Thursday, 28 October 2010

Copa Sudamericana Week 12

Quarter Final - 1st Leg

Atlético Mineiro 1-1 Palmeiras
Goiás 2-2 Avaí

All square in Sete Lagoas as a dodgy penalty enabled Atlético-MG to go into the second leg of their tie against Palmeiras all square. After a goal less first half the visitors took the lead ten minutes after the break when a neat 1-2 between Kléber and Tinga saw the former Cruzeiro man beat Renan Ribeiro in the Atlético-MG goal. The home side drew level fifteen minutes from time after a hotly disputed (by the Palmeiras players) penalty. Marcio Araujo was ruled to have bought for Palmeiras player Obina down in the area as a cross came in, the contact looked minimal though. Araujo ended up in the book as did Danilo who was lucky not to talk himself into red. The delay didn't affect Obina as he slotted the ball past Deola in the Palmeiras goal.

At the Sierra Dourada, Goiás and Avaí, two teams in the relegation zone in Série A, met in the other all Brazilian quarter final. The home side grasped the advantage in the tie when Rafael Moura put them ahead with with half an hour on the clock, a lead they took into the break. Avaí grabbed what could be a crucial away goal seven minutes after the break when Davi converted from the penalty spot. Goiás were stunned with twenty minutes to go when they fell behing to a goal from Marcelino put Avaí into the driving seat. Goiás piled on the pressure looking for the equaliser and it finally came four minutes into injury time when Rafael Moura got his second of the game.

The second legs for both of these ties take place in two weeks time, the remaining first leg ties take place next midweek.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Campeonato Paulista A1 2011

The fixtures and format have been released for the 2011 Campeonato Paulista Série A1 and there is a slight change to the format we have witnessed in recent years. Twenty teams will contest the division as usual in a single round robin format and the bottom four teams will be relegated to Série A2 at the end of the season.

The big change comes in the play offs, which have have been extended to eight teams. The first round will be single elimination on a 1 v 8; 2 v 7; 3 v 6; 4 v 5 format. The winners then progress to the semi finals and again that will be a single elimination game. The final as ever will be played over two games to end the season on May 15th.

The four promoted clubs who take their place in the big time next season are Guaratinguetá (who we featured in the national Série B round-up not too long ago), São Bernardo, Noroeste and Linense, the champions of Série A2 this year.

Also the competition will feature the two extra officials situated behind the goal line, as seen in the Champions and Europa League competitions.

The league starts on January 16 and the opening round looked like this as Santos defend the crown they won this year.

Linense x Santos
Mogi Mirim x São Paulo
Corinthians x Portuguesa
Palmeiras x Botafogo SP
Noroeste x Santo André
Guaratinguetá x Bragantino
São Bernardo x Grêmio Prudente
Mirassol x Ponte Preta
Paulista x Ituano
Oeste x São Caetano

For a full list of fixtures click here

Monday, 25 October 2010

Campeonato Brasileiro Série A Week 31

Botafogo 1-0 Vitória
Guarani 0-1 Atlético Goianiense
Corinthians 1-0 Palmeiras
Goiás 1-0 Avaí
Ceará 2-0 São Paulo
Atlético Paranaense 2-2 Fluminense
Santos 2-3 Prudente
Vasco da Gama 1-1 Flamengo
Cruzeiro 3-4 Atlético Mineiro
Grêmio 2-2 Internacional

Botafogo finally snapped their eight game drawing streak as they finally won a game. Vitória were their victims at the Engenhão as they keep in the hunt for a Libertadores spot. One goal separated the sides and that came a minutes before half time from Marcelo Cordeiro. The result dropped Vitória into the relegation zone. Atlético-GO were one of the teams to climb out of that relegation zone as they made it back to back away wins and three on the spin at Guarani. Again it was a single goal that separated the teams and that came on the hour from Marcão. Guarani finished with ten me after Baiano was sent off thirteen minutes from time. Corinthians are right back in the title race after victory in the Derby Paulista against Palmeiras at the Pacaembu. It's a first win in eight games for Corinthians and it came courtesy of a single goal from Bruno César halfway through the first half.

Avaí are in deep relegation trouble now as they made it six without a win as they went down to fellow strugglers Goiás. Again a single goal separated the sides and that came three minutes before the break from Bernardo. Avaí finished with ten men when Bruno Silva was sent off in injury time at the end of the second half. Ceará took a huge step to safety and survival in Série A with a crucial win over São Paulo. The win for Ceará snapped São Paulo's three game winning streak and they took the lead through Magno Alves after 20 minutes. Diego Sacoman doubled the lead ten minutes before the break to leave Ceará unbeaten in six. Despite going five games without a win Fluminense are back on top of the table after a late Dario Conca penalty gave them a point at Atlético-PR. Paulo Baier put Atlético-PR ahead on the hour but Marquinho levelled nine minutes later. When Wagner Diniz put Atlético-PR ahead for the second time it seemed the Tricolor were doomed until Conca's coolly converted from the spot with two minutes left.

