Friday, 30 April 2010

Copa Libertadores Round of 16 1st Legs

San Luís 0-1 Estudiantes
Guadalajara 3-0 Vélez Sársfield
Universitario 0-0 São Paulo
Flamengo 1-0 Corinthians
Banfield 3-1 Internacional
Cruzeiro 3-1 Nacional
Alianza Lima 0-1 Universidad de Chile
Once Caldas 0-0 Libertad

The two Mexicans club excluded after the Swine Flu outbreak last year made their bows in this years competition returning at the point in which they were excluded last year. They had mixed fortunes, San Luís went down to the holders Estudiantes after a 25th minute goal from Leandro González. Despite having Clemente Rodríguez sent off twenty minutes from time you'd expect Estudiantes to be favourites to progress. Vélez Sársfield came unstuck in a big way at Guadalajara. Omar Bravo put the home side ahead after 25 minutes and Vélez would probably have settled for that. A second from Bravo ten minutes from time doubled the Guadalajara lead and then in injury time Vélez had German Montoya sent off for a professional foul and Hector Reynoso slammed home the resulting penalty to give Guadalajara a convincing lead to take back to Argentina for the second leg.

No goals in Lima as São Paulo came away with a useful draw against Universitario. Richarlyson will miss the second leg though after picking up a red card twenty minutes into the second half. It the undoubted tie of the round it's advantage Flamengo after their 1-0 victory over Corinthians in the Maracanã. Flamengo, also under new management, did it the hard way after having Michael sent off after 37 minutes. The goal came from the penalty spot after Juan was tripped in the area by Moacir. Up stepped Adriano, the ball went past Julio Cesar and it's the slenderest of leads to take back to the Pacembeu next week.

Banfield continued their good run of form with a 3-1 win over Internacional. After a goalless first half James Rodriguez put Banfield ahead two minutes into the second half but three minutes later Kléber levelled for Inter. But Kléber was then sent off and Banfield went for the throat. Roberto Battion put Banfield ahead and Sebastian Fernández doubled the lead nine minutes from time. The only down point on an otherwise excellent night for Banfield was the sending off for Julio Barraza six minutes from time. Libertad gave themselves a chance of qualification after a goalless draw away at Once Caldas.

Last years runners up Cruzeiro put a toe in the last eight after a convinving victory against Nacional. Thiago Ribiero was the hero for the Brazilian side as his first half hat trick surely put the tie beyond Nacional. Mario Reguiero pulled a goal back for the Uruguayans six minutes into the second half to give them some hope for the second leg in Montevideo next week. Universidad de Chile continue to confound the critics, their 1-0 win in Peru against Alianza Lima was probably the result of the week. The only goal came four minutes from time from Diego Rivarola to give Universidad a valuable advantage.

The second legs take place next week.

Copa Kia do Brasil Quarter Final 1st Legs

Vitória 2-0 Vasco da Gama
Atlético Mineiro 3-2 Santos
Palmeiras 1-0 Atlético Goianiense
Fluminense 2-3 Grêmio

The field has been whittled down from the 64 teams that started out in the competition in early February as the 8 remaining clubs chase a place in next years Copa Santander Libertadores.

Vasco da Gama, beaten semi finalists last year, will have a mountain to climb after their 2-0 defeat at Vitória. Renato put Vitória ahead six minutes before half time and Neto Berola doubled the lead six minutes from the end. Last seasons joint top scorer in Série A, Diego Tardelli, is a man in form ahead fo the Campeonato starting after his hat trick put Atlético-MG in charge against Santos. After Tardelli had put Atlético two up the boy wonder Robinho pullede one back a minute before half time. Tardelli completed his hat trick and restored the two goal lead two minutes after the break but Santos are still in the tie after Edu Dracena struck eight minutes from time.

Now as regular readers of the blog know, Palmeiras have been going through the mill at the moment. But they are still in with a shout of the Copa Brasil and they will take a lead into their second leg encounter against Atlético-GO. The Série A new boys made life difficult for O Verdão but an injury time penalty from Cleiton Xavier gave Palmeiras a slender advantage. Fluminense, under new manager Muricy Ramalho, went down to defeat to Grêmio in the Maracanã. André Lima put Flu ahead with 12 minutes on the clock but Douglas levelled eight minutes later and Jonas put the visitors ahead on the half hour. A second for Douglas doubled the Grêmio lead with 18 minutes to go but Ezequiel González pulled a goal back for Fluminense to give them hope for the second leg and avoid succesive elimination at this stage.

The return legs take place next week.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Campeonato Paulista A1 - Final 1st Leg

Santo André 2-3 Santos

Santos put one hand on the Campeonato Paulista after a devastating 12 minute second half spell gave them a first game advantage over Santo André. Santo André went into the break ahead when Bruno Cesar gave them the lead from a free kick after 34 minutes but they squandered more than enough good chances to double their lead.

Santos though took the bull by the horns and André headed them level after 57 minutes. Four minutes later and Santos were ahead after catching Santo André on the break and Wesley fired home. With 18 mintues to go, Santos doubled their advantage, Wesley getting his second of the game after beating the Santo André offside trap. Toninho was then sent off for Santo André but then ten men gave themselves a fighting chance in next weeks second game when Rodriguinho pulled a goal back that he knew little about eight minutes from time. Santos though, will be favourites to claim their 18th State title.

In the Torneo Interior a 68th minute goal from Hugo was enough to give São Caetano a slender lead to take into the second leg against Botafogo SP. The conclusion of the Campeonato Paulista comes next weekend with the second legs of both finals.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Godoy slip to let Estudiantes in

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

After going top the previous week, Godoy Cruz ran into a River Plate side with a rocket up their collective backside. Federico Higuain put Godoy ahead in the first half, but River struck twice in two second half minutes through the veteran Ariel Ortega and Paulo Ferrari to sneak a win. Indeed, Godoy slip to fourth, albeit only two points off the top. Estudiantes went top with a win over Tigre. Leandro Desabato put Estudiantes ahead early on and Jose Sosa made it two midway through the first half. Tigre got one back just before the break with Marcos Rojo's own goal, but Estudiantes held on. Independiente are level on points with Estudiantes after a comfortable win over champions Banfield. Nestor Silvera put them ahead, but Banfield hit back through Ruben Ramirez. They were level for just two minutes, Leandro Gracian restoring the lead, and Leonel Nunez sealed it in second half stoppage time. Argentinos Juniors grabbed a point with a late, late Facundo Coria equaliser against Arsenal to also go above Godoy. Jose Calderon put Argentinos ahead early, but two from Luciano Leguizamo either side of half-time - the second a penalty - turned the game until Coria's late intervention.

A tempestuous Rosario derby ended nine-a-side as honours were shared. Central were ahead inside three minutes through Diego Braghieri, but it was all square again as Rolando Schiavi equalised from the spot quarter of an hour later. Mario Paglialunga and Lucas Bernardi were sent off in the same incident just after the half hour, reducing both sides to ten. Cristian Nunez was dismissed on the stroke of half-time leaving Newell's with nine and it was all square five minutes into the second half as Nahuel Valentini picked up a second yellow.

