Monday, 31 January 2011

Campeonato Paulista A1 - Week 5

Santo André 1-1 Ituano
Ponte Preta 0-0 São Caetano
Oeste 0-1 Mirassol
Noroeste 1-5 Americana
Santos 2-0 São Paulo
Portuguesa 0-2 Palmeiras
São Bernardo 2-2 Corinthians
Linense 3-2 Paulista
Botafogo SP 1-1 Bragantino
Mogi Mirim 3-1 Grêmio Prudente

Santo André made it four draws out of five when they came from behind to claim a point against Ituano. Anderson Salles put Ituano ahead eighteen minutes from time but Edilson got the equaliser with ten minutes to go. Ponte Preta's two game winning run was brought to a halt by a São Caetano side that picked up it's second point of the season. There were no goals at the Estádio Moisés Lucarelli in what was a generally dull game. Mirassol remain in the top four after a single goal from Gustavo Bastos was enough to give them victory at Oeste. Americana bounced back from their midweek defeat to put the cleaners through Noroeste. Charles put Americana ahead nine minutes before the break but Aleílson levelled five minutes after the break. Jorge Luiz restored the lead just after the hour and a second for Charles made it three. with twelve minutes to go Charles completed a hat-trick before Leonardo wrapped things up four minutes from time.

The big game of the weekend without question was the San-São at the Arena Barueri. Elano's fifth goal of the season put Santos ahead with ten minutes on the clock. Fellow joint top scorer of the competition Maikon Leite made it two seventeen minutes from time when he also got his fifth goal of the season. Palmeiras made it four wins on the spin as they left it late to overcome Portuguesa in a tough contest. The Big Green didn't take the lead until nine minutes from time when Alez Santos put them ahead and they wrapped up the points as the game went into injury time when Kléber got the second. With all their eggs in the Libertadores basket a Corinthians reserve team made it three draws on the spin as they were held by São Bernardo. Diogenes put São Bernardo ahead with fifteen minutes on the clock but Danilo levelled six minutes before the break. Kauê restored the São Bernardo lead with twenty minutes to go but Luis Ramírez spared any blushes for Corinthians with the equaliser ten minutes from time.

Linense picked up their fist victory of the season as they came from two goals down to defeat Paulista. Two goals in the space of two minutes from Hernane and Marco put Paulista in control but Linense were level by half time. Anderson Rocha halved the deficit and Leandro Love levelled matters with 33 minutes gone. The comeback was completed with twenty minutes to go when Gilsinho got the winner for Linense. Botafogo SP are still searching for their first win of the season when they had to come from behind to claim a point against Bragantino. Juninho Quixada put Bragantino ahead with 25 minutes gone but the Botafogo SP equaliser came ten minutes from time courtesy of Anselmo. Finally Grêmio Prudente fell to the bottom of the table when they collected defeat number four of the season at Mogi Mirim. Val put Mogi Mirim ahead with four minutes on the clock but Rhayner levelled after twenty minutes. Ze Roberto restored the Mogi Mirim two minutes before the break and his second fifteen minutes from time wrapped things up.

Midweek action again sees only 9 games due to Corinthians Libertadores qualifier in Colombia and they line up like this

Oeste x Botafogo SP
Paulista x Noroeste
Ponte Preta x Santos
Portuguesa x Americana
Mogi Mirim x Santo André
Mirassol x Palmeiras
São Paulo x Linense
Bragantino x São Bernardo
São Caetano x Grêmio Prudente
Corinthians P-P Ituano - now Tuesday 15th February

Campeonato Carioca - Taça Guanabara Week 4

Nova Iguaçu 2-0 América
Resende 1-0 Volta Redonda
Botafogo 3-1 Olaria
Duque de Caxias 3-3 Madureira
Americano 2-3 Boavista
Cabofriense 2-3 Fluminense
Vasco da Gama 1-2 Flamengo
Macaé 2-2 Bangu