Santos slumped to a disappointing defeat at home to Prudente after a stunning comeback from the visitors. It was all going well for Santos after on-loan Keirrison and Durval gave them a 2-0 half time lead. Prudente got back in the game a minute after the break through Wesley and Gilmar levelled from the spot eight minutes later. A second from Wesley on the hour stunned the Vila Belmiro to put Prudente ahead but the visitors clung on depite having Leonardo and Flávio Boaventura sent off. At the Engenhão it finished all square in the Clássico dos Milhões between Vasco and Flamengo. The home side took the lead through Cesinha after 26 minutes but they were reduced to ten men nineteen minutes after the break when Dedé was dismissed. Flamengo though, took their unbeaten run to six when Renato Abreu levelled ten minutes from time. In another derby taking place at the weekend it finished all square in the Gre-Nal at the Olímpico Monumental. André Lima put Grêmio ahead nine minutes before the break but Inter levelled twenty minutes into the second half when Alecsandro levelled from the spot after Fabio Rochemback had handled a goal bound shot on the line, a red card also followed for the veteran. The ten men went ahead again through Fábio Santos twenty minutes from time but Inter salvaged a point seven minutes from time when Andre D'Alessandro struck.

Cruzeiro were knocked off the top of the table as they fell to a second loss in succession in a classic Belo Horizonte derby at the Mineirão. Atlético-MG have not had the best of seasons so far, struggling at the bottom of the table but they ripped the form book apart in the opening half an hour as a hat-trick from former Flamengo and Palmeiras striker Obina gave them a shock lead. Cruzeiro pulled a goal back a nine minutes before the break through Gilberto but still had a mountain to climb to get anything out of the game. That mountain got a lot higher with 66 minutes on the clock when Réver restored the three goal advantage for Atlético-MG. Two goals in the space of two minutes from Thiago Ribeiro gave Cruzeiro 12 minutes to try and salvage a draw but Atlético-MG held on to haul themselves out of the relegation zone.

Week 32 takes place with games on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday ahead of the final midweek round of games. They line up like this

Flamengo x Corinthians
São Paulo x Atlético Paranaense
Fluminense x Grêmio
Atlético Goianiense x Ceará
Internacional x Santos
Vitória x Vasco da Gama
Palmeiras x Goiás
Prudente x Cruzeiro
Atlético Mineiro x Botafogo
Avaí x Guarani

Friday, 22 October 2010

Copa Sudamericana Week 11

Round of 16 - Second Leg

Independiente 4-2 Defensor Sporting
3-3 on points, Independiente advances on goal difference
San José 2-0 Newell's Old Boys
3-3 on points, Newell's Old Boys advances on goal difference
LDU Quito 6-1 Unión San Felipe
3-3 on points, LDU Quito advances on goal difference
Peñarol 3-2 Goiás
3-3 on points, Goiás advances on away goals
Santa Fe 1-0 Atlético Mineiro
3-3 on points, Atlético Mineiro advances on goal difference
Avaí 3-1 Emelec
3-3 on points, Avaí advances on goal difference
Palmeiras 3-1 Universitario
Palmeiras advances 6-0 on points

Despite taking a lead back over the River Plate and taking a 12th minute lead on the night courtesy of Rodrigo Mora, Defensor Sporting of Uruguay were knocked out of the competition by an Independiente side still struggling in the Argentinian league. By half time Independiente were 3-1 up on the night thanks to Nestor Silvera, Hernan Fredes and Nicolas Carbera. When Diego Rodríguez pulled a goal back for Defensor three minutes after the break they were in the box seat but when Nicolas Martínez struck fifteen minutes from time there was no road back for the Uruguayans. San José got some pride back after their thumping in Rosario a couple of weeks ago to Newell's Old Boys. The Argentinians sent an under strength side to Bolivia but they were good enough. Luis Mendez put San José ahead with twenty minutes on the clock and Aquilano Villalba doubled their lead nine minutes from time.The holders, LDU Quito are into the last 8 after overcoming their their defeat last week in Chile against Unión San Felipe. LDU were back level in the tie inside 24 minutes, Gonzalo Chila put LDU ahead and then Hernan Barcos converted from the penalty spot. But Unión San Felipe wouldn't lie down and went back ahead in the tie seven minutes before the break when Angel Vildozo halved the deficit on the night. But the holders are made of stern stuff and Jorge Guagua put LDU ahead in the tie six minutes into the second half and Carlos Luna made it four on the night eight minutes later. Juan Salgueiro made the tie safe on 66 minutes and a second for Barcos seven minutes later wrapped things up.

Ten man Goiás scraped into the last eight despite defeat in Montevideo to Peñarol. Rafael Moura put the struggling Brazilian side ahead on the night on seventeen minutes but goals from Matias Corujo and Marcelo Sosa sent Peñarol into the break ahead. Eleven minutes after the break Éverton Santos was sent off but thirteen minutes from time Carlos Alberto levelled for Goiás on the night. There was a frantic last six minutes after Alejandro Martinuccio put Peñarol back ahead again on the night but there were unable to find another goal to win the tie. Another struggling Brazilian side, Atlético Mineiro made it into the last eight despite defeat to Sante Fe in Colombia. Their 2-0 victory last week was a sufficient barrier despite Felipe Noguera scoring the only goal of the night on the hour. The last Bolivian side in the competition. Yet another struggling Brazilian side, Avaí made it into the last eight after a 3-1 victory over Emelec saw them advance. Leading 2-1 from the first leg Emelec made the perfect start in Florianópolis when Joao Rojas put them ahead two minutes into the game and a two goal cushion in the tie. They held that lead until half time but Avaí levelled on the night when Roberto scored two minutes after the break. Four minutes after that and the tie was level when Eltinho put Avaí ahead on the night and two minutes later they were ahead when Emerson made it three goals in just six minutes. There was no way back for the fancies Ecuadorians. Universitario of Bolivia had their interest in the competition ended after defeat to Palmeiras. With a goal lead from the first leg, Kléber put Palmeiras ahead on the night with just 12 minutes on the clock and they were out of the tie when Luan added a second fifteen minutes later. Universitario pulled a goal back from Damian Cirillo after 64 minutes but Danilo put the tie to bed with a third for the Big Green seven minutes later and end Bolivian interest in the competition.