Tucumán are still bottom, but picked up their first win to reduce the arrears. Emmaniel Gigliotti and Jonathan Blanes put them two up inside ten minutes midway through the second half. Erwin Avalos pulled one back four minutes before time for Chacarita, but it was too little too late. Marcos Perez got the only goal for Gimnasia as they beat Boca who are still struggling, but San Lorenzo look to have turned a corner. Alejandro Gomez put them one up in the first half and the game was up for Huracán when Ezequiel Filipetto got a second yellow. Fabian Bordagaray made it two five minutes after the dismissal and Cristian Leiva made it three late on. Racing came from behind to beat Vélez. Fernando Tobio put Vélez ahead five minutes from time and they remained in front until Ricardo Alvarez was sent off. Pablo Luguercio equalised five minutes later and Racing were in front two minutes later through Claudio Yacob and Claudio Bieler got a third within five minutes to win it. Guido Pizarro grabbed a late equaliser for Lanús after Colón went ahead shortly after the break with a Esteban Fuertes penalty.

This week:

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

River's resurgence will be sorely tested by Estudiantes while everyone else will be trying to stop this becoming the four-horse race it's rapidly developing into.

Copa Libertadores 2nd Phase - Week 10

Group 1

Cerro Porteño 0-0 Racing Club
Corinthians 1-0 Independiente Medellín

Corinthians qualified for the last 16 as the Number 1 seed after a 1-0 victory over Independiente at the Pacembeu. The only goal came half way through the first half when Juan Valencia scored into his own goal to hand Corinthians the win. Racing Club, needing a big win to have any chance of progressing into the last 16 were held to a goalless draw by Cerro Porteño in Asunción. It meant that despite finishing as runners up in the group they were eliminated from the competition.

Final Standings

1. (Q) Corinthians 16pts
2. Racing Club 8pts
3. Independiente Medellín 6pts
4. Cerro Porteño 2pts

Group 2

Club Nacional 2-0 Monterrey
São Paulo 1-0 Once Caldas

São Paulo secured top spot in the group after leapfrogging Once Caldas after victory at the Morumbi. Only one goal separated the sides and that came from Fernandinho five minutes before the break. Once Caldas though, still qualified for the round of 16 despite the result. In the other game Club Nacional picked up their first win of the campaign after a 2-0 win over Monterrey in Asunción. Club Nacional got off to a flyer thanks to a fourth minute goal from Aldo Paniagua and Guillermo Beltran wrapped things up half way through the second half.

Final Standings

1. (Q) São Paulo 13pts
2. (Q) Once Caldas 11pts
3. Monterrey 6pts
4. Club Nacional 3pts

Group 3
Estudiantes 1-0 Alianza Lima
Bolívar 2-0 Juan Aurich

Holders Estudiantes qualifed for the Round of 16 in dramatic fashion as a late late goal from Seba Veron five minutes into injury time gave them a 1-0 win over Alianza Lima and top spot in group 3. Alianza needing only a draw to progress as group leaders looked to have secured their place at the top of the group despite having Walter Vílchez sent off as the three minutes of injury time was about to expire. From the resulting free kick Alianza concded a penalty. The pressure was on Veron and his penalty was saved but he was on hand to put in the rebound to give Estudiantes the win and top spot in the group. Bolívar picked up their first win of the campaign against Juan Aurich. Walter Flores put Bolívar ahead 30 minutes from time and Alex Da Rose wrapped things up from the spot four minutes from time.

Final Standings

1. (Q) Estudiantes 13pts
2. (Q) Alianza Lima 12pts
3. Juan Aurich 6pts
4. Bolívar 4pts

Group 5

Internacional 3-0 Deportivo Quito
Cerro 0-0 Emelec

Internacional claimed top spot in the group, reprieved Flamengo and eliminated Deportivo Quito from the competition after a 3-0 win in Porto Alegre. Inter got off to a great start when Andrezinho put them ahead with only four minutes on the clock. That result would have seen both teams qualify as it stood but Bolívar doubled Inter's lead on the hour. Deportivo were now heading out of the competition and needed to score, Edu was sent off for Inter a minute from time but Deportivo conceded a goal in the third minute of injury time to Giuliano to send them out. In the other game in Montevideo, there were no goals between Cerro and Emelec but two red cards. Sebastian Suárez went first for Cerro 14 minutes from time and he was followed by Elemec's David Quiroz four minutes later.

Final Standings

1. (Q) Internacional 12pts
2. Deportivo Quito 10pts
3. Cerro 8pts
4. Emelec 2pts

Group 6

Nacional 2-0 Morelia
Banfield 4-1 Deportivo Cuenca

Nacional ensured their qualification as leaders of group 6 with a 2-0 win over a Morelia side that many had high hopes for before the start of the competition. Mario Regueiro put Nacional ahead with only three minutes on the clock and Mauricio Pereyra made it safe for the Uruguayans twelve minutes from time. Banfield will also be in the last 16 after a strong second half show saw off Deportivo Cuenca. After a scoreless first hald Banfield took the lead three minutes into the second half through Ruben Ramírez and he doubled the lead twenty minutes later. Gabriel Mendez pulled one back for Deportivo but Walter Erviti restored the two goal lead three mintues from time and Christian Luccethi wrapped things up from the spot in injury time.

Final Standings

1. (Q) Nacional 12pts
2. (Q) Banfield 11pts
3. Morelia 5pts
4. Deportivo Cuenca 4pts

Group 8

Universidad de Chile 0-0 Universidad Católica
Flamengo 3-2 Caracas FC

No goals in Santiago as already confirmed group winner Univerdiad de Chile played out a draw with fellow countrymen Universidad Católica. Católica finished with 10 men after a late sending off for Damien Díaz. Flamengo scraped into the last 16 of the competition after victory over Caracas FC. Caracas stunned the Maracanã when Rafael Castellin put them ahead after fourteen minutes but the Flamengo response was almost immediate and brutal. Ronaldo Angelim levelled three minutes later and Michael put Flamengo in the lead two minutes later. It should have set the platform for Flamengo to push on but Jesus Goméz levelled for Caracas half way through the second half. Flamengo pushed forward again and took the lead fifteen minutes from time through David but results went their way and they finished just inside the qualification zone.

Final Standings

1. (Q) Universidad de Chile 12pts
2. (Q) Flamengo 8pts
3. Universidad Católica 7pts
4. Caracas FC 2pts

So that's the group stage done and dusted. How it works in the Libertadores is the teams are ranked according to their records in the group stage. So the group winners are seeded 1-8 and the runners up, plus this years invitees San Luís and Guadalajara, are seeded 9-16. The lowest seeded team plays the home leg first in all circumstances. Therefore the draw for the last 16 looks like this, with the seedings in brackets. The First Legs are scheduled for next week, with the returns the following week but these are subject to change.

(1) Corinthinans v (16) Flamengo
(2) São Paulo v (15) Universitario
(3) Estudiantes v (14) San Luís
(4) Vélez Sársfield v (13) Guadalajara
(5) Libertad v (12) Once Caldas
(6) Internacional v (11) Banfield
(7) Nacional v (10) Cruzeiro
(8) Universidad de Chile v (9) Alianza Lima

Leading scorers at the end of the Group Stage

Kléber (Cruzeiro) 7
Luis Tejada (Juan Aurich) 6
José Carlos Fernández (Alianza Lima) 5
Rodolfo Gamarra (Libertad) 5
Washington (São Paulo) 5
Mauro Boselli (Estudiantes) 4
Hernán Rodrigo López (Vélez Sársfield) 4
Juan José Morales (Universidad Católica) 4
Mario Regueiro (Nacional) 4
James Rodríguez (Banfield) 4
Thiago Ribeiro (Cruzeiro) 4

Monday, 19 April 2010

Campeonato Carioca - Taça Rio Final

Flamengo 1-2 Botafogo

Botafogo stunned Flamengo to win the Taça Guanabara and claim the Campeonato Carioca for the first time since 2006 and a 19th success overall.

