clock but it was too little too late for Ramalho. He has been replaced by Antonio Carlos Zaga who coincidentally leaves São Caetano to take over at the Palestra Itália.

Botafogo SP dropped to fourth after a late late penalty denied them victory at Mirassol. Joao Henrique put Botafogo SP ahead on the stroke of half time and it looked like that would be enough as the game went into injury time at the end of the game. But a needless penalty was conceded and Robert held his nerve to convert. Santos stay clear at the top after picking up their sixth successive win in a goal fest again Bragantino. The game was wrapped up by half time after goals from Wesley, Robinho and André Felipe. A second from Felipe right after the restart made it four before Diego Macedo pulled a goal back. Robinho then grabbed a second to make it five before Rodriguinho pulled another goal back. Zé Eduardo then made it six before Bragantino showed fighting spirit to pull another goal back. Finally São Paulo remain on the edge of the play offs after coming from behind to defeat Barueri. Marcos Assunção put Barueri ahead after 21 minutes but the lead was quickly cancelled out by Washington. A penalty from Marcelinho on the stroke of half time edged São Paulo ahead and Henrique wrapped things up in injury time as Barueri searched for an equaliser.

So the Carnival is over and they line up like this for week 10

Ituano x Sertãozinho
Portuguesa x Paulista
Corinthians x Rio Branco
Ponte Preta x Oeste
Monte Azul x Rio Claro
Barueri x Santo André
Mirassol x Santos
Palmeiras x São Paulo
São Caetano x Mogi Mirim
Bragantino x Botafogo SP

Campeonato Carioca - Taça Guanabara Semi Finals

Vasco da Gama 0-0 Fluminense
Vasco advance 6-5 on penalties
Flamengo 1-2 Botafogo

Vasco da Gama and Botafogo will meet in the final of the Taça Guanabara on Sunday after contrasting semi finals over the past week.

Both games were held at the Maracanã and in the first semi final Vasco da Gama met Fluminense. It was a tense and nervous affair, there were seven yellow cards issued in the first half alone and both teams were guilty of missing chances, partricularly Fred from Fluminense. Vasco da Gama finished the game much stronger but couldn't find a way through the Flu defence. So the with the game scoreless after 90 minutes the tie would be decided by penalties, both teams were successful with their first 5 kicks sending it to sudden death. Nilton scored the sixth Vasco penalty and Alan was next up for Fluminense. His spot kick sent the Vasco keeper the wrong way but crashed back off the cross bar to put Vasco into the final.

There was a huge shock in the second semi-final when out of touch Botafogo came from behind to eliminate Flamengo. The Vultures were ahead in the 24th minute when Vinícuis Pacheco fired Fla ahead after good work in the build up from Vágner Love. The lead lasted 9 minutes, a shot from Gérman Herrera deflecting to Marcelo Cordeiro who then put the ball past Bruno. Flamengo looked to retake the lead but Adriano and Vágner Love weren't firing on the day and as the tie headed for penalties Botafogo grabbed a dramatic winner from Caio with seven minutes to go.

The two finalists meet again not long after Vasco's 6-0 victory in the group stages which cost Estevem Soares his job. But Joel Santana has come into Botafogo and steadied the ship and he has much experience in state football. The bookmakers will make Vasco favourites for the game but as the semi finals have proved, anything can happen.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Campeonato Paulista A1 - Week 8

Santo André 2-1 Mirassol
Barueri 1-0 Monte Azul
São Caetano 1-2 Rio Branco
Portuguesa 1-1 Corinthians
Ituano 0-1 São Pualo
Botafogo SP 1-1 Palmeiras
Ponte Preta 2-3 Sertãozinho
Mogi Mirim 1-3 Oeste
Paulista 2-2 Bragantino
Santos 2-1 Rio Claro

With the Carnival season about to get into full swing the round began on Friday in the Paulista with three fixtures. Santo André moved into a play off place with a come from behind victory over Mirassol. Evando put Mirassol ahead with only eighteen minutes of the game left, but Pio levelled matter ten minutes later before Rodriguinho's strike a minute from time left Mirassol to wonder how they left this game empty handed. Barueri continued their climb up the table with a single goal victory over Monte Azul. The only goal came a minute after half time and it was an own goal from Cris that handed them all three points. Rio Branco hauled themselves out of the relegation zone after a 2-1 victory over São Caetano. Anselmo Ramon put Rio Branco ahead 9 minutes before half time and Felipe doubled the lead 12 minutes from time. Although Hugo pulled a goal back from the spot with five minutes to go Rio Branco held on for only their second win of the season.