The last eight line up like this and we will be guaranteed a team from Brazil in the final of the competition as they will be forced to face each other in the semi-final due to the competition rules. The two legs are scheduled to take place sometime over the next three midweeks.

Newell's Old Boys v LDU Quito
Independiente v Deportes Tolima
Avaí v Goiás
Palmeiras v Atlético Mineiro

Monday, 18 October 2010

Campeonato Brasileiro Série A Week 30

Flamengo 3-0 Internacional
Atlético Paranaense 2-1 Goiás
Guarani 0-0 Corinthians
Atlético Mineiro 2-0 Avaí
Grêmio 2-1 Cruzeiro
Atlético Goianiense 2-0 Vasco da Gama
Vitória 2-0 Prudente
São Paulo 4-3 Santos
Palmeiras 1-1 Ceará
Fluminense 0-0 Botafogo

Flamengo pulled away from the relegation zone after a comfortable victory over Internacional at the Engenhão. Deivid set Fla on their way with fourteen minutes on the clock and Ranato Abreu made it two seven minutes before the break. A second from Deivid two minutes after the break wrapped things up for the Champions. Atlético-PR remain in the hunt for a Libertadores spot after their victory over Goiás at the Arena de Baixada. A goal from Branquinho with just three minutes on the clock put Atlético-PR ahead and they doubled the lead half way through the second half courtesy of Paraguayan Ivan Gonzalez. Rafael Moura halved the deficit for Goiás withy seven minutes left but the home side hung on to collect the points. Corinthians made it seven without a win as they were held at Guarani, a result that in the long run is damaging to their title hopes.

Atlético-MG`s fight against the drop continued as they dropped Avaí into the relegation zone for the first time this season after victory at the Mineirão. Rafael Cruz put Atlético-MG ahead seven minutes into the second half and Neto Berola made the game safe fifteen minutes later. Avaí are now below Atlético-MG in the table and seem doomed the for they are in. Leaders Cruzeiro suffered defeat at Grêmio as they home side made it eight unbeaten. Grêmio did it the hard way after falling behind to a Walter Montillo goal after 28 minutes but Júnior Viçosa levelled matters on the stroke of half time. The winner came from the penalty spot fifteen minutes from time courtesy of the league`s leading scorer Jonas, who made it twenty for the season. Atlético-GO continued their relegation fight with victory of Vasco da Gama. The visitors has Carlinhos sent off just after the hour and they fell behind with ten minutes left when Anailson scored. Atlético-GO wrapped things up three minutes from time when Marcio converted from the penalty spot. Vitória did their survivial chances no harm at all as they snapped a five game losing run to defeat Prudente. Julian Viáfara put Vitória ahead from the penalty spot five minutes before the break and José Junior wrapped things up twenty minutes from time. The defeat leaves Prudente 10 points away from safety with only 8 games left.

In the San-São at the Morumbi the crowd was treated to a seven goal thriller as São Paulo snatched victory in dramatic fashion. Alan Patrick had put Santos ahead with four minutes on the clock but by the twenty minute mark they were 3-1 down. A brace from Dagoberto put São Paulo ahead and an own goal from Pará made it three. Zé Eduardo immediately reduced the deficit to for Santos and when São Paulo had Richarlyson sent off 12 minutes after the break it was game on. With twenty minutes to go it was all square when Neymar converted from the spot but two minutes in the injury time Jean snatched all three points for São Paulo. After the trip to Bolivia in midweek, Palmeiras were held to a 1-1 draw by Ceará. Marcos Assunção put Palmeiras ahead just before half time but a penalty from Geraldo seven minutes from time gave Ceará a point. And finally in the Clássico 'Vovô' at the Enganhão it finished scoreless between Botafogo and Fluminense. The Tricolor missed out on the chance to close in on Cruzeiro at the top of the table whilst it`s now an amazing eight draws on the spin for Botafogo.

No midweek games in the league but four teams are in action in the Copa Sudamericana. Week 31 takes places next weekend and it`s a weekend of derbies with the Clássico dos Milhões, the Gre-Nal and The Derby Paulista

Botafogo x Vitória
Guarani x Atlético Goianiense
Corinthians x Palmeiras
Goiás x Avaí
Ceará x São Paulo
Atlético Paranaense x Fluminense
Santos x Prudente
Vasco da Gama x Flamengo
Cruzeiro x Atlético Mineiro
Grêmio x Internacional

Friday, 15 October 2010

Copa Sudamericana Week 10

Round of 16 - First Leg

Unión San Felipe 4-2 LDU Quito
Goiás 1-0 Peñarol
Atlético Mineiro 2-0 Santa Fe
Emelec 2-1 Avaí
Universitario 0-1 Palmeiras

The holder LDU Quito crashed to a 4-2 defeat in their opening game of the campaign against Unión San Felipe of Chile. The goals in the space of three first half minutes from David Di Stefano and Angel Vildozo put the Chileans in charge but Hernan Barcos pulled a goal back from the spot. When Carlos Luna levelled on the hour for LDU you thought it was business as usual but a second for Vildozo restored the lead and Juan Tolza grabbed a fourth four minutes from time. Goiás put their miserable league form behin them to record victory over Peñarol of Uuruguay. Rafael Moura with the only goal of the game 23 minutes into the first half.Atlético Mineiro are another team struggling in Brazil and they were another team tp put poor league form behind them as they recorded a 2-0 win over Santa Fe of Colombia. Obina was the Atlético-MG hero with a goal in each half.