In a fiesty game at the Maracanã, there were 17 bookings and 2 red cards issued by referee Gutemburg de Paula Fonseca, Botafogo became the first team to do win both Taça Guanabara and Rio since 1998 and gain revenge on Flamengo for defeat in last three Taça Rio finals. Botafogo took the lead half way through the first half when German Hererra converted from the penalty spot but Flamengo hit back a minute before half time when Vagner Love equalised for the Vultures.

Flamengo then had Claudio Maldonado sent off for the challenge which led to a second Botafogo penalty which was converted by El Loco Sebastian Abreu. Adriano, returning from injury, then had a chance to level the game from the spot but his penalty was saved by Jefferson. German Herrera got himself sent off for arguing against the decision to award the penalty. As hard as Flamengo tried, Botafogo held on to claim the crown and became the first club to do the double since Vasco da Gama in 1998 and end the season in Rio de Janeiro state.

In the Troféu João Ellis Filho Final, América claimed some silverware with a 4-2 win over Macaé. América went in to the break two goals to the good thanks to Gerson and a penalty from Claudemir. Raphael Aguiar pulled a goal back for Macaé just after half time but further goal from Felipe and Jonas made the game safe for América. Andre Gomes grabbed a consolation for Macaé with six minutes to go to end the scoring.

Campeonato Paulista A1 - Semi Final 2nd Leg

Santos 3-0 São Paulo
Santos wins 6-2 on aggregate
Santo André 1-2 Prudente
3-3 on aggregate, Santo André qualify by virtue of higher league position.

Santos easily qualified for the final of the Campeonato Paulista after a comfortable 3-0 win over São Paulo at the Vila Belmiro. São Paulo, who had to win by two clear goals to qualify for the final, were never in it as they had one eye on their midweek Libertadores game. Neymar put Santos ahead on the hour and then doubled the lead from the penalty spot with 8 minutes to go. Paulo Henrique Ganso put the icing on the cake for Santos with three minutes to go and put them in the box seat for a first Paulista title since 2007.

Santo André qualified for their first ever final by squeezing through by the narrowest margin despite defeat at home to Prudente. Tadeu levelled the tie on aggregate from the penalty spot with 16 minutes on the clock but Renato Dias levelled matters ten minutes before half time. Marcos Assunção put Prudente ahead again two minutes before the break but knowing they had to win the game by two clear goals to progress to the final they couldn't find a way through the Santo André defence and it was they who qualified by virtue of their superior league position.

In the Torneo Interior São Caetano overturned their one goal defecit to progress with a 3-1 victory over Oeste and a 3-2 aggregate win. They left it late though, Everton Ribiero levelled the tie just before half time but Wilton Goiano levelled the game and edged Oeste ahead on aggregate on the hour. But with a minute to go, Fernendes levelled matters on aggregate and Fabio won it two minutes into injury time. Botafogo SP will meet São Caetano in the final despitre letting a two goal lead slip to draw with Ponte Preta 2-2. A double from William put Botafogo in complete charge in the first half but Otacilio Neto pulled a goal back for Ponte Preta just short of the hour and then Finazzi levelled the game two minutes from time but Botafogo progressed by virtue of their superior league position.

Next weekend sees the first legs of the final.

Santo André x Santos

Torneo Interior

São Caetano x Botafogo SP

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Godoy cruise to summit

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

Tigre were put to the sword by Godoy Cruz who, after a little wobble around the hour mark, ran out hefty winners as they went top of the Clausura table. Rodrigo Salinas ended with a hat-trick, his first coming a minute after the restart by which time Godoy were already 1-0 up through Francisco Dutari. Daniel Vega made it three before a Tigre rally when they pulled two back in two minutes. Leandro Lazzarro got one and a Zelmar Garcia own goal made it 3-2, but Leonardo Sigali got Godoy's fourth before Salinas completed his hat-trick. Argentinos Juniors join Godoy at the top on 28 points after a comfortable win over Colón. Nestor Ortigoza, Jose Luis Calderon and Ismael Sosa put Argentinos into a 3-0 lead before Jonathan Bauman got a stoppage time consolation. Independiente lost again as they slide down the table, Nelson Benitez with an early goal for resurgent San Lorenzo. Estudiantes move ahead of them on goal difference after thumping Racing. Leandro Gonzalez got two as Estudiantes went 3-0 up before the break and closed out a 4-0 win.

River Plate's woes continue and Leonardo Astrada lost his job in the wake of the 0-0 draw at rock bottom Atlético Tucumán. Relegation is worked out over three seasons, a move widely seen - with good reason - as intended to keep the big boys in the top league. Even with that, River are dangerously close to being dragged into it and have made the move to arrest the slide. Things aren't so great at Boca either, but they won well against Arsenal. Martin Palermo struck twice and Juan Riquelme was also on the scoresheet as they ran out 4-0 winners, but it's papering over cracks at the Bombonera. The model they successfully employed involved developing young talent and selling it on to Europe. As soon as Riquelme returned, that model broke down. Rumours of factions - a Riquelme faction, a Palermo faction - in the dressing room are rife and it can't be easy to build a team ethic when one bloke is earning many times more than the others.

Elsewhere, Cristian Nunez got all three for Newell's in a 3-0 win over Chacarita and Huracán went up to sixth with a win over Gimnasia. After a goalless first half, Andres Franziosa and Diego Rodriguez put them two up early in the second period. Antonio Aguero pulled one back, but Gustavo Balvorin sealed it in the last minute. There were goalless draws at Lanús and Vélez. Rosario Central hung on for 0-0 against Lanús despite losing Gervasio Nunez to a second yellow on the hour while Vélez midfielder Leandro Somoza got a straight red in the stalemate with Banfield.

This week:

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

It's the Rosario derby this week, Central hosting it this season while managerless River face the new leaders, goal-happy Godoy Cruz.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Copa Libertadores 2nd Phase - Week 9

Group 1

Racing Club 0-2 Corinthians

Corinthians ensured they would enter the Round of 16 from top spot in Group 1 after a comfortable 2-0 victory in Montevideo against Racing Club. Dentinho opened the scoring after 18 minutes and Elias wrapped things up three minutes from time. The result is a big blow for Racing's chances of qualifying as one of the best six runners up.


1. (Q) Corinthians 13pts
2. Racing Club 7pts
3. Independiente Medellín 6pts
4. Cerro Porteño 1pt

Group 4

Blooming 1-2 Libertad
Lanús 0-0 Universitario

Group 4 came to a close with both games being played at the same time. Lanús had to win to give themselves anychance of qualifying for the last 16 and overhaul Universitario. The goalless draw was of absolutely no use to them at all. Whilst denying Universitario top spot in the group it allowed Libertad to qualify directly into the last 16 after their 2-1 come from behind victory at Blooming. Julio Hurtado put Blooming ahead after 27 minutes but Adalberto Roman levelled seven minutes before half time. Eight minutes into the second half Rodolfo Gamarra grabbed the winner to give Libertad the win and top spot.