Nova Iguaçu continued their impressive start to the season as they kept their unbeaten record in place with victory over América. Two second half goals from Maicon were enough to give Nova Iguaçu the points. The first game on the hour, the second nine minutes from time. Resende are another team who are unbeaten in Group A and they stayed in second place after a 1-0 success over Volta Redonda. Elias got the Resende winner thirteen minutes from time to keep them in the hunt for a semi final spot. Botafogo meanwhile remain top of Group B after their 3-1 success over Olaria at the Engenhão. The Alvinegro made the perfect start when Renato Cajá put them ahead in the first minute of the match but they did not double their lead until eight minutes after the break when Sebastian Abreu struck. Botafogo got a wake up call two minutes later when Vinicius got Olaria right back in the game but a second for Abreu on the hour wrapped things ups. A stunning late comeback from Madureira saw them claim a point against Duque de Caxias, the first drawn game in Group B so far. Lenilson and Geovane Maranhão put Duque de Caxias two up within the first 26 minutes but Valdir pulled a goal back for Madureira two minutes before the break. When Juninho restored the two goal cushion for Duque de Caxias fifteen minutes from time you thought the points were there heading their way but with two minutes left Rodrigo pulled what looked like a consolation goal back before his second grabbed an equaliser as they game went into injury time.

Boavista are another unbeaten side in Group A as they made it three wins on the spin after a stunning comeback at Americano. The home side went into the break two goals to the good after strikes from Gustavinho and Catatau put them in control. Paulo Rodrigues pulled a goal back four minutes after the break and Frontini levelled matters five minutes later. A second for Paulo Rodrigues half way through the second half won it for Boavista. Fluminense remain behind Botafogo at the top of Group B after being give more than a run for their money against winless Cabofriense. Fred put the Tricolor ahead with just six minutes on the clock but Capixaba levelled with half an hour gone. There was a shock on the cards when Diego Sales put Cabofriense ahead from the spot five minutes after the break but Fluminense levelled fifteen minutes later courtesy of André Luis. A second from Fred ten minutes from time restored the lead before Willians made sure of the points three minutes later. After disposing of coach PC Gumasão after the midweek defeat a Boavista the Clássico dos Milhões against Flamengo was the last thing they needed. And sure enough they fell to their fourth straight defeat of the season. Deivid put Flamengo ahead half way through the first half and Thiago Neves doubled the lead right on half time. Romulo pulled a goal back for Vasco fifteen minutes from time but it wasn't enough to prevent yet another defeat. Finally Bangu struck later to claim a point against Macaé in the final game of the weekend. Thiago Galhardo put Bangu ahead with fifteen minutes gone but Gedeil levelled ten minutes later. Hyantony put Macaé ahead twenty minutes into the second half and it looked like they were going to claim all three points until a second from Thiago Galhardo as they game went into injury time rescued a point for Bangu.

Many apologies, not many highlights knocking about this week.

And we get to do it all again in midweek with Week 5. They line up like this

Boavista x Resende
América x Americano
Madureira x Cabofriense
Olaria x Macaé
Bangu x Botafogo
Flamengo x Nova Iguaçu
Vasco da Gama x Volta Redonda
Fluminense x Duque de Caxias

Friday, 28 January 2011

Campeonato Paulista A1 - Week 4

Noroeste 2-2 Bragantino
Ituano 3-3 Linense
São Bernardo 0-2 Oeste
Santos 3-3 São Caetano
Mirassol 1-1 Santo André
Portuguesa 1-3 Ponte Preta
Americana 3-4 São Paulo
Grêmio Prudente 1-1 Botafogo
Palmeiras 3-1 Paulista
Corinthians P-P Mogi Mirim