Avaí came away from Emelec with a creditable 2-1 defeat, a result that gives them hope for the second leg. An own goal from Eltinho put Emelec into the lead after 64 minutes but Marcelinho levelled six minues later. Emelec them has Pedro Quiñónez sent off with six minutes to go and it was the ten men who snatched victory two minutes into injury time whe Joao Rojas struck. In Bolivia, Universitario`s success of the last round didn`t go unnoticed by Palmeiras who fielded a strong side in their 1-0 victory. Marcos Assunção with the onle goal of the game after 26 minutes. All remaining second leg ties take place week.

Round of 16 - Second Leg

Deportes Tolima 3-0 Banfield
3-3 on points, Deportes Tolima advances on goal difference

Huge shock in Colombia as Deportes Tolima dumped much fancied Banfield out of the competition and overcoming a two goal deficit in the process. Tolima made the perfect start when Wilder Medina put them ahead on the night and Christian Marrugo levelled the tie on aggregate four minutes before the break the belief was there. It took a bit of a knock back when Yair Arrechea was sent off on the hour but then ten men went ahead in the tie sixteen minutes from time when Rodrigo Marangoni scored. Banfield only needed to score to win on away goals but had Victor López sent off in injury time as the frustration grew.

Campeonato Brasileiro Série A Catch Up

Santos 1-0 Internacional
Vasco da Gama 2-0 Corinthians

The two catch up games in the Brasileiro took place this week, the first game was held over after Inter qualified for the Libertadores final went the way of the home side at the Vila Belmiro. One goal from the prodigy that is Neymar was enough to see Santos home and up into fourth in the table after their third straight win. With Santos and Internacional both already in the Libertadores next year, the last qualification spot could go a low as sixth and Botafogo currently fill that spot.

Corinthians title hope are coming apart at the seams after their third consecutive defeat left them five points adrift in the third. Vasco da Gama were the winners this time and they had the game wrapped up within the first twenty minutes at the São Januário. Zé Roberto put Vasco ahead with just nine minutes on the clock and on-loan striker Éder Luíis wrapped things up with just twenty minutes on the clock. Corinthians have now gone 6 games without a win and they must turn things round quickly if they are to claim the title in their centenary year.

Round 30 takes place this weekend and they line up like this

Flamengo x Internacional
Atlético Paranaense x Goiás
Guarani x Corinthians
Atlético Mineiro x Avaí
Grêmio x Cruzeiro
Atlético Goianiense x Vasco da Gama
Vitória x Prudente
São Paulo x Santos
Palmeiras x Ceará
Fluminense x Botafogo

Monday, 11 October 2010

Campeonato Brasileiro Série A Week 29

Santos 2-0 Atlético Paranaense
Vasco da Gama 3-3 Grêmio
Prudente 2-3 São Paulo
Corinthians 3-4 Atlético Goianiense
Botafogo 0-0 Palmeiras
Cruzeiro 1-0 Fluminense
Goiás 1-0 Vitória
Avaí 2-2 Flamengo
Internacional 1-0 Atlético Mineiro
Ceará 2-0 Guarani

Santos made it back to back wins as they leapfrogged over Atlético-PR in the table, ending the visitors seven game unbeaten run. Two goals within two second half minutes was enough ti give Santos the win, Maranhão put the home side ahead with 63 minutes on the clock and Eduardo got the second to wrap up the win. Vasco da Gama are now unbeaten in four, but threw away all three points in a thrilling draw with Grêmio at the São Januário. On-loan striker Éder Luís put Vasco ahead with fifteen minutes on the clock but the Série A leading goalscorer Jonas levelled for Grêmio four minutes before the break. The home side went into half time ahead though, Cesinha scoring right on the break and when Felipe Bastos made it three half way through the second half it seemed Vasco were heading for victory. The old Grêmio of earlier in the season would have folded, but they fought back. A 19th of the season for Jonas halved the deficit and two minutes from time Gabriel earned Grêmio a point. Prudente are fast running out of games in their fight to beat the drop and defeat at home to São Paulo won't help matters. Ricardo Oliveira put São Paulo ahead with seven minutes on the clock but Wesley levelled for the home side just after the half hour. It was level for only a minute before a second for Oliveira restored the lead and he then completed his hat-trick just short of the hour to make it three. Prudente did pull a goal back courtesy of a second from Wesley in injury time but it turned out to be mere consolation.