Portuguesa and Corinthians shared the spoils after a 1-1 draw. Marco Antônio put the home side ahead with 11 minutes on the clock but the reigning champions claimed a point when Elias grabbed the leveller on the hour. A penalty from goalkeeper Rogério Ceni with 16 minutes on the clock was enough to give São Paulo the points at Ituano. Botafogo SP remain second after being held at home by Palmeiras. Botafogo SP made the perfect start when William put them ahead with only 4 minutes on the clock. The Big Green fought back and levelled with 17 minutes to go through Léo, the result though leaves Palmeiras outside the play offs. Bottom of the table as the round started, Sertãozinho stunned Ponte Preta by claiming a 3-2 win. Mendes put Sertãozinho ahead with only three minutes on the clock but Guilherme levelled shortly afterwards. Sertãozinho took the lead again four minutes from time when Ricardo Lopes converted from the spot, five minutes in the second half it was level again when Danilo Neco struck. Sertãozinho weren't to be denied though and a second from Mendes eighteen minutes from time gave Sertãozinho a deserved first victory of the season.

Oeste put Mogi Mirim into the relegation zone after claiming a 3-1 away victory. Ricardo Bueno put Oeste ahead with only two minutes on the clock but Luis Mario levelled matters 5 minutes later. A second from Ricardo Bueno restored the lead in the 19th minutes and Fernandinho wrapped things up nine minutes into the second half. Paulista remain outside the relegation zone after coming from behing to claim a point against Bragantino. Willian Rocha put Paulista ahead in the 13th minutes but an equaliser on the half hour from Tiago Vieira meant the teams went into the break level at half time. It looked like Bragantino had claimed all three points when Juninho Quixada struck six minutes from time, but the lead lasted less than a minute when Willian Rocha claimed his second of the game to ensure parity. In the final game of the round Santos, with Robinho in the starting line up, remained top after a come from behind victory over Rio Claro. Jackson stunned the Vila Belmiro six minutes before half time when he put Rio Claro ahead but substitute André Felipe levelled 20 minutes from time before Giovanni claimed a winner 2 minutes from time.

Carnival or no carnival there's a full midweek round as usual

Rio Branco x Monte Azul
Rio Claro x Ituano
Paulista x Ponte Preta
Oeste x Portuguesa
Sertãozinho x Santo André
Mogi Mirim x Cortinthians
Palmeiras x São Caetano
Mirassol x Botafogo SP
Santos x Bragantino
São Paulo x Barueri

Friday, 12 February 2010

Copa Libertadores 2nd Phase Week 1

Group 1

Cerro Porteño 1-1 Independiente Medellín

Colombia's Independiente Medellín made a promising start to their campaign after picking up a useful point again Cerro Porteño of Paraguay. Felipe Pardo put Independiente ahead after 17 minutes, springing the offside trap to slot home and to stun the vocal home crowd in Asunción. Cerro Porteño rescused a point in the second half, when Pablo Zeballos levelled matters 11 minutes into the second half when his cross come shot somehow found it's way into the back of the net

Group 2

Club Nacional 0-2 Once Caldas
São Paulo 2-0 Monterrey

Once Caldas of Colombia made a marvellous start to their 2010 campaign with a fantstic 2-0 away at Club Nacional of Paraguay. Jamie Castrillón put Once ahead half way through the first half when he was left unmarked and able to shoot home. The second came twenty minutes into the second half when Once sprung the offside trap and Danny Santoya was on hand to finish the move off. São Paulo set off on the right note when a 2-0 home victory over Mexican invitees Monterrey. Washington put São Paulo ahead with 13 minutes on the clock when he was in the right place at the right time and the big forward was on hand to double the lead with 14 minutes left after being left unmarked at the back post to tap in a flick on from Hernanes.

Group 3

Bolívar 1-3 Alianza Lima
Estudiantes 5-1 Juan Aurich

Peru's Alianza Lima made a perfect start with an impressive 3-1 win at Bolívar. Jose Fernández broke the deadlock with 72 minutes on the clock and then doubled the lead two minutes later after getting the luck of the bounce. William Ferreira pulled a goal back for Bolívar from the spot with a minute to go and as the home side pressed for an equaliser Johnnier Montaño raced clear to finish things off for the visitors. The holders began the defence of their title with an emphatic win of Juan Aurich of Peru. The visitors made a nervy start and were a goal down in 7 minutes when Mauro Boselli converted from the spot. Credit to the visitors though as they found their feet and were full value for their equaliser on 34 mintues when Luis Tejada struck to stun the home fans. Estudiantes were ahead again by half time when German Ré headed home and then disaster for the Peruvians when Roberto Guizasola was sent off just before the break. Against the 10 men Estudiantes turned up the heat, Boselli completed his hat-trick to put the game same and Leandro González put the icing on the cake in the last minute after his shot took a wicked deflection.

Group 4

Lanús 0-2 Libertad
Blooming 1-3 Universitario

Argentina's Lanús slumped to a surprise home defeat against Libertad of Paraguay but their defensive failings of the homeside that contributed to their defeat. The first mistake allowed Rodolfo Gamarra to put Libertad ahead after 66 minutes and eight minutes later the Lanús defenders hadn't learnt from their earlier errors and Pablo Velazquez doubled the lead to take the points back to Asunción. In Santa Cruz, Universitario of Peru made a great start to their campaign with victory in Bolivia against Blooming. All the goals came in the second half, Carlos Orejuela put Universitario ahead eight minutes into the half after springing the offside trap and Rodolfo Espinola doubled the advantage 15 minutes from time after arriving at the back post to fire home. David Villalba piledriver from 25 yards pulled a goal back for Blooming with two minutes left but it was too little too late for the Bolivians.