Noroeste are becoming the draw specialists of the 2011 Paulista as they picked up their fourth consecutive draw in dramatic fashion against Bragantino. Noroeste took the lead two minutes after the break through Matheus but Juninho Quixada levelled for Bragantino eighteen minutes from time. When Luciano Sorriso put Bragantino ahead in the last minute you'd have thought the visitors were going to take the points but Jedson da Silva grabbed a dramatic equaliser three minutes into injury time. A six goal thriller at Ituano as the home side twice came from behind to get a point from Linense. Éder Sciola put Ituano ahead with 20 minutes on the clock but Fausto levelled for Linense fifteen minutes later. Gilsinho then put Linense ahead five minutes after the break but Jefferson levelled for Ituano seven minutes later. Linense took the lead again through Andre Luiz but a second for Jefferson 19 minutes from time ensured a point apeice. After back to back defeats Oeste got back to winning ways at São Bernardo. Serginho put Oeste ahead eighteen minutes into the second half and Roger secured the points when he struck thirteen minutes from time.

Santos lost their 100% record when they were held by São Caetano at the Arena Barueri. Elano put Santos ahead with eight minutes on the clock but they went into half time behind. Artur levelled and Vandinho gave São Caetano a shock lead on the stroke of half time. The champions responded, Keirrison levelled three minutes after the break and a second for Elano four mintues later restored the lead but a second for Vandinho ten minutes from time rescued a deserved point for the visitors. Mirassol and Santo André shared the spoils as last year's runners up continue to look for their first win of the season. Esley put Mirassol ahead with seventeen minutes on the clock and Aloísio levelled for Santo André five minutes after the break. Ponte Preta backed up from their win at São Paulo at the weekend to take all three points from their visit to Portuguesa. Renatinho put Ponte Preta ahead with twelve minutes on the clock but Guilherme levelled six minutes later. Ricardo Jesus restored the Ponte Preta lead half way through the first half but they had to wait for a Jose Gérson goal three mintues into the second half stoppage time to wrap up the points.

Americana also lost their 100% record as São Paulo came from behind to claim the points. Macinho put Americana ahead with twenty minutes on the clock but an own goal from Gercimar levelled matters ten minutes before the break. Rafael Chorão put Americana back ahead a minute before the break. A second half brace from Dagoberto restored the São Paulo lead before Jean made it four two. José Fumagalli pulled a goal back in injury time but it was too little too late for Americana. Grêmio Prudente picked up their first point of the season when they came from behind to claim a draw against Botafogo SP. Paulinho put Botafogo ahead with 28 minutes on the clock but Rômulo levelled nine minutes after the break. The Grêmio Prudente forward has now scored in back to back games. Palmeiras moved up into second with their third straight win, this time defeating Paulista. A strong looking Palmeiras team took the lead through Marcos Assunção after nineteen minutes and Kléber doubled the lead just before the break. Patrick made it three twenty minutes into the second half before a Maurício Ramos own goal gave Paulista a small consolation nine minutes from time.

Corinthians game against Mogi Mirim was rescheduled for 17 February due to the Copa Libertadores commitments of the Coringão.

This weekend sees the San-São take place and they line up like this

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

Campeonato Carioca - Taça Guanabara Week 3

Volta Redonda 1-1 Nova Iguaçu
América 1-4 Resende
Bangu 1-0 Duque de Caxias
Olaria 2-0 Cabofriense
Flamengo 2-0 Americano
Botafogo 4-1 Madureira
Boavista 3-1 Vasco da Gama
Fluminense 3-1 Macaé

Volta Redonda picked up their first point of the campaign after a late Lombardi strike gave them a point against Nova Iguaçu. The newly promoted side remain unbeaten after three games and they took the lead after eight minutes through Alex Faria but they should have had all three points but for Lombardi's strike three minutes from time. Resende also remain unbeated after they brushed aside América at the Estádio Giulite Coutinho. Marcel put Resende ahead with 27 minutes on the clock and Valdeir doubled the lead on the stroke of half time. América got back into the game a minute after the break through Felipe but Marcelo Regis restored the two goal advantage ten minutes later. Alexandro wrapped up the points for Resende with the fourth twenty minutes from time. Bangu made it back to back wins as they defeated Duque de Caxias. One goal separated the teams and it came half way through the first half from Pipico. Cabofriense are still looking for their first point of the season as Olaria bounced back from their heavy defeat at the weekend to register their second win of the campaign. Felipe put Olaria ahead with 27 minutes on the clock before Vinicius made the point safe with the second seven minutes from time.