No goals at the Engenhão as Botafogo made it a seven draws on the spin against Palmeiras. In the corresponding fixture last season the Alvinegro had cost the Big Green a Libertadores spot but saved themselves from possible relegation. El Loco Abreu missed an 8th minute penalty as Botafogo missed a bucket load of chances win. The dismissal of Palmeiras striker Kléber in injury time had little time to impact on the game. The biggest game of the weekend was at the Parque do Sabiá where Cruzeiro took over at the summit of the table after a 1-0 victory over previous leaders Fluminense. The Tricolor lost Deco to injury in the first half but they were already trailing to Wellington Paulista's 14th minutes strike before the former Chelsea player left the action. It would be a brave man now to bet against the title going to Belo Horizonte. Vitória dropped to the edge of the relegation zone after their fifth straight defeat, away at struggling Goiás. One goal was enough to separate the sides and that came 12 minutes from time from Bernardo. Victory leaves Goiás alive in the battle to beat the drop, the relegation battle could turn out to be more entertaining than the race for the title.

Avaí and Flamengo are two teams also in the midst of the relegation fight and it's the current champions who will be kicking themselves after throwing a two goal lead away in Florianópolis. Val Baiano made it consecutive games on the score sheet after his double strike had Flamengo two up inside the opening 17 minutes. Emerson pulled a goal back for Avaí eight minutes after the break and four minutes later Flamengo were reduced to ten men when Leo Moura was sent off. Two minutes later and the Avaí comeback was complete when Roberto's 7th of the season levelled. The game finished on a sour note as Avaí's Rudnei and David of Flamengo were sent off after clashing in injury time. Inconsistent Internacional kept up their recent win loss win record as they scraped past Atlético-MG at the Beira-Rio. One goal was enough to give the Libertadores champions victory and it came courtesy of Alecsandro a minute after the break. Inter though finished with 10 men, the goalscorer seeing red half way through the second half. Ceará's 2-0 victory over Guarani could be the one that could just about guarantee they will get a second season in the top flight. Two first half goals from Bernardo after fifteen minutes and Boiadeiro a minute before the break were enough to give Ceará all three points and see their unbeaten run extend to four games. Guarani now haven't won in four and could well be in the relegation mix come December.

Atlético-GO completed a remarkable league double over Corinthians after holding off a late charge to record victory at the Pacaembu. It looked like business as usual when Leandro Castan put Corinthians ahead with three minutes on the clock but what happened in the next hour stunned the home fans. Juninho levelled for Atlético-GO with 18 minutes gone and when Gilson put them ahead 7 minutes before the break you wondered what was going on. It got even better for Atlético-GO when Marcão made it three before the break and when Leandro Castan was sent off 12 minutes into the second half that seemed to be the game. The fork was out when a second for Marcão made it 4-1 twenty minutes into the second half but Corinthians rallied, William Morais reduced the deficit with twenty to go and Atlético-GO had a nervous last five minutes when Thiago Heleno reduced the gap to one but they held out to record a vital victory. The defeat was too much for Corinthians coach Adilson Batista who quit his post after the final whistle

Midweek sees the two outstanding games that were postponed from earlier in the season taking place. Internacional travel to the Vila Belmiro to take on Santos and Corinthians go to the São Januário to take on Vasco da Gama, desperate for a win to get their title challenge back on track.

Next weekend is Round 30 as we start the title and relegation run in and they line up like this. The San-São and Clássico 'Vovô' take place in this round but there are some crucial games at the wrong end of the table

Flamengo x Internacional
Atlético Paranaense x Goiás
Guarani x Corinthians
Atlético Mineiro x Avaí
Grêmio x Cruzeiro
Atlético Goianiense x Vasco da Gama
Vitória x Prudente
São Paulo x Santos
Palmeiras x Ceará
Fluminense x Botafogo

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Copa Sudamericana Week 9

Round of 16 - First Leg

Defensor Sporting 1-0 Independiente
Banfield 2-0 Deportes Tolima
Newell's Old Boys 6-0 San José

First of all, an apology. We've been caught a little short by these games as we were expecting all eight ties to take place this week but it seems there has been a little moving around. Anyway, onto business and three first leg ties have taken place so far in the Round of 16 and Defensor Sporting of Uruguay will take a single goal lead back across the River Plate when they got the better of Independiente in their first game. ONe goal seperated the sides and it came courtesy of an own goal from Leandro Gracián twenty minutes into the second half.

Banfield will take a two goal lead back to Colombia after defeating Deportes Tolima. Victor López sent Banfield on their way with 14 minutes on the clock and Emilio Zelaya doubled the lead eleven minutes later. Newell's Old Boys put a foot into the last 8 after crushing San José of Bolivia in Rosario. Rolando Schiavi put Newell's ahead with just six minutes on the clock and Mauro Fórmica doubled the lead twenty minutes later. The game was over as a contest when a second from Schiavi ten minutes from time made it three. Marcelo Estigarribia made it four on the hour and Newell's had to wait only a minute for the fifth courtesy of Fórmica's second. Just as it couldn't get worse for San José, it did in injury time when Daniel Salvatierra made it six.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Campeonato Brasileiro Série A Week 28

Fluminense 0-3 Santos
Guarani 1-1 Botafogo
Grêmio 4-0 Prudente
São Paulo 2-0 Vitória
Atlético Mineiro 2-1 Corinthians
Ceará 1-0 Internacional
Atlético Paranaense 0-0 Vasco da Gama
Palmeiras 4-1 Avaí
Flamengo 2-0 Atlético Goianiense
Goiás 0-1 Cruzeiro

Fluminense fell at to a surpising home defeat to Santos at the Engenhão but still retain top spot but they are on a definite wobble. Zé Eduardo was the hero for Santos as his second half hat-trick gave them all three points and a first win in three. The new draw specialists Botafogo made it six in a row as they came from behind to claim a point a Guarani. Barboza put Guarani ahead with 26 minutes on the clock but Uruguayan talisman Sebastian Abreu levelled matters just before half time. Grêmio made it four wins in a row as they brushed aside a Prudente that is destined for Série B. André Lima put Grêmio ahead with less than sixty seconds on the clock and a fifteenth of the season for the leagues leading scorer Jonas doubled the lead. A second from Jonas made it three just after the half hour and he made it seventeen for the season, converting from the spot dour minutes from time.