Group 5

Cerro 2-0 Deportivo Quito

In only their second ever appearance in the compeition Cerro made a winning start against Deportivo Quito in Montevideo. Cerro took the lead with 20 minutes on the clock when Claudio Dadómo finished at the second attempt. The second goal was bizarre, Deportivo goalkeeper Ibarra went walkabout and Rodrigo Mora pounced on the ball to slot home.

Group 6

Banfield 2-1 Morelia
Nacional 3-2 Deportivo Cuenca

Argentina Apetura champions Banfield made a winning start against much fancied Morelia of Mexico. After a goal less first half the game came alive in the 52nd minute when Morelia's Adrian Aldrete was sent off for using an elbow. Three minute later, the home side were ahead a quick break from Banfield and James Rodriguez arrrived at the back post to head home. Banfield doubled their lead 11 minutes from time when Roberto Battion headed home from a corner to put the points in the bag. Luis Rey managed to grab a consolation from Morelia in injury time, arrriving at the back post to head home. Nacional of Montevideo began their campaign with a hard fought victory over Deportivo Cuenca of Ecuador. It was the visitors who took the lead through Jose Granda after 25 minutes, a lead they would hold until half time. Nacional came out of the blocks quickly after half time and were level within a minute of the restart when Mario Regueiro struck. A second from Reguerio put Nacional ahead 20 minutes into the second half but the lead lasted only three minutes before Luis Escalada levelled again. With the game heading towards a draw, Nacional built the pressure and after a a foul gave them a penalty with five minutes to go, Óscar Morales converted to give the home side maximum points.

Group 7

Vélez Sársfield 2-0 Cruzeiro

Last years runners up Cruzeiro finished with nine men as they fell to defeat at Vélez Sársfield. Gilberto was the first to go with only two minutes on the clock for a high challenge. Three minutes later the ten men were behind when Santiago Silva headed home. The mountain got a lot larger for Cruzeiro when Gil was dismissed for a second yellow card 8 minutes before half time. The 9 men went close just before half time but the second half was all Vélez and they doubled the lead 13 minutes from time when Juan Martinez was on hand to tap in.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Copa Libertadores 1st Phase 2nd Legs Part 2

Universidad Católica 3-2 Colón
Universidad Católica advances 5-3 on penalty shootout

Emelec 2-1 Newell's Old Boys
Emelec advances 4-1 on points

Drama in Santiago as Universidad Católica made it into Group 8 after a dramtic comeback crowned by success in the penalty competition. Coming into the game trailing by a goal after the first leg in Santa Fe, Universidad levelled the tie on aggregate five minutes before the break when David Henríquez found the back of the net. Colón were undeterred and eight minutes after half time they were level on the night and ahead on aggregate when Ivan Moreno y Fabianesi headed home. When Esteben Fuertes convered from the spot three minutes later Colón had a foot in the group stage. Then Salustino Candia got himself sent off and it sparked a comeback. Rodrigo Toloza halved the defecit wiht a cracking free kick and a Juan Morales tap in levelled matters eight minutes from time. With the teams level over both legs the tie went straight to penalties and when Moreno y Fabianesi saw the second Colón penalty saved, Universidad were in the box seat. Universidad remained perfect from the spot and Rodrigo Mannara smashed home the winning spot kick to send Universidad to Flamengo for their opening game of the group stage.

After a goalless draw in Rosario a fortnight ago the odds were stacked against Newell's Old Boys as they faced the altitude of Emelec in their bid to reach the group stages. After a scoreless first half Emelec took the lead with their first attack after half time when Joao Rojas was in the right place to strike home. Newell's fought back and levelled through Hugo Barrientos seven minutes later to leave them in the box seat with the away goal. Emelec were not to be denied and they retook the lead half way through the second half when José Quiñónez fired home from 6 yards out after being left unmarked. Elemec now go into Group 5 alongside Deportivo Quito, Internacional and Cerro

The opening group stage matches will be reviewed tomorrow

Monday, 8 February 2010

Campeonato Carioca - Taça Guanabara Week 7

Americano 3-2 Duque de Caxias
Volta Redonda 1-2 Bangu
Botafogo 5-2 Resende
Macaé 0-1 Friburguense
América 3-0 Tigres do Brasil
Vasco da Gama 2-2 Madureira
Boavista 1-2 Flamengo
Olaria 0-0 Fluminense

The last round of the Taça Guanabara saw pride at stake as the only two sides not to record a win so far met up. Americano were pointless and Duque de Caxais had two draw to their name when the sides faced up. Americano stormed into a two goal lead through Patrick and Leandro Sena. Duque de Caxais fought back and levelled with goals from John and Juninho. As it looked like both teams were going to finish the stage winless, Patrick grabbed and injury time winner to give Americano their first win and leave Duque de Caxais bottom of Group A. Bangu left it late, very late to claim a 2-1 win at Volta Redonda. Marcio Guerrerio put Volta Redonda ahead in the 5th minute a lead they held until the very last minute of the match before conceding two late goals to crash to defeat.