Americano put up a brave showing against Flamengo before falling to a 2-0 defeat in Macaé. Americano were reduced to ten men with just 19 minutes on the clock when Felipe was sent off for a second yellow card. They then bravely held the Rubro-Negro at bay for fifty minutes before Wanderley finally put Flamengo ahead. It was the straw the broke the camel's back and two minutes later a second for Wanderley put Flamengo in control and secured the points to keep them top of Group A. Business as usual at the Engenhão at Champions Botafogo brushed aside a Madureira side still looking for it's first point of the year. German Herrera put Botafogo ahead with fifteen minutes gone and Sebastian Abreu doubled the lead two minutes before the break. The Alvinegro were given a scare when Rodrigo pulled a goal back with sixteen minutes to go but Alessandro restored the two goal cushion with nine minutes to go. Caio got the fourth two minutes from time to wrap things up and keep Botafogo top of Group B. Vasco da Gama just go from bad to worse as they lost their third consecutive match, this time at Boavista. Tony put Boavista ahead with sixteen minutes on the clock and Frontini doubled the lead ten minutes later. Marcel halved the deficit for Vasco on the hour but André Luis guaranteed the points for Boavista when he struck three minutes from time. Fluminense remain second in Group B after comfortably overcoming Macaé at the Engenhão. Carlinhos put the Tricolor ahead nine minutes before the break before Souza doubled the lead two minutes after the break. A second for Souza made it three for Fluminense before Robson got a consolation for Macaé three minutes from time.

This weekend is the fourth round of matches and includes the Clássico dos Milhões. They line up like this

Americano x Boavista
Nova Iguaçu x América
Resende x Volta Redonda
Botafogo x Olaria
Duque de Caxias x Madureira
Cabofriense x Fluminense
Vasco da Gama x Flamengo
Macaé x Bangu

Copa Libertadores 1st Stage 1st Leg

Independiente 2-0 Deportivo Quito
Corinthians 0-0 Deportes Tolima
Liverpool 2-2 Grêmio
Alianza Lima 0-2 Jaguares
Cerro Porteño 1-0 Deportivo Petare
Bolívar 0-1 Unión Española

The 2011 Copa Santander Libertadores began on Tuesday night in Buenos Aires as 2010 Copa Nissan Sudamericana winners Independiente took on Deportivo Quito of Ecuador. It the Argentinian side who will take an advantage into next week's second leg after their strong second half showing. Matias De Fedrico put Independiente ahead five minutes after the break and Patricio Rodríguez doubled the lead twenty minutes from time. Corinthians of Brazil remain one of the only four of the big São Paulo clubs never to have won this competition and they will have an uphill task to even make the second stage after a goalless draw with Deportes Tolima of Colombia at the Pacaembu. Corinthians looked devoid of ideas all over the pitch and the resiliance of Deportes Tomlina was rewarded with a result that gives them a big chance of qualifying next week. Grêmio of Brazil twice let a lead slip as they grabbed two valuable away goals against Liverpool of Uruguay. It took only six minutes for Grêmio to take the lead through veteran André Lima but Mauren Franco levelled four minutes later. Four minutes later Grêmio were ahead again through Douglas but with 25 minutes on the clock Carlos Macchi levelled again for Liverpool to set things up for the second leg in Porto Alegre next week.