São Paulo got their first win in four when they overcame Vitória at the Morumbi. Dagoberto put São Paulo ahead with seventeen minutes on the clock and Fernandinho doubled the lead on the half hour. Vitória finished with ten men after Uelliton was sent off nine minutes before the break. Corinthians failed to take advantage of Fluminense's slip up as they threw away the lead to crash to defeat to Atlético-MG. Paulinho put Corinthians ahead just before the break but Werley levelled matters on the hour. Atlético-MG then had Fernandinho sent off with 19 minutes to go but the ten men won it when Zé Luís struck 12 minutes from time. Internacional's inconsistency continued when they fell to defeat at Ceará. Only one goal separated the teams and it came five minutes after half time from Heleno. Atlético-PR were another team not to take advantage of slips ups around them as they were held to a goalless draw at home by Vasco da Gama.

Palmeiras picked up their biggest win of the season as they thumped an Avaí team that is slowly slipping towards the relegation zone. Jorge Valvida put the Big Green ahead with 11 minutes on the clock but Roberto levelled for Avaí ten minutes before the break. A second for Valvida restored the Palmeiras lead and Kléber made it three from the spot after Avaí had Zé Carlos sent off. Gabriel Silva wrapped things up for Palmeiras twenty minutes from time. Flamengo edged away from the relegation zone as they picked up a valuable win against Atlético-GO. They left it late though, Val Baiano's first goal for Fla put them ahead 15 minutes from time and Diego Mauricio guaranteed the points with the second four minutes from time. The one team to take advantage of the silly results this season were Cruzeiro, whose 1-0 win at Goiás saw them move into second place in the table. One goal was enough for the Belo Horizonte club and it came courtesy of an own goal from former Cruzeiro player Jonilson eleven minutes after the break.

So with ten games to go they line up like this for Week 29 with the top two in the table clashing at the Mineirão.

Santos x Atlético Paranaense
Vasco da Gama x Grêmio
Prudente x São Paulo
Corinthians x Atlético Goianiense
Botafogo x Palmeiras
Cruzeiro x Fluminense
Goiás x Vitória
Avaí x Flamengo
Internacional x Atlético Mineiro
Ceará x Guarani

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Estudiantes assert their authority

Estudiantes 2-0 Gimnasia La Plata
Quilmes 0-1 Arsenal
Newell's Old Boys 2-0 Velez Sarsfield
All Boys 3-3 Tigre
Godoy Cruz 4-1 Independiente
Gimnasia La Plata 2-4 Argentinos Juniors
Racing Club 3-0 Huracán
Olimpo 2-3 Colón
San Lorenzo 0-1 Estudiantes
Boca Juniors 1-2 Lanús
Banfield 2-2 River Plate

Two games this week for the top and bottom sides as Estudiantes took on Gimnasia in a game held over from round four when the former were involved in the Recopa Sudamericana. A win here and in their round nine clash with San Lorenzo sends them top and by a relatively massive five points as we approach half way in this Apertura season. Defeat to their neighbours was followed by a home loss to Argentinos for Gimnasia and they prop the rest up. In that round four clash, Estudiantes were ahead ten minutes from time when a chipped ball forward found Federico Fernandez's head - it was all too easy. Juan Veron won a penalty on the stroke of half-time and picked himself up to take it. He doesn't miss from there. They only needed the one goal to beat San Lorenzo, Gaston Fernandez this time bringing the ball down in the box and in a world of space, taking it round the keeper and tapping in. After the midweek defeat, Gimnasia went ahead against the champions through Jorge Córdoba who scuffed his shot at the near post but it crept in. The defensive frailties reared their heads immediately afterwards though, the defence totally failing to react to a hopeful ball in and Gonzalo Vargas nicked in to equalise. Seven minutes later, the rearguard was AWOL again as Juan Mercier put Argentinos ahead and it was three on the half hour as Emilio Hernandez spotted the keeper out of position at a 40-yard free-kick and found the top corner with a stunning strike. Cordóba got his and his side's second, latching onto a great through ball and finishing neatly across the keeper, but the final word went to the champions, Franco Niell sliding a fourth in. Gimnasia are awful.

Vélez drop to second after losing to Newell's who move within a point. The goals came three minutes before and three after half-time. Mauricio Sperdutti got the first, sliding a finish across the face of goal, Rolando Schiavi with the second from the penalty spot. Arsenal are back up to third with a win over lowly Quilmes, Pablo Aguilar with a late winner, headed in from a corner. Godoy Cruz are doing nicely, up to fifth after inflicting yet more misery on Independiente. They had to come from behind though, Nestor Silvera heading in from a pinpoint cross. It couldn't and didn't last. Jairo Castillo was played in, spun on a dime and finished at the near post in the twentieth minute and by half time it was three. Rodrigo Salinas volleyed the second and Carlos Sanchéz ran strongly up the middle before finishing from 20 yards with a low drive. A minute after half time, Jorge Curbelo headed in from a corner for 4-1 and, as if Independiente's day couldn't get any worse, Leonel Galeano got himself sent off late on.