Botafogo got the point they needed to reach the playoffs with a convincing 5-2 win over Resende. Fogo has to come from behind though as Elias put Resende ahead with less than 60 seconds on the clock. But finally "El Loco" came to the party, Sebastian Abreu grabbing a hat-trick before Marcelo Cordeiro and Wellington Júnior wrapped things up. Elias claimed a second, and a consolation, for Resende in injury time. Friburguense picked up their second win of the campaign with a 1-0 success at Macaé. Wallace grabbing the goal just before half time. América got their third win with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Tigres. A brace from Rafael Paty put América two up before half time before Osmar wrapped things up eighteen minutes from time to give América a fourth placed finish in Group B.

With the leadership of Group B assured, Vasco da Gama gave a rest to some key players and it allowed Madureira to grab a point. Alex Oliveira put Madureira ahead in the third minutes but Nilton levelled four minutes later. Arthur Sanches put Madureira ahead again two minutes after half time but they had to settle for a point and third place in Group B after Thiago Martinelli levelled 18 minutes from time. Flamengo finished top of Group A after a 2-1 win at Boavista. Bruno Mezenga put Flamengo ahead four minutes before half time but Edson levelled eleven minutes into the second half. Former Manchester United player Kleberson grabbed the winner on the hour to give Flamengo a semi final against Botafogo. Fluminense will take on Vasco da Gama in the other semi final after a scoreless draw with Olaria, who finished third in the Group A.

So the "Big 4" qualify for the semi finals of the Taça Guanabara. Its Flamengo v Botafogo and Vasco Da Gama v Fluminense. Keep an eye on our Twitter feed for confirmation of the dates and times of the those games.

Campeonato Paulista A1 - Week 7

Rio Claro 0-1 Oeste
Corinthians 4-0 Sertãozinho
Ituano 0-4 Barueri
Monte Azul 2-3 Paulista
São Paulo 1-2 Santos
Bragantino 2-3 Palmeiras
Mirassol 0-3 São Caetano
Ponte Preta 2-1 Portuguesa
Rio Branco 1-4 Santo André
Botafogo SP 3-0 Mogi Mirim

It was the stuff dreams are made of as Santos remained top of the Campeonato Paulista after a 2-1 vicotry over São Paulo at the Arena Barueri. Neymar put Santos ahead form the spot seven minutes before half time and a header from Roger levelled things half way through the second half. It was a low key debut for Robinho arriving as a substitute 8 minutes after half time but after being denied once by Rogério Ceni he wasn't two minutes from time when he flicked in a cross from Wesley to snatch the win. Botafogo SP stay second after a 3-0 win over Mogi Mirim. William got the first and Ricardinho doubled the lead in the second half. Corinthians climb to third after getting back to winning ways against Sertãozinho. Chicão put Corinthians ahead early doors before Jorge Henrique doubled the lead before half time. Marcelo Mattos and Edno finished things off in the second half. Ponte Preta make up the Final Four after their 2-1 win over Portuguesa, Leandrinho put Ponte Preta ahead just before half time but Heverton levelled eight minutes into the second half. Finazzi won it for Ponte Preta ten minutes from time.

In the bottom of the table clash, Oeste climbed out of the relegation zone after a valuable away win at Rio Claro. Ricardo Bueno got the only goal of the game with 27 minutes gone but Oeste finished with 10 after Cris was sent off 11 minutes into the second half. Ituano's loss of form continued when they were easily disposed of by Barueri. And own goal from Jean set Barueri on their way before second half strikes from Tadeu, Jefferson and Wesley Morais in the last minute gave Barueri their second win of the season. Paulista picked up their first win since week 2 with an come from behind away success at Monte Azul. Mauro Sergio put Monte Azul ahead with 11 minutes gone but Baiano levelled 15 minutes later. Monte Azul went ahead again 7 minutes from the break when Borebi converted from the spot but the lead lasted only three minutes before Felipe Azevedo levelled. Paulista lost Fabrizzyo to a red card with 7 minutes left and as the game was heading for a draw Barboza grabbed the winner in the last minute.

Palmerias remain outside the Four despite a 3-2 win at Bragantino. Cleiton Xavier and Robert put the Big Green two up but Bragantino fought back to level through Diego Macedo and Juninho Quixada. Lenny then grabbed the winner for Palmeiras 7 minutes from time. São Caetano picked up their first win in four and jumped above Mirassol in the table after a 3-0 success. Jairo and Wanderley put São Caetano two up before the break before Hugo finished things off 18 minutes from time. Mirassol's day was compunded when Amarildo was sent off two minutes from time. Finally, Santo André jumped up to fifth after a 4-1 win over Rio Branco. Bruno Cesar put Santo André ahead with a quarter of an hour on the clock but Serginho levelled to take the teams in level at half time. Santo André took total control in the second half and Bruno Moraes restored the lead before Rodriguinho and Gil wrapped up the points.

No league games in midweek but some clubs will be in the Copa do Brasil. As carnival time hits the region the next round begins on Friday. They line up like this.....