Mexican invitees Jaguares put a foot into the second stage when they claimed a superb win against Alianza Lima of Peru. Michael Pedroza put Jaguares ahead four minutes before the break to stun the home fans. It got worse for Alianza Lima a minutes after the break when Jorge Rodríguez converted from the spot to give Jaguares a two goal cushion for the second leg. Cerro Porteño of Paraguay edged a first leg lead over Deportivo Petare of Venezuela. There was only one goal in the game and it came from Roberto Nanni with twenty minutes to go. It gives Cerro Porteño a narrow lead to take back to Caracas next week. The final game of the round took place in Los Celestes, Bolivia as 1986 semi finalists Bolívar met Unión Española of Chile. This was another tight game and settled by the one goal from Fernando Cordero to give Unión Española the advantage for the second leg next week. Zé Carlos of Bolívar will miss that game after he was sent off with nine minutes to go.

The second leg ties all take place next week to decide the remaining places in the group stage

All times GMT

2nd Feb Deportivo Quito v Independiente 0045
2nd Feb Jaguares v Alianza Lima 0315
2nd Feb Unión Española v Bolívar TBC
3rd Feb Deportes Tolima v Corinthians 00:00
3rd Feb Grêmio v Liverpool 00:00
4th Feb Deportivo Petare v Cerro Porteño 01:30

Monday, 24 January 2011

Campeonato Paulista A1 - Week 3

Bragantino 2-1 Santo André
São Paulo 0-1 Ponte Preta
Mogi Mirim 0-1 Mirassol
Linense 1-3 Portuguesa
Corinthians 1-1 Noroeste
Grêmio Prudente 2-4 Santos
Paulista 1-1 São Bernardo
Oeste 0-1 Palmeiras
São Caetano 0-1 Ituano
Americana 2-1 Botafogo SP

The Saturday action saw last year's runner up Santo André fall to their first defeat of the season at Bragantino. Nego put Bragantino ahead on the half hour and Luciano Sorriso doubled the lead ten minutes after the break. Nunes pulled a goal back for Santo André thirteen minutes from time but it was too little to late. After their promising start São Paulo were left stunned at the Morumbi when they fell to their first defeat of the campaign to Ponte Preta. One goal was enough to separate the teams and it came fourteen minutes from time from Tiago Luis. Mirassol made it two wins from three games as a single goal from Marcelinho with three minutes on the clock was enough to see them take the points at Mogi Mirim. Promoted Linense are still finding life tough in the top flight as they fell to consecutive home defeats, this time against Portuguesa. Dodô out Portuguesa ahead with eight minutes on the clock but Linense got back in it eleven minutes later courtesy of Fausto. Fabricio Silva put Portuguesa back ahead on the hour and Marcelo Cordeiro wrapped things up a minute from time.

Despite upcoming Libertadores commitments a pretty strong Corinthians side would have been disappointed to be held at home by ten man Noroeste. Dentinho put Corinthians ahead five minutes before the break but Thiago Marin levelled twelve minutes after the break. Márcio Gabriel was the man to see red for Noroeste but they held on to claim a point. In a repeat of last year's play off semi final Santos proved to strong from Grêmio Prudente. Elano put Santos ahead with 13 minutes gone and he doubled the lead from the spot ten minutes later. Keirrison made it three nine minutes after the break and Maikon Leite made it four with his fourth goal in three games. Credit to Grêmio Prudente as they didn't give up, Rômulo got a goal from the spot twenty minutes from time and Bruno Ribeiro got a second eight minutes from time. Paulista lost their 100% record as they were held at home by São Bernardo. Barboza put Paulista ahead with a minute, the quickest goal of the round, but Nena grabbed an equalizer for São Bernardo two minutes before the break.

Palmeiras are still unbeaten and made it back to back wins with success at Oeste. They left it late though, Patrick getting the only goal of the game with just four minutes remaining. Ituano got their first win of the campaign when they needed a single goal to leave São Caetano rooted to the bottom of the table. That goal came with just eight minutes on the clock from Jefferson to lift Ituano out of the relegation zone. Americana, alongside Santos, remain the only team with a 100% record as they defeated Botafogo SP. Charles put Americana head ten minutes after the break and Rafael Chorão doubled the lead eighteen minutes from time. Rodrigo Pontes pulled a goal back for Botafogo SP six minutes from time to keep them searching for their first win of the season.