Final Standings

1. (Q) Libertad 12 pts
2. Universitario 10pts
3. Lanús 8pts
4. Blooming 1pt

Group 5

Deportivo Quito 2-1 Cerro
Emelec 0-0 Internacional

Deportivo Quito snatched the initiative in Group 5 after a 2-1 home win against Cerro put them top of the group with a game to play. Isaac Mina put Deportivo ahead after 20 minutes but they were pulled back by a penalty from Claudio Dadómo seven minutes later. It looked like that game was heading for a draw but Luis Checa grabbed a winner four minutes from time. Down the road in Guayacil there were no goals as Internacional surrendered top spot and Emelec got their first point of the competition. It's all to play for in the last week of the group where the top two in the group clash in Porto Alegre.


1. Deportivo Quito 10pts
2. Internacional 9pts
3. Cerro 7pts
4. Emelec 1pts

Group 7

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

Group 7 also came to a conclusion with the big two both ensuring passage into the last 16. Cruzeiro only had themselves to blame for not getting top spot after letting a lead slip at Colo Colo. Thiago Ribiero put Cruzeiro ahead after 57 minutes but Rodrigo Millar levelled for the home side 4 minutes later. Andre Scotti saw red for the home side with 10 minutes to go. Vélez took their opportunity with both hands after thumping group whipping boys Deportivo Italia 4-0. Victor Zapata put Vélez ahead three minutes before half time and Rodrigo López doubled the lead from the spot three minutes after the break. Emiliano Papa made it three seventeen minutes from time and a second for López seven minutes from time wrapped things up.

Final Standings

1. (Q) Vélez Sársfield 13pts
2. (Q) Cruzeiro 11pts
3. Colo Colo 8pts
4. Deportivo Italia 1pt

Group 8

Universidad Católica 2-0 Flamengo
Caracas FC 1-3 Universidad de Chile

Flamengo are now in great danger of not making the last 16 after another defeat in Santiago, this time against Universidad Católica. Flamengo were behind after just two minutes, Damien Díaz opened the scoring and Francisco Silva doubled the lead right on half time. Universidad de Chile ensured their place in the last 16 with a 3-1 win in Caracas. Universidad had the game wrapped up by half time, Mauricio Victorino opened the scoring after 18 minutes and Juan Olivera doubled the last from the spot in the 32nd minute. When Matias Rodríguez put the game to bed three minutes later Universidad de Chile were heading for the last 16. Caracas then had Alejandro Guerra sent off midway through the second half but grabbed a consolation goal from Cesar Gonzalez 14 minutes from time.

1. (Q) Universidad de Chile 11pts
2. Flamengo 7pts
3. Universidad Católica 6pts
4. Caracas FC 2pts

Right, so far then.

Definitely in the Round of 16 are Corinthians, Once Caldas, Alianza Lima, Libertad, Vélez Sársfield, Cruzeiro

Assured of a top two finish but not quite yet qualified are São Paulo, Estudiantes, Universiatrio, Nacional

Eliminated from the competition are Cerro Porteño, Monterrey, Club Nacional, Juan Aurich, Bolívar, Lanús, Blooming, Emelec, Deportivo Cuenca, Colo Colo, Deportivo Italia, Caracas FC

Next week sees all the remaining six groups come to a conclusion. The fixtures are

Bolívar v Juan Aurich
Estudiantes v Alianza Lima
Nacional v Morelia
Banfield v Deportivo Cuenca
Club Nacional v Monterrey
São Paulo v Once Caldas
Universidad de Chile v Universidad Católica
Flamengo v Caracas FC
Cerro Porteño v Racing Club
Internacional v Deportivo Quito
Corinthians v Independiente Medellín
Cerro v Emelec

With San Luis and Guadalajara joining the competition at the Round of 16, only six of the group runners up will qualify for the last 16. Basically it's the best six records that will go into the last 16 and this is how the runners up battle looks at the moment.

Group 7 1. Cruzeiro P6 11pts +6GD
Group 2 2. São Paulo P5 10pts +6GD (Could still win group)
Group 3 3. Estudiantes P5 10pts +5GD (Could still win group)
Group 4 4. Universitario P6 10pts +3GD
Group 5 5. Internacional P5 9pts +3GD (Could still win group or be eliminated)
Group 6 6. Banfield P5 8pts +2GD (Could still win group or be eliminated)
Group 8 7. Flamengo P5 7pts +1GD (Could still be eliminated by finishing third)
Group 1 8. Racing P5 7pts -1GD (Could still be eliminated by finishing third)

Cruzeiro are definitely through, but you can now see why next weeks game for Flamengo is so important. To guarantee qualification they need to beat Caracas by three clear coals. It's a much tougher task for Racing Club because of their poor goal difference. It will all pan out next week and we'll be here with an update next Friday and have the games for the round of 16.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Campeonato Carioca - Taça Rio Semi Finals

Botafogo 3-2 Fluminense
Flamengo 2-1 Vasco da Gama

Botafogo remain on course to complete "The Double" in the Campeonato Carioca after qualifying for the final of the Taça Rio with a come from behind victory over Fluminense. It started well for "O Fogão" when El Loco Sebastian Abreu headed them ahead after only four minutes. Fluminense fought back, but Fred the missed a penalty after a handball in the area his header on 27 minutes found the back of the net. and a second from the former Olympique de Lyonnias player with a smart turn and finish five minutes put Fluminense ahead, a lead they would take into the break. Botafogo levelled the game on the hour after a scramble in the area through Fahel and ten minutes later they took the lead when youngster Ciao, hero of the Guanabara campaign, put Botafogo into a lead with a shot from the edge of the area to give them a lead Fogo held onto.

Flamengo will be the opponents for Botafogo after defeating Vasco da Gama in the other semi final. Vagner Love raced through to put Flamengo ahead with only 10 minutes on the clock but Vasco levelled on the half hour through a powerful Thiago Martinelli header. Vasco then hit the post 9 minutes into the seocnd half before Vagner Love restored the lead of Flamengo from the penalty spot 19 minutes from time after Leo Moura was fouled. Flamengo then had Juan sent off 12 minutes from time for a second bookable offence. The afternoon also finished on a sour note for Vasco when Thiago Martinelli saw red in injury time.

The final takes place this weekend.

In the semi finals of the Trofee João Ellis Filho, América continued their recent good run of from with a 3-1 win over Boavista. They will face Macaé in next weekends final after they defeated Bangu by a goal to nil. Norton with the vital goal three minutes into the second half. And in the first game of the relegation tri-series play off Duque de Caxias got themselves off to a great start with a 2-1 victory over Resende. Friburguense are the third team involved and they start their campaign at Resende on Wednesday.

Campeonato Paulista A1 - Semi Final 1st Leg

São Paulo 2-3 Santos
Prudente 1-2 Santo André

Santos are in pole position to qualify for the final of the Campeonato Paulista after a dramatic victory over São Paulo in the Morumbi. Santos were two up at the break after a deflected goal from Léo and then André Felipe arrived at the back post to net the second. But the ten man São Paulo revival started 7 minues into the second half when Hernanes pulled a goal back with a powerful drive and then Dagoberto's header levelled half way through the second half. When it looked like the teams would go back to the Vila Belmiro all square but Durval popped up a minute from time to head home the winner and give Santos the advantage for next weeks return game.

At the Prudentão, Santo André came from behind to take an advantage into next weeks return game against Prudente. Diego headed Prudente ahead four minutes before half time but Santo André were level four minutes after the break after Branquinho slotted home. Eight minutes later they grabbed an advantage after Rodriguinho was first to react after the Prudente goalkeeper could only parry a free kick as Santo André look to win their first ever state title.