Santo André x Mirassol
Barueri x Monte Azul
São Caetano x Rio Branco SP
Portuguesa x Corinthians
Ituano x São Paulo
Botafogo SP x Palmeiras
Ponte Preta x Sertãozinho
Mogi Mirim x Oeste
Paulista x Bragantino
Santos x Rio Claro

Friday, 5 February 2010

Campeonato Carioca - Taça Guanabara Week 6

Bangu 2-0 Americano
Duque de Caxias 1-1 Volta Redonda
Tigres do Brasil 1-2 Macaé
Flamengo 3-3 Olaria
Friburguense 1-2 América
Resende 0-1 Vasco da Gama
Madureira 1-4 Botafogo
Fluminense 3-0 Boavista

With one week left to go in the qualifying stages everything is more or less determined for the finals of the Taça Guanabara. Flamengo and Fluminense are guaranteed from Group A whilst Vasco da Gama will qualify from Group B. Botafogo are currently in second but only need a point from the last round to make 100% sure of their place.

Americano remain pointless after a 2-0 defeat at Bangu. They were 8 minutes away from a point when Somalia put Bangu ahead before Pipico made the game safe in injury time. Duque de Caxias claimed their second point of the season with a home draw against Volta Redonda. Both goals came in the first half, Guilherme put Volta ahead after 20 minutes and Marcelo Macedo levelled six minutes later. Macaé got their first win of the season with an away success at Tigres do Brasil. Gilcimar put Tigres ahead seven minutes before half time, but Leo Santos levelled six minutes into the second half and Andre Gomes won it when he struck half way through the half. Tigres finished with 10 men with Oziel was dismissed seven minutes from time.

Flamengo were given a huge fright by Olaria at the Maracanã. Needing to win to keep their faint finals hopes alive Olaria threw everything at Flamengo and were ahead with 5 minutes on the clock when Caca put the visitors ahead. The lead lasted barely a minute before Adriano levelled matters. Vagner Love then put Flamengo ahead 10 minutes into the second half but three minutes later Araruama levelled and then a second from Caca put Olaria into a shock lead. Olaria held onto the lead for over 15 minutes but a second from Adriano levelled matters 8 minutes from time to guarantee Flamengo a finals berth. América picked up their second win of the season after a come from behind win at Friburguense. Sergio Gomes put Friburguense ahead half way through the first half but Daniel Morais levelled on the half hour before Adriano grabbed the winner 9 minutes before half time. Vasco da Gama ensured they would finish top in Group B after victory over Resende. The only goal came from the penalty spot after 17 minutes, Dodô's seventh of the campaign so far. Resende's cause wasn't helped when Nailton was sent off after 22 minutes.

Botafogo moved back into the play offs after a victory over Madureira in the big game of the week. Fábio Ferreira put Fogo ahead 6 minutes before half time before Caio doubled the lead with 15 minutes to go. Valdir pulled a goal back but Fogo finished the stronger and Fahel restored the two goal advantage before "El Loco" Sebastian Abreu put the game safe 5 minutes from time. Fluminense bounced back from their derby defeat to confirm their place in the finals after a 3-0 win over Boavista. Dario Conca set Flu on their way from the spot after 14 minutes and it took a late brace in the final ten minutes from Thiaguinho to wrap up the victory.

Final round before the play offs begin this weekend and they line up like this.....

Americano x Duque de Caxias
Volta Redonda x Bangu
Botafogo x Resende
Macaé x Friburguense
América x Tigres do Brasil
Vasco da Gama x Madureira
Boavista x Flamengo
Olaria x Fluminense

Campeonato Paulista A1 - Week 6

Monte Azul 2-2 Ituano
Sertãozinho 1-1 Rio Claro
Barueri 0-4 Botafogo SP
Oeste 2-2 Paulista
Ponte Preta 2-1 Corinthians
São Paulo 3-0 São Caetano
Palmeiras 1-1 Portuguesa
Bragantino 4-3 Rio Branco
Santo André 1-2 Santos
Mirassol 1-0 Mogi Mirim

No Robinho yet, but Santos went top of the Paulista A1 after their 2-1 victory at Santo André. The two players linked with Manchester City, Paulo Henrique Ganso and Neymar got the goals which put them two up within 24 minutes. Rodriguinho pulled one back but Santos held on. It was the defeat of Corinthians by Ponte Preta which allowed Santos to go top. Corinthians took the lead through Jucilei on the hour but Fabiano Gadelha levelled from the spot 10 minutes later and Finazzi shook Corinthians with the winner with a quarter of an hour to go. Botafogo SP moved into second after a comfortable win at Barueri. Freire and André put Botafogo two up before half time and Malaquais and William wrapped things up after the break. São Paulo remain the fourth team in the playoff zone at the moment after a comfortable win over São Caetano. Washington and Doagoberto with first half goals before Hernanes wrapped things up in the last minute.