Tigre were ahead three time and pegged back three times away to All Boys. Esteban Gonzalez headed in the opener from a free-kick in the 23rd minute, but Sebastian Grazzini levelled ten minutes later, taking advantage as the keeper went walkabout. Gonzalez restored the lead on the hour, turning the ball in at the back post after the initial shot hit the post, but just six minutes had gone by when Grazzini equalised again, his 18-yard shot deflected on it's way to goal. A strong run from Denis Stracqualursi finished with him poking it over the advancing keeper for 3-2, but it was all square once and for all six minutes later, and six minutes from time, Mauro Matos getting highest to head in a cross. Racing saw off Huracán easily enough, Gabriel Hauche giving them an early lead with a close range shot the keeper should have done better with. Jose Fernandez headed in for 2-0 midway through the first half and Giovanni Moreno wrapped it up late on with a well worked third. Olimpo were beaten again, but at least put up something of a fight. Shame it took until Colón were three up for that to happen. Federico Higuain got two, the first a lovely chipped finish from the edge of the box, his second - Colón's third - poached as the Olimpo spilled a free-kick at his feet. The second was also a poached effort, Ivano Moreno following in a saved penalty. Juan Tejera headed one back on the hour and Diego Galvan cracked a second in, beating the keeper at the near post, in the first minute of stoppage time, but Colón closed it out.

River Plate drew and Boca should have done too, but blew it against Lanús. Sebastian Blanco had Lanús ahead in the eighth minute with a piledriver from an angle, but Juan Insaurralde levelled it from close range as Lanús failed to deal with a corner and 1-1 it looked like remaining, until deep into stoppage time when Clemente Rodriguez gave away a penalty, was sent off and Agustin Pelleteri converted from 12 yards. Adalberto Roman rescued a point for River as they came from behind twice to draw with Banfield. Ruben Ramirez had Banfield ahead in the fifth minute, some shocking defending allowing him in to nod it home from five yards. Juan Carizzo kept River in it with a superb penalty save on the half hour, but Ariel Ortega doesn't miss many spot kicks and he had River level on the hour. Banfield were back ahead five minutes later, Victor Lopez headed in from a corner to restore the lead. River poured forward seeking an equaliser and got it four minutes from time, Roman rising highest to head in a deep cross, the point helping them out of the bottom three on the Promedio table.

Next week, Estudiantes should extend their winning run at home to Olimpo and Newell's ought to beat Quilmes. Arsenal and Vélez both have tough games, at home to Banfield and Colón respectively. River take on bottom placed Gimnasia while Boca are away to Tigre.

Estudiantes v Olimpo
Arsenal v Banfield
Huracán v All Boys
Lanús v San Lorenzo
Argentinos Juniors v Godoy Cruz
Newell's Old Boys v Quilmes
Independiente v Racing Club
Vélez Sarsfield v Colón
Tigre v Boca Juniors
River Plate v Gimnasia La Plata

Monday, 4 October 2010

Campeonato Brasileiro Série A Week 27

Vasco da Gama 3-2 Goiás
Corinthians 2-2 Ceará
Santos 1-1 Palmeiras
Prudente 1-1 Fluminense
Vitória 0-3 Grêmio
Botafogo 1-1 Flamengo
Cruzeiro 0-0 Atlético Paranaense
Internacional 3-0 Guarani
Atlético Goianiense 2-3 Atlético Mineiro
Avaí 0-0 São Paulo

Vasco made it back to back wins as they left Goiás deep in the relegation zone after victory at the São Januário. Vasco made hard work of it though after twice falling behing, Felipe put Goiás ahead with ten minutes on the clock but Éder Luís levelled after 26 minutes but Jones put Goiás into a half time lead eleven minutes before the break. Max levelled things just after the hour for Vasco and they won it thank to Zé Roberto's goal eight minutes from time. Corinthians failed to make any inroad in the title race but ended up being thankful for a point after being held at home by Ceará. The visitors took the lead through Marcelo Nicácio after 17 minutes and when Magnos Alves made it two twenty minutes into the second half. The Corinthians fighback was begun by Paulinho twenty minutes from time and Matias Defederico levelled matters seven minutes from time. Santos continue to splutter along after they came from behing to claim a point against Palmeiras. Kléber put the Big Green into the lead with twenty minutes on the clock but Alan Patrick levelled seven minutes after the break.

Fluminense were unable to take of Corinthians' difficulties as they were held by cellar dwellers Prudente. Rodriguinho put the leaders ahead after 33 minutes but Fluminense were pegged back with 19 minutes left when Willian José levelled for Prudente to give then a valuable point in their fight against the drop. Grêmio's fantastic away form continued as they picked up their fourth away win of the season at Vitória. Maylson put Grêmio ahead with twenty minutes on the clock but they had to wait until Diego added a second in injury time to make the game safe and Edílson added a third a minute later. Honours even in the big Rio derby as it finished 1-1 on the night and 10-10 on the pitch between Botafogo and Flamengo at the Engenhão. Lúcio Flávio put Botafogo ahead nine minutes before the break but they had Alessandro sent off sixteen minutes from time. Two minutes later Flamengo were level through Leo Moura but then two minutes later Flamengo had Renato Abreu sent off as Botafogo made it 5 draws in a row. The other big game of the weekend finished goalless at the Mineirão as there was stalemate between Cruzeiro and Atlético-PR.