The return games take place this Sunday.

Meanwhile the first legs of the Torneio Interior also took place at weekend

Ponte Preta 0-0 Botafogo SP
Oeste 1-0 São Caetano

In the upstate Championship, unlike the main event, there was only one goal scored over the two games. Ponte Preta and Botafogo SP played out a scoreless draw in the opening game and Oeste grabbed a slender advantage in their tie against São Caetano. Ricardo Bueno got the only goal of that game on the hour. The return games take place on Saturday

Friday, 9 April 2010

Independiente still out in front

Independiente continue to lead the way in Argentina, but there's a trio of clubs snapping at their heels as we head for home in the Clausura. It's thirteen games down, six to play and here's how it's panned out since our last update a couple of weeks ago.

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

Leonel Nunez grabbed the only goal of the game as Independiente beat Arsenal to remain top of the table. He struck on the half hour in an incident-free game while Godoy Cruz remain on their heels after a 2-0 win over Vélez. Two goals in three second half minutes did the job, Rodrigo Salinas and Cesar Carranza on target. Facundo Coria was the star for Argentinos in the big Juniors derby against Chacarita. Two in three minutes from Coria set Argentinos on their way and, though Omar Zarif pulled one back twenty minutes from time, they hung on for the win.

It goes from bad to worse for Boca Juniors, Juan Riquelme sent off as they slumped to defeat to Rosario Central. Adrian de Leon put Rosario ahead just before the break and Osvaldo Gaitain squared it up on the hour. Three minutes from time, Milton Caraglio restored the lead and Boca's chances went when Riquelme picked up a second booking shortly after. Schadenfreude from Boca's big rivals is in short supply though, as they too are struggling badly. They also went down, Sebastian Blanco on target for Lanús. San Lorenzo's latest defeat cost Diego Simeone his job. Sebastian Romero's early strike was enough for Gimnasia to defeat them and Simeone walked as a result.

Estudiantes and Banfield held each other up in a 1-1 draw. Mauro Boselli was again on the scoresheet for Estudiantes, but Marcelo Quinteros equalised. Estudiantes finished with ten men when Enzo Perez was sent off. Huracán and Colón failed to muster a goal, while Atlético Tucumán and Racing will have to try again after further heavy rain caused another suspension. Newell's had Leonel Vangioni sent off on the half hour against Tigre who were already a goal up through Juan Garat and they sealed it in the second half through Bryan Rodriguez.

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

Independiente lost, but Godoy failed to take advantage with a goalless draw with Racing. Marcos Perez was Independiente's bete noir with both Gimnasia goals, either side of Federico Mancuello's equaliser. Argentinos joined Godoy on 25 points after beating Rosario with Ismael Sosa's goal. Estudiantes beat Vélez despite Juan Veron being sent off. Gaston Fernandez got the only goal of the game on four minutes before Veron's second yellow on the half hour. It finished ten-a-side when Victor Zapata was sent off 25 minutes from time.

Boca's woes continue with a 3-0 defeat to Colón. Facundo Bertoglio got two and Boca again finished with ten, Breitner Bonilla sent off a couple of minutes from time. Again, River also lost. Even when both clubs are abject, there's intense competition between them to be the worst. Jorge Achucarro got the only goal of the game in Newell's 1-0 win. Elsewhere, Carlos Luna got two in Tigre's win over rock bottom Tucumán and Gonzalo Castillejos got both Lanús goals, both in the last couple of minutes in a come-from-behind win over Chacarita. Gino Clara got the only goal for Huracán against Arsenal while a new boss made little difference to San Lorenzo. They lost to Banfield with Roberto Battion and Ruben Ramirez on target.

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

Copa Libertadores 2nd Phase - Week 8

Group 1

Independiente Medellín 1-0 Cerro Porteño

Independiente grabbed their first win of the competition after victory over Paraguay's Cerro Porteño in Medellín. Only one goal seperated the teams and it came from Luis Arias 11 minutes into the second half. It leaves Cerro Porteño out of the competition and leaves Independiente with an outside change of qualifying as group runners up.


1. Corinthians P4 10pts
2. Racing Club P4 7pts
3. Independiente Medellín P5 6pts
4. Cerro Porteño P5 1pt

Group 3

Alianza Lima 1-0 Bolívar

Alianza have their destiny in their own hands now after going back to the top of Group 3 with a narrow victory over Bolívar in Lima. Again only one goal in the game and it came with six minutes on the clock from Jose Fernández. It leaves Alianza needed a point from their final game at Estudiantes to guarantee a place in the round of 16 and extinguished Juan Aurich's faint hopes of qualifying


1. Alianza Lima 12pts
2. Estudiantes 10pts
3. Juan Aurich 6pts
4. Bolívar 1pt

Group 4

Universitario 0-0 Blooming

No goals in Lima as Universitario dragged themselves level on points with Libertad at the top of Group 4 to leave a last week shoot out for the guaranteed place in the round of 16. It was though a first point of the competition for Blooming. Libertad, who travel to Blooming in the last round and must see themselves as favourites to progress whilst Universitario travel to Lanús, who themselves have an outside chance of qualifying.


1. Libertad 9pts +6GD
2. Unversitario 9pts +3GD
3. Lanús 7pts
4. Blooming 1pts

Group 6

Deportivo Cuenca 0-0 Nacional

No goals in Cuenca as well as Nacional of Montevideo went to the top of Group 6 with a game to play. They will be without Óscar Morales for their final group game at home to Morelia after he was sent off in injury time. Deportivo Cuenca travel to Banfield with no hope of qualifying put could dent the Argentinian sides chances of progression.


1. Nacional 9pts
2. Banfield 8pts
3. Morelia 5pts
4. Deportivo Cuenca 4pts

Group 7

Deportivo Italia 2-3 Colo Colo

In a clash of the bottom two in Group 7 Colo Colo emerged triumphant to gives themselves an outside chance of qualifying. Emerson Panigutti put Deportivo ahead after 15 minutes but Colo Colo hit back to go into the break ahead. Cristian Bogado levelled the game after 26 minutes and Ezequiel Miralles put Colo Colo ahead 7 minutes before half time. A second from Miralles twelve minutes into the second half gave Colo Colo daylight but a penalty from Ricardo Branco four minutes from time gave Colo Colo a nervy finish.


1. Cruzeiro 10pts +6GD
2. Vélez Sársfield 10pts +1
3. Colo Colo 7pts
4. Deportivo Italia 1pt

Group 8

Flamengo 2-2 Universidad de Chile

In a game held over 24 hours because of problems at the Maracanã by the Rio de Janeiro floods Flamengo threw away the chance to go to the top of Group 8. After a slow start Flamengo went behind to a Walter Montillo goal two minutes before half time. Without Adriano Flamengo were sluggish and the introduction of Dejan Petkovic gave them some spark. Michael scrablmed an equaliser half way through the second half and Leo Moura, Flamengo's best player on the night, put them ahead seven minutes from time. But an injury time long range strike from Matias Rodríguez flew past Bruno to give Universidad a point.