Midweek games again, you bet as week 4 comes around thick and fast. They line up like this

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

Campeonato Carioca - Taça Guanabara Week 2

América 1-3 Flamengo
Volta Redonda 0-1 Boavista
Resende 1-1 Americano
Nova Iguaçu 3-2 Vasco da Gama
Duque de Caxias 4-1 Macaé
Madureira 0-1 Bangu
Fluminense 6-2 Olaria
Cabofriense 0-5 Botafogo

In Group A, Flamengo went two points clear after victory over América at the Estádio Giulite Coutinho. Renato Abreu put Fla ahead with eleven minutes on the clock and David doubled the lead just after the half hour. Deivid wrapped things up for Fla with a third six minutes after the break but Leandro grabbed a consolation for América midway through the second half. Boavista gained their first win of the campaign as they overcame Volta Redonda. A single goal from Frontini after 27 minutes was enough to win the game and put Boavista into third. Americano collected their second draw when they came from behind to claim a point at Resende. Marcelo Regis put the home side ahead from the spot midway through the first half but Wandinho grabbed an equaliser ten minutes from time for Americano. Another round and another shock for Vasco da Gama as they were beaten for a second time, Nova Iguaçu taking the points. Nova Iguaçu were two up inside twenty minutes courtesy of goals from Alex Moraes and Maicon. Romulo pulled a goal back for Vasco seven minutes after the break and when Marcel levelled from the spot on the hour it was a matter of when the Vasco comeback would be complete. Things though, didn't turn out that way and William stunned Vasco with a winner 12 minutes from time.

Everygame in Group B again had a positive result and there were 19 goals acriss the four games. Macaé came back to earth with a bump when they were defeated 4-1 at Duque de Caxias despite taking the lead through Andre Gomes after 17 minutes. Lenon levelled eight minutes later and Geovane Maranhão made it two nine minutes before the break. Duque de Caxias went into the break two goals ahead when Somália converted from the spot a minutes before the break and a second from him seventeen minutes from time wrapped things up. The lowest scoring game of in the group came at Madureira where a single goal from Thiago Galhardo gave Bangu their first win of the season. Fluminense eventually overcame Olaria but were given a scare by them at the Engenhão. Marquinho put Flu ahead with eleven minutes on the clock but within a minute Felipe levelled and when Renan put Olaria ahead six minutes later there was a shock on the cards. Fred levelled for Fluminense eight minutes later and a second on the stroke of half time put ahead into the break. Rodriguinho gave Fluminense a two goal lead a minute after the break and his second twenty minutes into the half made it five. A second from Marquinho eight minutes from time wrapped things up to leave them unbeaten. The other unbeaten team are champions Botafogo who easily brushed aside Cabofriense. Two own goals from Matheus within five minutes of each other game the Alvinegro a two goal lead but they had to work for their victory. The newly promoted side folded in the last quarter of an hour, Renato Cajá made it three, Caio got the fourth and Antônio Carlos put the icing no the cake a minute from time.

Week three takes place this midweek and they line up like this

Volta Redonda x Nova Iguaçu
América x Resende
Bangu x Duque de Caxias
Olaria x Cabofriense
Flamengo x Americano
Botafogo x Madureira
Boavista x Vasco da Gama
Fluminense x Macaé

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Copa Libertadores 2011 Fixtures

With the 52nd edition of the competition due to get underway this week we can finally bring you a list of who plays who and when as the action starts this Wednesday night. 38 clubs set out on the path to dislodge holders Internacional of Brazil, who qualify automatically.

All kick off times are local. Please check local listings for comfirmation of fames and dates changing.