Ituano has to settle for a draw at Monte Azul. Welton put Ituano ahead from the spot with 20 minutes to go but the lead lasted less than three minutes when Diogo equalized. Lincon again put Ituano ahead but Monte Azul claimed a point when Edmilson levelled again. The honours were shared in the bottom of the table clash between Sertãozinho and Rio Claro. Cascata out Sertãozinho ahead on the half hour but Pedro Henrique levelled things 12 mintues from time. The other bottom of the table clash also finished level between Oeste and Paulista. Baiano put Paulista ahead with 27 minutes gone but Ricardo Bueno levelled things 10 minutes into the second half. It looked like Paulista were going to get all three points when Guto struck 4 minutes from time but Oeste grabbed a point 2 minutes into stoppage time when Márcio Santos dramatically levelled.

Palmeiras had to come from behind to claim a point again Portuguesa. Luiz Carlos put Portuguesa ahead after half an hour and Danilo levelled matters seven minutes into the second half. A result that leaves both teams out of the play offs. Bragantino picked up their first win since the opening week after a come from behind win over Rio Branco. Anselmo Ramon and Flavio had Rio Branco two up inside thirteen minutes but Paulinho halved the defecit two minutes before the break. Da Silva levelled on the hour but a second from Flavio 8 minutes later put Rio Branco ahead again. Bragantino rallied and Danilo Bueno levelled 14 minutes from time and Lucio grabbed the winner six minutes from time. Finally Mirassol made it back to back wins after a single goal from Eder Marcelo 17 minutes from time gave them victory over Mogi Mirim.

The weekend ahead may see the debut of Robinho for Santos as they take on São Paulo. Otherwise they line up like this

Rio Claro x Oeste
Corinthians x Sertãozinho
Ituano x Barueri
Monte Azul x Paulista
São Paulo x Santos
Bragantino x Palmeiras
Mirassol x São Caetano
Ponte Preta x Portuguesa
Rio Branco x Santo André
Botafogo SP x Mogi Mirim

Copa Libertadores 1st Phase 2nd Legs Part 1

Libertad 3-1 Deportivo Táchira
Libertad advances on goal difference
Cruzeiro 7-0 Real Potosí
Cruzeiro advances 4-1 on points
Estudiantes Tecos 1-2 Juan Aurich
Juan Aurich advances 6-0 on points
Racing Club 2-0 Junior
Racing Club advances 4-1 on points

Libertad gained their place in Group 4 after a come from behind victory over Deportivo Táchira in Ausución. With a goal lead from the first game Deportivo Táchira doubled their lead on aggregate and gained an away goal to boot when Pedro Boada put them ahead with half an hour gone. It was a long way back for Libertad but they reduced the defecit 5 minutes before half time through Rodolfo Gamarra. Pablo Velazquez then levelled the tie half way through the second half but with 9 minutes left he sent the majority of the small crowd home happy when he grabbed the winner on aggregate. Cruzeiro cruised into Group 7 after a comfortable win over a Real Potosí side that finished with 9 men. Two goal in two minutes around the half hour mark from Marquinhos Paraná and Thiago Ribeiro put Cruzeiro in control and further goal from Kléber and Jonathan before half time effectively killed the tie. Frustration set in for Real Potosí and Gerado Yecerotte was first to see red a minute into the half before being followed by Gonzalo Galindo with 16 minutes to go. The 9 men held out but Cruzeiro added three more goals in the final three minutes from Eliandro, Bernando and Joffre Guerron.

Juan Aurich made it into Group 3 after victory in Mexico against Estudiantes Tecos. Luis Tejada extended the aggregate lead to three and grabbed a valuable away goal just before half time. Willy Rivas then got himself sent off for Juan Aurich 20 minutes into the second half but it didn't deter the Peruvians who doubled their lead on the night through Ricardo Ciciliano. Fredy Bareiro got a consolation for Estudiantes Tecos but Juan Aurich progressed without much difficulty. Racing Club now go into a tough looking Group 1 after a 2-0 victory over Junior of Colombia. Liber Quiñones was the hero on the night for Racing Club, his coooly taken penalty after 13 minutes put the Uruguayans ahead and he killed the tie off with a second three minutes from time. Victor Cortes was dismissed for the visitors in injury time to cap off a miserable night.

The final two games in the qualifying round take place next week alongside some of the opening games in the group phase.

Fan death mars round 2

Rosario 0-1 Tigre
Arsenal 0-3 Vélez Sársfield
Colón 2-1 Racing Club
Gimnasia 3-1 Estudiantes
Huracán 2-1 Newell's Old Boys
Banfield 0-0 Argentinos Juniors - match abandoned
Boca Juniors 3-1 Lanús
Chacarita Juniors 2-3 River Plate
San Lorenzo 0-1 Godoy Cruz
Independiente 3-1 Atlético Tucumán

There would be plenty to talk about from Argentina after the midweek round of games, but sod it, it's simply not that important. As Newell's fans hit the motorway back to Rosario after their game against Huracán, a coach was shot at by a gang brandishing machine guns. Three people were hit, two of whom are now in stable conditions, but a 14-year old fan died as a result of injuries sustained in the attack. Guns have been a problem in Argentinian football in the past, but the key word there is past. This comes at a time when the very worst excesses seemed to be behind us and we have to face the facts that times have not changed and this hardcore will not go away without concerted, co-ordinated action. Nobody should go to a game of football and not return home and it's even more distressing when it's a young boy with his whole life in front of him.