Internacional continues their recent win loss win sequence as they comfortably disposed of Guarani. Daniel Henrique put Inter ahead six minutes after the break and Gladyson doubled the lead 11 minutes later. Giuliano made it three ten minutes from time and Guarani finished with ten men after Mário Lúcio was sent off in injury time. The big relegation battle went the way of the visitors as Atlético-MG overcame Atlético-GO to pick up their first win in five. Robston put Atlético-GO ahead with five minutes gone but Diego Souza levelled nine minutes later. Juninho put Atlético-GO back ahead six minutes before the break but when Réver levelled for Atlético-MG fifteen minutes from time it looked like honours would be even. But Ricardo Bueno grabbed a dramatic win for Atlético-MG when he struck deep in injury time to give the Belo Horizonte club hope of escaping the drop. Finally no goals in Florianópolis as honours finished even between Avaí and São Paulo. The visitors settling for a point after the dismissal of Richarlyson seven minutes before the break.

Week 28 is another midweek round and and they line up like this.

Fluminense x Santos
Guarani x Botafogo
Grêmio x Prudente
São Paulo x Vitória
Atlético Mineiro x Corinthians
Ceará x Internacional
Atlético Paranaense x Vasco da Gama
Palmeiras x Avaí
Flamengo x Atlético Goianiense
Goiás x Cruzeiro

Friday, 1 October 2010

Campeonato Brasileiro Série A Week 26

Vasco da Gama 3-1 Santos
Goiás 1-1 Flamengo
Palmeiras 2-0 Internacional
Prudente 4-2 Guarani
Cruzeiro 3-0 Atlético Goianiense
Atlético Paranaense 1-0 Vitória
Fluminense 1-0 Avaí
Corinthians 1-1 Botafogo
Grêmio 4-2 São Paulo
Ceará 0-0 Atlético Mineiro

Vasco picked up their first win in eight after overcoming Santos 3-1 at the São Januário. Fágner put Vasco ahead on the half hour and Felipe doubled the lead seven minutes later. Danilo halved the Santos deficit ten minutes after the break and they had their hopes raised further when Jumar was sent off with fourteen minutes to go. Éder Luís made the game safe for Vasco five minutes into injury time. Flamengo rescued what could be a crucial point in the long run after a late show at Goiás. An own goal from Jean put Goiás ahead a minute after the break but the home side had Rafael Moura sent off on the hour. It looked like Goiás were going to claim a crucial win of their own but Deivid's equaliser in the last minute ensured a point each. Palmeiras haven't won many this season but they were good value for their 2-0 victory over Internacional. A goal in each half from Marcos Assunção was enough to give the Big Green all three points and a ninth win of the season.

Prudente picked up their first win in 11 games after overcoming the frustrating Guarani at the Prudentão. Willian José set Prudente on the way from the spot after 22 minutes and Wesley doubled the lead five minutes before the break. A second from Wesley on the hour made it three and when Wanderley made it four with 15 minutes left the Prudente fans were rubbing their eyes in disbelief. The wheels almost came off as two in two minutes from Paulo Roberto and Reinaldo set the alarm bells ringing but Prudente held on to win but they remain bottom. Cruzeiro bounced back from defeat in their last game to keep the title race a three horse affair after comfortably defeating Atlético-GO. Cláudio Caçapa put Cruzeiro ahead on the half hour and Argentinian Walter Montillo doubled the lead a minute before the break. Atlético-GO had Daniel Marques sent off twenty minutes from time and Wallyson got the third with two minutes left. Atlético-PR remain in the hunt for the Libertadores qualifying spot after their 12th win of the season. Vitória were the victims at the Arena de Baixada and it took just the single goal to seperate the teams. That came eight minutes before the break from Rhodolfo.

With neighbours Botafogo doing them a favour, Fluminense extended their lead at the top to three points after overcoming a determined Avaí side at the Engenhão. Dario Conca got the only goal of the game but the Tricolor fans were on the edge of their seats when it came eight minutes from time. Botafogo, as we mentioned, helped Fluminense after coming from a goal down to settle for a point at Corinthians. Bruno César's 11th of the season put Corinthians ahead with just three minutes on the clock. Botafogo fought back and levelled just before the half hour through talisman Sebastian Abreu. Corinthians still though have their game in hand on Fluminense. If Grêmio had shown this form all season they would be definite title candidates after they defeated São Paulo 4-2. An André Lima brace put Grêmio two ahead but a penalty from Rogério Ceni halved the deficit for São Paulo. Marlos then levelled for São Paulo eight minutes after the break but a Jonas penalty restored the Grêmio lead and Diego made it safe fifteen minutes from time. Finally no goals in the last game between Ceará and Atlético-MG but the home side are slowly sinking down the table whilst Atlético-MG will need a Fluminense of last season style revival if they are to stay in the top flight.

Week 27 as we turn for home and they line up like this and a couple of derby matches catch the eye.

Vasco da Gama x Goiás
Corinthians x Ceará
Santos x Palmeiras
Prudente x Fluminense
Vitória x Grêmio
Botafogo x Flamengo
Cruzeiro x Atlético Paranaense
Internacional x Guarani
Atlético Goianiense x Atlético Mineiro
Avaí x São Paulo