First Phase
Leg 1: Week commecing

G1: Corinthians (BRA) v Deportes Tolima (COL) 1st Leg: 26 Jan 22:00, 2nd Leg: 2 Feb 19:00
G2: Alianza Lima (PER) v Jaguares de Chiapas (MEX) 1st Leg: 26 Jan 21:15, 2nd Leg: 1 Feb 21:15
G3: Cerro Porteño (PAR) v Sports Petare (VEN) 1st Leg: 27 Jan 20:15, 2nd Leg: 3 Feb 21:00
G4: Bolívar (BOL) v Unión Española (CHI) 1st Leg: 27 Jan 21:30, 2nd Leg: 3 Feb 20:00
G5: Independiente (ARG) v Deportivo Quito (ECU) 1st Leg: 25 Jan 21:15, 2nd Leg: 1 Feb 19:45
G6: Liverpool (URU) v Gremio (BRA) 1st Leg: 26 Jan 22:00, 2nd Leg: 2 Feb 22:00

The first team drawn will play at home in the first leg.

Second Phase

Group 1 - Universidad San Martin (Peru), Libertad (Paraguay), Once Caldas (Colombia), San Luis FC (Mexico)

Matchday 1
San Luis FC v Libertad 15 Feb 18:45
Once Caldas v Universidad San Martin 16 Feb 21:15

Matchday 2
Universidad San Martin v San Luis FC 22 Feb 19:30
Once Caldas v Libertad 22 Feb 21:45

Matchday 3
San Luis FC v Once Caldas 2 Mar 21:15
Libertad v Universidad San Martin 8 Mar 19:15

Matchday 4
Universidad San Martin v Libertad 15 Mar 19:30
Once Caldas v San Luis FC 15 Mar 21:45

Matchday 5
San Luis FC v Universidad San Martin 22 Mar 20:30
Libertad v Once Caldas 22 Mar 21:15

Matchday 6
Libertad v San Luis FC 19 Apr 21:30
Universidad San Martin v Once Caldas 19 Apr 20:30

Group 2
Junior (Colombia), León de Huánuco (Peru), Oriente Petrolero (Bolivia), Winner G6

Matchday 1
Winner G6 v Oriente Petrolero 17 Feb TBC
León de Huánuco v Junior 17 Feb 14:30

Matchday 2
León de Huánuco v Oriente Petrolero 23 Feb 15:15
Junior v Winner G6 24 Feb 21:45

Matchday 3
Winner G6 v León de Huánuco 3 Mar TBC
Oriente Petrolero v Junior 8 Mar 20:30

Matchday 4
León de Huánuco v Winner G6 15 Mar 15:00
Junior v Oriente Petrolero 17 Mar 21:30

Matchday 5
Oriente Petrolero v León de Huánuco 24 Mar 18:30
Winner G6 v Junior 5 Apr TBC

Matchday 6
Oriente Petrolero v Winner G6 14 Apr 21:45
Junior v León de Huánuco 14 Apr 20:45

Group 3
Argentinos Juniors (Argentina), Nacional (Uruguay), Fluminense (Brazil), América (Mexico)

Matchday 1
Fluminense v Argentinos Juniors 9 Feb 22:00
América v Nacional 15 Feb 21:00

Matchday 2
Fluminense v Nacional 23 Feb 21:50
Argentinos Juniors v América 24 Feb 21:30

Matchday 3
Nacional v Argentinos Juniors 1 Mar 20:30
América v Fluminense 2 Mar 18:50

Matchday 4
Argentinos Juniors v Nacional 15 Mar 19:15
Fluminense v América 23 Mar 21:50

Matchday 5
América v Argentinos Juniors 6 Apr 21:50
Nacional v Fluminense 6 Apr 21:45

Matchday 6
Nacional v América 20 Apr 21:50
Argentinos Juniors v Fluminense 20 Apr 21:50

Group 4
Caracas FC (Venezuela), Universidad Católica (Chile), Vélez Sársfield (Argentina) and Winner G4

Matchday 1
Vélez Sársfield v Caracas FC 15 Feb 19:30
Winner G4 v Universidad Católica 16 Feb TBC

Matchday 2
Vélez Sársfield v Universidad Católica 3 Mar 20:15
Caracas FC v Winner G4 3 Mar 21:00