1. Universidad de Chile 8pts
2. Flamengo 7pts
3. Universidad Católica 3pts
4. Caracas FC 2pts

Next weeks games line up like this

Deportivo Quito v Cerro
Caracas FC v Universidad de Chile
Emelec v Internacional
Racing Club v Corinthians
Universidad Católica v Flamengo
Blooming v Libertad
Lanús v Universitario
Colo Colo v Cruzeiro
Vélez Sársfield v Deportivo Italia

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Campeonato Paulista A1 - Week 19

In a change from the usual format we're going to do a minute by minute update of what happened in the last round of the Paulista. Two places were up for grabs in "The Four" and the final relegation place would be decided. Times are determined by the goals hitting the back of the net.

1: Goal! Portuguesa 1-0 Ituano

Big blow for Ituano as Thiago Gomes puts Portuguesa ahead and after losing 5 in a row it's the last thing Ituano needed. It also lifts Portuguesa into "The Four" and leaves São Paulo outside the play offs

8: Goal! Santos 1-0 Sertãozinho, Santo André 0-1 São Paulo

The league leaders take the lead against relegation Sertãozinho thanks to Germano. Meanwhile São Paulo who must win to guarantee a place in "The Four" take the lead at already qualified Santo André thanks to Washington and climb back into "The Four" and it's now Prudente who are outside.

11: Goal! Botafogo SP 1-0 Monte Azul

Already relegated Monte Azul fall behind at Botafogo SP after Rodrigo Pontes scores dor the home side. Botafogo SP were an outside chance for "The Four" until a late season loss of form.

13: Goal! Corinthians 0-1 Rio Claro

Corinthians needing to win to give them an outside chance of making the four fall behind to a Rio Claro side desperately looking over their shoulder at the relegation trap door. Luciano with the goal that give hope to Rio Claro.

14: Goal! Paulista 1-0 Palmeiras

Huge goal at the bottom of the table as Paulista haul themselves out of the relegation zone with an opening goal from Felipe Azevedo. Mirassol are now staring into the abyss of Serie A2.

20: Goal! Santo André 0-2 São Paulo

São Paulo look like they have cemented their place in the end of season fun and games after Dagoberto doubled their lead at Santo André. Santo André are safe in the four and have rested some players ahead of the play offs starting this weekend.

22: Goal! Oeste 1-0 Rio Branco

Already relegated Rio Branco fall behind to mid-table Oeste in Prudente. Mazinho with the goal for Oeste.

23: Goal! Prudente 1-0 São Caetano

Huge strike as Prudente go ahead against São Caetano through Wesley Morais. It lifts Prudente back into "The Four" and leaves Portuguesa outside the end of season mix. It's a big break for Prudente as they had been under huge pressure so far.

32: Goal! Corinthians 1-1 Rio Claro, Santos 2-0 Sertãozinho

Corinthians get themselves back in the game through a strike from Ronaldo whilst Santos double their lead against Sertãozinho through Alex Sandro.

33: Goal! Portuguesa 2-0 Ituano

Portuguesa, despite other results going against them double their lead against Ituano. Luiz Carlos with the goal. Could this be a sixth defeat in a row for Ituano.

35: Goal! Mirassol 1-0 Bragantino

Big goal in the relegation picture as Ituano fall into the bottom four after Lins puts Mirassol ahead against a Bragantino side with nothing to play for.

36: Goal! Botafogo SP 2-0 Monte Azul

Botafogo double their lead against Monte Azul as Xuxa converts from the penalty spot.

38: Goal! Santos 3-0 Sertãozinho, Santo André 1-2 São Paulo

It's all too easy for the league leaders as Zé Eduardo hits their 60th goal of the campaign so far. Meanwhile in the Top 4 clash the nerves will begin to jangle for São Paulo as Rodrigao pulls a goal back for Santo André.

39: Goal! Paulista 2-0 Palmeiras, Oeste 1-1 Rio Branco

Paulista look to be heading for safety as Felipe Azevedo doubled their lead against Palmeiras from the penalty spot. Meanwhile Rio Branco level matters against Oeste through Indio.

40: Goal! Santos 3-1 Sertãozinho

Some fight from the team heading to Serie A2 as Thiago Silvy pulls a goal back for Sertãozinho at the Vila Belmiro.

43: Goal! Botafogo SP 2-1 Monte Azul, Mirassol 2-0 Bragantino

Another relegated team showing some spirit as Monte Azul pull a goal back at Botafogo. Borebi converting from the penalry spot. Meanwhile Mirassol head closer to safety as Pablo Escobar doubles their lead against Bragantino.


So as things stand at the break, it's as you were for "The Four" with Prudente and São Paulo in the box seat for the play off and Ituano currently occupying the last relegation place.

47: Goal! Portuguesa 2-1 Ituano

Alerted by the fact they were heading down to A2 at the break Ituano are quickly out of the blocks in the second half and halve the defecit thank to Juninho.

48: Goal! Corinthians 2-1 Rio Claro

Rio Claro are suddenly dragged back into the relegation picture as Dentinho puts Corinthians back in front. It also gives Corinthians hope of making "The Four" to defend their title.

52: Goal! Corinthians 3-1 Rio Claro

Rio Claro really are in trouble now, they are only out of the last relegation spot on goal difference as Iarley doubles the lead for Corinthians.

53: Goal! Paulista 2-1 Palmeiras

Nervous times ahead for Paulista as Lincoln pulls a goal back for the "Big Green". If they were to be pegged back it would put Paulista back into relegation trouble

61: Goal! Santos 3-2 Sertãozinho

The relegated side are having a right go now and they've reduced the deficit to a single goal thanks to a second from Thiago Silvy, who converts from the penalty spot.

63: Goal! Santo André 1-3 São Paulo

A third São Paulo goal from Miranda is a hammer blow to the chances of Portuguesa and Corinthians making "The Four" especially with Prudente still leading São Caetano as well.

66: Goal! Corinthians 4-1 Rio Claro

Roberto Carlos get a fourth for Corinthians but results aren't going the way for the current title holders and it looks like they are now going to miss out on the play offs.

68: Goal! Mirassol 3-0 Bragantino

Looks like Mirassol have secured their future in the division as a second from Lins gives them a three goal lead against Bragantino.

71: Goal! Oeste 2-1 Rio Branco

It's about pride for Oeste and the opportunity to qualify for the Campeão do Interior as they retake the lead against Rio Branco. Ricardo Bueno with the goal from the penalty spot.

75: Goal! Corinthians 5-1 Rio Claro

And it's becoming a procession now as Dentinho gets his second of the game to put Corinthians 5-1 up and leave them relying on events happening elsewhere.

79: Goal! Portuguesa 2-2 Ituano

Woah! Drama as Ituano haul themselves out of the relegation zone with an equaliser from Lincon that could just about put paid to Portuguesa's chances of making "The Four". Rio Claro, losing heavily at Corinthians, are now staring into the abyss.

80: Goal! Mogi Mirim 1-0 Ponte Preta

The only game without a goal so far finally gets one ten minutes from time as Fernando Gabriel puts Mogi Mirim ahead in a game of little to no consequence for either side.

81: Goal! Paulista 3-1 Palmeiras

Paulista must be safe now after Samuel grabs their third goal against a lethargic Palmeiras side. There must be something about facing Palmeiras on the last day, Botafogo-RJ defeated them to stay in the Campeonato Série A last year.

85: Goal! Portuguesa 2-3 Ituano

Surely it's all over for Portuguesa now and it's joy for Ituano as they are on the verge of breaking their 5 game losing streak and will look forward to another year in the A1. Roque Júnior, yes the Roque Júnior who was at Leeds United and Bayer Leverkusen, with the vital goal for Ituano.