This weekend's fixtures follow, and hopefully they will pass off without any reprisals for Huracán or escalations. Violence does breed violence. Let's hope sanity prevails.

Lanús v Argentinos Juniors
Newell's Old Boys v Boca Juniors
Vélez Sársfield v Gimnasia
Tigre v Colón
Chacarita Juniors v Banfield
Estudiantes v San Lorenzo
River Plate v Rosario Central
Racing Club v Arsenal
Atlético Tucumán v Huracán
Godoy Cruz v Independiente

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Banfield start defence with a win

Godoy Cruz 1-0 Gimnasia
Estudiantes 3-0 Arsenal
Tigre 0-2 Chacarita Juniors
Vélez Sársfield 1-1 Colón
Racing Club 3-0 Rosario Central
Atlético Tucumán 0-1 San Lorenzo
River Plate 0-1 Banfield
Lanús 3-2 Huracán
Newell's Old Boys 0-0 Independiente
Argentinos Juniors 2-2 Boca Juniors

Banfield began the defence of their title with a win away at River Plate as the Clausura kicked off at the weekend. Sebastian Fernandez got the only goal as the champions adapt to life after Santiago Silva. He's back with Vélez Sársfield and was on target late in the first half, but his team failed to hang on, Lucas Acosta ensuring a share of the spoils for Cólon. Estudiantes start the season as favourites and showed why with a three-goal win over Arsenal. In-demand Mauro Boselli struck twice after Marcelo Carrusca put them ahead. Arsenal finished with ten men after Cristian Campestrini was sent off for a second yellow. Racing Club had a great Torneo de Verano and picked it right up, also winning 3-0. Pablo Luguercio and Matias Martinez had them two up before the break and Claudio Bieler wrapped it up.

It looks to be another season of struggle for Tigre, Mariano Echeverria scoring twice for Chacarita as they won at a canter. Huracán endured a torrid Apertura as well and they too started the Clausura in defeat. They blew a two-goal lead, built up by Patricio Toranza and Gaston Machín. Gonzalo Castillejos pulled one back with quarter of an hour left and Maxi Velazquez struck a penalty to level it five from time as Gonzalo Garcia was sent off. Castillejos then struck a winner in stoppage time as Lanús pulled off a great escape.

Newell's, runners up last time, were held to a 0-0 draw by Independiente, but San Lorenzo start with a win, Fabian Bordagaray with the only goal of the game. Juan Riquelme did start, and score, for Boca, but they were pegged back twice by Argentinos Juniors. Martin Palermo put Boca in front on the stroke of half-time, but an Ezequiel Munoz own goal equalised ten minutes from the end. Riquelme restored the lead within five minutes, but deep into stoppage time, Ismael Sosa grabbed a point for Argentinos. Finally, Federico Higuain grabbed a late winner for Godoy Cruz at home to Gimnasia.

We've got a midweek round following straight on as well:

Rosario Central v Tigre
Arsenal v Vélez Sársfield
Colón v Racing
Gimnasia v Estudiantes
Huracán v Newell's Old Boys
Banfield v Argentinos Juniors
Boca Juniors v Lanús
Chacarita Juniors v River Plate
San Lorenzo v Godoy Cruz
Independiente v Atlético Tucumán

The La Plata derby between Gimnasia and Estudiantes looks the pick and we'll wrap up all the action later in the week.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Campeonato Carioca - Taça Guanabara Week 5

Resende 4-2 Tigres do Brasil
Americano 1-3 Volta Redonda
Botafogo 2-1 América
Bangu 3-0 Duque de Caxias
Boavista 3-0 Olaria
Friburguense 0-3 Vasco da Gama
Macaé 1-2 Madureira
Fluminense 3-5 Flamengo

Resende finally picked up their first win of the season with a 4-2 win over Tigres. Resende were three up by half time, a double from Elias and the third from Hiroshi right on half time. Hiroshi then grabbed a second 20 minutes into the second half before Tigres made the scoreline look respectable after goals from Jailson and Oziel. Volta Redonda made it two wins on the spin with a 3-1 win away at Americano. Mário César put Volta Redonda up on the half hour before late strikes from Washington and Adriano Felício wrapped things up. Botafogo continued their recovery after the Vasco debacle and a first win for new coach Joel Santana. They did it the hard way though after falling behind to a goal from Adriano half way through he first half. Sebastian Abreu's first goal for Botafogo levelled things ten minutes before hald time. It looked like Botafogo's play off chances may be hampered by a draw by Caio struck three minutes from time to eusure they kept the pressure on Madureira.