90: Goal! Oeste 3-1 Bragantino

Oeste wrap up the game with a third from Ricardo Bueno, his second of the game. It's confirms the win for Oeste and it will see them finish in midtable above Palmeiras and gives them the last spot in the Campeão do Interior

94: Goal! Santos 4-2 Sertãozinho

Santos hold off a determined fightback from Sertãozinho as Marcel grabs a fourth for the league leaders to leave them with an incredible 61 goals from just 19 games in the regular season.

So the results from the final round of the season were

Corinthians 5-1 Rio Claro
Santos 4-2 Sertãozinho
Santo André 1-3 São Paulo
Paulista 3-1 Palmeiras
Oeste 3-1 Rio Branco
Botafogo 2-1 Monte Azul
Mogi Mirim 1-0 Ponte Preta
Mirassol 3-0 Bragantino
Prudente 1-0 São Caetano
Portuguesa 2-3 Ituano

The outcome of it all sees Prudente and São Paulo join runaway leaders Santos and Santo André in the play offs. Current Champions Corinthians are denied the opportunity to defend their crown as they finish a point off the play offs in fifth. At the bottom, Ituano staged their own version of the great escape after spending much of the day in the relegation spot. Paulista, occupying the last spot as the round started hauled themselved out and it was Rio Claro who ended up going down into Série A2.

The play-offs begin this weekend. The games are staged over two legs on a home and away basis. If the ties finish level after the two legs the highest places team go through to the next stage. Basically it means Santos are four 0-0 draws away from the title. The first game sees São Paulo host Santos at the Morumbi on Sunday followed by Prudente against Santo André at the Prudentão. The return games take place the following Sunday.

Of course their is the Campeão do Interior as well, in which the best Non-based São Paulo teams play off for their own bragging rights. In the first leg Oeste will host São Caetano and Botafogo SP will take on Ponte Preta. Both these games take place on Saturday with the return games the Saturday after.

Weekend fixtures

Campeonato Paulista Semi Final 1st Legs

São Paulo x Santos
Prudente x Santo André

Campeão do Interior Semi Final 1st Legs

Oeste x São Caetano
Botafogo SP x Ponte Preta

A round up of those will appear on Monday

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Campeonato Carioca - Taça Rio Week 8

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

The final round of the Taça Rio saw only on thing to be decided. Who would join Botafogo in qualifying from Group B for the semi finals. It was between America who hosted Volta Redonda and Vasco who travelled to Duque de Caxias. América gave themselves a chance after a 2-0 win over Volta Redonda, they had the game wrapped up by half time after Bruno Reis opened the scoring after 27 minutes and Adriano wrapped things up 5 minutes before half time. Depite having Osmar sent off eleven minutes into the second half América hung on to put themselves in the box seat. The pressure was on Vasco, they had to win to get into the finals but they fell behind when Maurinho put Duque de Caxias ahead after 16 minutes. The lead only lasted a minute before Fagner levelled and Elton edged Vasco ahead 6 minutes later. The then game was reduced to 10 aside after Tinoco and Nilton were dismissed 10 minutes from half time after clashing. When Dodô made it 3-1 to Vasco five minutes after the break you'd have thought the game was dead and buried. No one told Duque de Caxias this though, Junior Carioca pulled a goal back three minutes later and Vasco were left stunned 10 minutes later when Marcelo Macedo levelled. Stunned, it left Vasco out of the finals and they needed to find a winner, fortunately they did eight minutes from time when a second from Dodô gave them victory and a semi final against Flamengo.

Despite fielding a weakened side ahead of midweek Libertadores committments Flamengo had too much in the locker for Friburguense. Ronaldo Angelim put Flamengo ahead after 18 minutes and Denis Marques doubled the lead fifteen minutes later. Camacho finished things for Flamengo with a third with a quarter of an hour to go. Botafogo were ensured of top spot in Group B and another weakened side were held to a 2-2 draw by Bangu. Diguinho put Botafogo ahead with only two minutes on the clock but Somalia levelled on the half hour. Alessandro edged Botafogo ahead seven minutes before half time. But Bangu fought hard and were good value for their equaliser which arrived eight minutes from time from Gustavo Correia. Botafogo finished the game with 10 men, Renato Cajá sent off a minute from time.

Madureira gained their second win of the competition after a 2-1 victory at 8 man Olaria. Jonathan Fumaca put Olaria ahead after 33 minutes before Bruno doubled the lead just on the hour. Assumpcao pulled a goal back for Olaria before the red cards started, Caca was the first to go and he was followed by Vinicius and Amarildo. Another game with three red cards saw Americano overcome Resende. Both goals came in the first half, Evandro put Americano ahead after 6 minutes and Renato Xavier doubled the lead twelve minute later. The red cards came as the game went into second half injury time, a scuffle saw Paulo Henrique sent off for Americano and Olaria's Cleber and Tuta also went.

Boavista snapped a three game losing streak to finish the campaign with a victory over Tigres do Brasil. Julio Cesar opened the scoring for Boavista half way through the first half and Tony doubled the lead two minutes before the break. A third from Leo Guerreiro just after half time made the game safe for Boavista before Daniel got a consolation for Tigres half way through the second half. To compound things for Tigres, Cleytinho was sent off ten minutes from time. Fluminense warmed up for the semi finals with a 3-1 win over Macaé. Fist half goals from Alan and Everton put Fluminense two up at the break. A second from Alan with fifteen minutes left sealed the points for Fluminense but Andres Gomes got a consolation for Macaé four minutes from time.

That wraps up the regular season and again it's the Big Four who have qualified for the play offs. The single game semi finals and final both take place at the Maracanã. Dates have yet to be confirmed but keep an eye on our twitter feed for information.

The line up is

Flamengo v Vasco da Gama
Botafogo v Fluminense

Campeonato Paulista A1 - Week 18

Palmeiras 0-0 Oeste
Rio Branco 0-2 Portuguesa
Sertãozinho 3-2 Paulista
Rio Claro 1-1 Santo André
Monte Azul 5-3 Mogi Mirim
São Paulo 5-0 Botafogo SP
Ituano 0-2 Corinthians
São Caetano 1-3 Santos
Bragantino 2-3 Prudente
Ponte Preta 1-3 Mirassol

Palmeiras will miss out on "The Four" after a drab goal less draw with Oeste. The only action of note to report, a Red Card for Oeste's Paulo Miranda two minutes from time. Portuguesa kept themselves in contention for "The Four" after a vital win against Rio Branco, a result which condemned them to Serie A2 next year. Heverton put Portuguesa ahead twenty minutes into the second half and Gustavo Biscayzacú wrapped things up in the last minute. Too little, too late for Sertãozinho who were also relegated despite defeating Paulista. Thiago Silvy put Sertãozinho ahead after four minutes and Leo Miniero doubled the lead in the 35th minute. Fred was then sent off for Sertãozinho five minutes before the break and Baiano immediately took advantage for Paulista, but was then himself send off a minute before the break. Mazola then levelled for Paulista ten minutes into the second half and Sertãozinho were then reduced to nine when João Paulo went twenty minutes from time. The nine men of Sertãozinho then found a winner two minutes from time when Muller found the back of the net.