Madurerira remain in second in Group B after a 2-1 away victory at Macaé, who remain rooted to the bottom of the table. Vasco de Gama remain top of Group B after a comfortable 3-0 away win at Friburguense. After two years out of the game, you can't keep the man down as Dodô followed last weeks hat-trick against Botafogo with another treble strike to claim all three points for Vasco. Bangu picked up their first win of the season with a 3-0 win over Duque de Caxias. Bruno Santos put Bangu ahead after 10 mintues and Somalia doubled the advantage six minutes before the break. Sassa put the icing on the cake for Bangu in injury time at the end of the second half. Olaria fell to their first defeat of the season when they were comfortably beaten by Boavista. The goals came late in the second half, Tony with the first and Leo Guerriro with the second as Boavista kept their push for a play off place.

The big game of the weekend was of course at the Maracanã for the 371st Fla-Flu. Fluminense were on the back of a great run stretching back into last year and Flamengo hadn't made the best start to the season having conceded in every game they have played this season. That continued as Fluminense raced into a tenth minutes lead when Alan fired them ahead. Dario Conca doubled the advantage form the spot five minutes before half time, but Adriano pulled a goal back also from the penalty spot two minutes later, the first goal Fluminense had conceded all season. Cassio restored Fluminense's two goal lead just before half time after a deflection took the ball away from Bruno. Whatever was said in the Flamengo dressing room at half time had the desired effect. Eight minutes after half time the teams were level, Vagner Love with the first goal before Kleberson arrived late at the back post to level matters. Flamengo then had Alvaro sent off half way through the second half but the ten men rallied and Adriano put Flamengo ahead for the first time with 9 minutes to go after good work from Vagner Love. As Fluminense searched for an equaliser, Adriano broke away in the last minute and completed his hat-trick to complete a remarkable comeback for Flamengo.

Midweek round? Of course. The crucial game at Madureira where second place is up for grabs in Group B when Botafogo are the visitors.

Bangu x Americano
Duque de Caxias x Volta Redonda
Tigres do Brasil x Macaé
Madureira x Botafogo
Flamengo x Olaria
Friburguense x América
Resende x Vasco da Gama
Fluminense x Boavista

Campeonato Paulista A1 - Week 5

Barueri 3-2 Rio Claro
Santos 2-0 Oeste
São Caetano 2-2 Monte Azul
Mogi Mirim 1-1 Bragantino
Corinthians 1-0 Palmeiras
Portuguesa 1-2 Botafogo SP
Sertãozinho 2-2 São Paulo
Paulista 0-2 Mirassol
Ituano 1-2 Santo André
Rio Branco 1-2 Ponte Preta

Barueri finally picked up their first win of the season with a 3-2 win over Rio Claro. Marcos Assunção and Tadeu had Barueri two up at half time and a second for Assunção on the hour made it three. A quick fire double from Osny for Rio Claro right back in the game but Barueri managed to hang on. Robinho was presented at Vila Belmiro alongside Pelé and it inspired Santos were too strong for Oeste. André Felipe and Neymar with second half goals to put Santos in second place. Monte Azul threw away a two goal lead at São Caetano to end up with a share of the spoils. A goal in each half from Borebi put Monte Azul in a commanding position but Hugo halved the defecit before Eduardo levelled things with 12 minutes to go.

Mogi Mirim got the best possible start against Bragantino when Geovane had them a goal up within 60 seconds. Paulinho levelled for Bragantino seven minutes into the second half to give each side a point and leave them in mid-table. The big game of the weekend saw Corinthians and Palmeiras face up. The game was settled by a single goal and it came six minutes into the game, Jorge Henrique with the header that put Corinthians top of the table despite the sending off of Roberto Carlos. Palmeiras pressed for an equaliser but Felipe in the Corinthians goal kept his side in the lead and the Palmeiras challenge ended with the sending off of Cleiton Xavier. Botafogo SP moved into third after a win at Portuguesa. Ademir Sopa put them ahead just after half time and Xuxa wrapped things up four minutes from time. Marco Antônio's penalty for Portuguesa in injury time was mere consolation.

São Paulo's problems continue as they relied on an injury time equalizer at Sertãozinho to rescue a point. Thiago Silvy put the home side ahead after 54 minutes but Léo Lima replied for São Paulo within two minutes. Mendes put Sertãozinho ahead just beyond the hour and it looked like they were on the cards for a famous win until Jorge Wágner struck four minutes into injury time. Mirassol collected their first win of the season away at Paulista. A second half double from Lins giving Mirassol the points. Ituano were knocked off the top of the table after a home defeat to Santo André. Rodriguinho put Santo André ahead eleven minutes into the second half before Rafael Silva doubled the lead half way through the second half. Rodrigão pulled a goal back for Ituano but Santo André held on climb into fourth. Ponte Preta remain on the edges of play off contention after a come from behing win at Rio Branco. Anselmo Ramon put Rio Branco ahead after 20 minutes but Leandrinho levelled seven minutes before the break. Fabiano Gadelha grabbed the winner for Ponte Preta ten minutes from time.

Week 6 takes place in midweek and they line up like this.

Monte Azul x Ituano
Sertãozinho x Rio Claro
Barueri x Botafogo SP
Oeste x Paulista
Ponte Preta x Corinthians
São Paulo x São Caetano
Palmeiras x Portuguesa
Bragantino x Rio Branco
Santo André x Santos
Mirassol x Mogi Mirim