Santo André have now confirmed themselved in second after a 1-1 draw with Rio Claro. The game got off to an explosive start when each side had a player sent off in the first minute. Genison went for Rio Claro and Richard for Santo André. The remaining ten on each side got on the football and Branquinho put Santo André ahead after 25 minutes. Edu Sales levelled for Rio Claro thirteen minutes from time to edge them close to safety. Monte Azul were also relegated despite victory over Mogi Mirim in an 8 goal thriller. Nando put Mogi Mirim ahead after 14 minutes but Cleber Carioca levelled four minutes later. Borebi then put Mogi Mirim ahead seven minutes into the second half but this time Mogi Mirim fought back to level through Zulu. Cleber Carioca then put Monte Azul back in front and a double from Borebi, completed his hat trick and made it 5 before Nando got his second and a consolation in the last minute. São Paulo bounced back from consecutive defeats to cling onto the last place in "The Four" after brushing aside Botafogo SP. Marolos put São Paulo ahead just before half time and Hernanes doubled the lead 14 minutes into the second half. Rodrigo Souto made the game safe half way through the second half and Júnior Cesar then made it four. A second for Hernanes 8 minutes from time wrapped things up.

Corinthians remain on the edge of "The Four" and will be hoping for a slip up to allow them in to give them a shot a defending their crown. They were 2-0 winners at Ituano but left it late. Jucilei put Corinthians ahead 10 minutes from time and Ronaldo doubled the lead four minutes later. Santos will definitely finish top of the pile after the regular season after a 3-1 win at São Caetano. Marquinhos sent Santos on their way after only two minutes but they were pegged back by Hugo and the teams went in level at the break. Neymar then put Santos back in front half way through the second half and Robinho wrapped things up 11 minutes from time. The only downside for Santos was the sending off for Léo a minute from time. Mirassol edged themselves away from the relegation trap door after a 3-1 win at Ponte Preta. Pablo Escobar put Mirassol ahead after 25 minutes before Ponte Preta levelled two minutes into hte second half through Marcelo Soares. Lins restored the Mirassol lead five minutes later and Diogo Orlando wrapped things up a minute from time and haul Mirassol out of the relegation zone.

The big win of the weekend came from Prudente who put themselves on the edge of "The Four" after a vital victory at Bragantino. They did it the hard way after coming from behind twice in the game. Diego Macedo put Bragantino ahead in the 8th minute but the teams went into the break level after Marcelo Oliveira's equaliser nine minutes before the break. Léo Jamie restored the Bragantino lead three minutes after the break but Tadeu levelled a minute later and then Prudente edged themselves ahead ten minutes from time when Araujo scored. That was the end of it though as both opening goal scorers were dismissed, Macedo went 7 minutes from time and Oliveira went three minutes from time. The result leaves Prudente in third and their destiny in their own hands.

The final round takes place on Wednesday night when all the games will kick off simultaneously. The line up like this;

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

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Copa Libertadores 2nd Phase - Week 7

Group 1

Corinthians 2-1 Cerro Porteño

Corinthians went into pole position in Group 1 after victory over Cerro Porteño. Ronaldo put the Brazilian side ahead 8 minutes before half time and Chicão doubled the lead twenty minuts into the second half. Julio Dos Santos reduced the deficit with 10 minutes to go but Corinthians held on to get into the box seat in the Group to try and ensure qualification for the Round of 16. The defeat all but eliminates Cerro Porteño from the competition.


1. Corinthians 10pts
2. Racing Club 7pts
3. Independiente Medellín 3pts
4. Cerro Porteño 1pt

Group 2

Monterrey 0-0 São Paulo
Once Caldas 1-0 Club Nacional

No goals in Monterrey as São Paulo edged towards qualification from Group 2. It was a result the eliminated the Mexican side from the competition and made it a two horse race for the one guaranteed qualification spot for the Round of 16 after Once Caldas secured a vital 1-0 home win over Club Nacional. One goal settled the game and it came in the 14th minute from a John Valencia free kick. The result also eliminated the Paraguayan side from the competition.


1. Once Caldas 11pts
2. São Paulo 10pts
3. Monterrey 6pts
4. Club Nacional 0pts

Group 3

Juan Aurich 0-2 Estudiantes

The holders went back to the top of the group after a 2-0 win on the artificial pitch of Juan Aurich. The victory ensures a top 2 finish for Estudiantes but does not yet guarantee qualification. Gaston Fernández put Estudiantes ahead seven minutes after the break and Rodrigo Braña doubled the lead in the 68th minutes. Juan Aurich finished the game with 9 men, Jesus Alvarez went four minutes from time and he was followed by Luis Tejada in injury time. The defeat eliminates Juan Aurich from the competition.


1. Estudiantes P5 10pts
2. Alianza Lima P4 9pts
3. Juan Aurich P5 6pts
4. Bolívar 1pt

Group 4

Libertad 1-1 Lanús

Libertad remain top of Group 4, and two points clear of Lanús after letting a lead slip in Asunción. Adalberto Roman put Libertad ahead with only three minutes of the game gone and then Lanús had Santiago Salcedo sent off for a second yellow card four minutes before the break. The 10 men of Lanús rallied and got a point that kept them in the hunt with 7 minutes to go when Maxi Veláquez levelled. It's tight at the top of this group but Universitario can go top if they defeat Blooming next week.


1. Libertad P5 9pts
2. Universitario P4 8pts
3. Lanús P5 7pts
4. Blooming P4 0pts

Group 5

Internacional 2-0 Cerro
Emelec 0-1 Deportivo Quito

Internacional went top of Group 5 after defeating previous leaders Cerro of Uruguay in Poro Alegre. Both goals came in the second half, Walter Ibáñez was unfortunate to put the ball into his own net to give Inter the lead and Alecsandro finished things off 18 minutes from time. Deportivo Quito put themselves into the frame for qualification after a vital away win at follow Ecuadorian side Emelec. Gabriel Achillier was sent off for Emelec with 11 minutes to go and it looked like the game would end up scoreless but Ivan Hurtado converted a penalty deep in injury time to give Deportivo a vital three points and leave Emelec pointless and out of the competition.


1. Internacional 8pts
2. Cerro 7pts +1GD
3. Deportivo Quito 7pts 0GD
4. Emelec 0pts

Group 6

Morelia 1-1 Banfield

Much fancied Morelia now need a minor miracle to make the round of 16 after a last gasp equaliser gave Banfield a point in Mexico. Both teams had been reduced to 10 men before Jared Borgetti put Morelia ahead 12 minutes from time and it looked like that was going to be enough but Maxi Laso grabbed a dramatic equaliser two minutes into injury time to give Banfield a point.


1. Nacional P4 8pts +3GD
2. Banfield P5 8pts +2GD
3. Morelia P5 5pts
4. Deportivo Cuenca P4 3pts

Group 7

Cruzeiro 3-0 Vélez Sársfield

Cruzeiro avenged their opening week defeat at Vélez with a comfortable victory in Belo Horizonte. Thiago Ribiero put last years runners up ahead after 33 minutes. Vélez were then hit with a quick fire double from Kléber at the start of the second half as Cruzeiro went top on goal difference from Vélez. It's now between Cruzeiro and Vélez for the top two spots in the group.


1. Cruzeiro P5 10pts +6GD
2. Vélez Sársfield P5 10pts +1GD
3. Colo Colo P4 4pts
4. Deportivo Italia P4 1pt

Next week.....

Deportivo Italia v Colo Colo
Universitario v Blooming
Deportivo Cuenca v Nacional
Flamengo v Universidad de Chile
Independiente Medellín v Cerro Porteño
Alianza Lima v Bolívar