Matchday 3
Universidad Católica v Caracas FC 9 Mar 20:45
Winner G4 v Vélez Sársfield 10 Mar TBC

Matchday 4
Caracas FC v Universidad Católica 22 Mar 19:45
Vélez Sársfield v Winner G4 23 Mar 21:45

Matchday 5
Winner G4 v Caracas FC 7 Apr TBC
Universidad Católica v Vélez Sársfield 7 Apr TBC

Matchday 6
Universidad Católica v Winner G4 14 Apr 19:30
Caracas FC v Vélez Sársfield 14 Apr 19:00

Group 5
Santos FC (Brazil), Colo Colo (Chile), Deportivo Táchira (Venezuela) and Winner G3

Matchday 1
Deportivo Táchira v Santos FC 15 Feb 20:15
Winner G3 v Colo Colo 17 Feb TBC

Matchday 2
Deportivo Táchira v Colo Colo 1 Mar 20:15
Santos FC v Winner G3 2 Mar 20:15

Matchday 3
Winner G3 v Deportivo Táchira 10 Mar TBC
Colo Colo v Santos FC 16 Mar 18:30

Matchday 4
Deportivo Táchira v Winner G3 5 Apr 20:30
Santos FC v Colo Colo 6 Apr 21:45

Matchday 5
Winner G3 v Santos FC 12 Apr TBC
Colo Colo v Deportivo Táchira 13 Apr 21:30

Matchday 6
Colo Colo v Winner G3 20 Apr 18:30
Santos FC v Deportivo Táchira 20 Apr 19:30

Group 6
Internacional (Brazil), Jorge Wilstermann (Bolivia), Emelec (Ecuador) and Winner G2

Matchday 1
Winner G2 v Jorge Wilstermann 16 Feb TBC
Emelec v Internacional 16 Feb 19:00

Matchday 2
Emelec v Jorge Wilstermann 22 Feb 19:30
Internacional v Winner G2 23 Feb 19:30

Matchday 3
Winner G2 v Emelec 8 Mar TBC
Jorge Wilstermann v International 16 Mar 18:30

Matchday 4
Emelec v Winner G2 16 Mar 19:50
International v Jorge Wilstermann 30 Mar 21:50

Matchday 5
Winner G2 v Internacional 6 Apr TBC
Jorge Wilstermann v Emelec 7 Apr TBC

Matchday 6
Jorge Wilstermann v Winner G2 19 Apr 19:15
International v Emelec 19 Apr 20:15

Group 7
Estudiantes (Argentina), Guaraní (Paraguay), Cruzeiro (Brazil) and Winner G1

Matchday 1
Winner G1 v Guaraní 9 Feb 22:00
Cruzeiro v Estudiantes 16 Feb 22:00

Matchday 2
Cruzeiro v Guaraní 22 Feb 19:15
Estudiantes v Winner G1 23 Feb 21:50

Matchday 3
Winner G1 v Cruzeiro 2 Mar TBC
Guaraní v Estudiantes 9 Mar 21:45

Matchday 4
Cruzeiro v Winner G1 16 Mar 21:50
Estudiantes v Guaraní 17 Mar 19:00

Matchday 5
Winner G1 v Estudiantes 30 Mar TBC
Guaraní v Cruzeiro 31 Mar 19:30

Matchday 6
Guaraní v Winner G1 13 Apr 20:50
Estudiantes v Cruzeiro 13 Apr 21:50

Group 8
LDU Quito (Ecuador), Peñarol (Uruguay), Godoy Cruz (Argentina) and Winner G5

Matchday 1
Godoy Cruz v LDU Quito 17 Feb 22:15
Winner G5 v Peñarol 24 Feb TBC

Matchday 2
Godoy Cruz v Peñarol 1 Mar 20:15
LDU Quito v Winner G5 3 Mar TBC

Matchday 3
Peñarol v LDU Quito 9 Mar 20:30
Winner G5 v Godoy Cruz 10 Mar TBC

Matchday 4
LDU Quito v Peñarol 17 Mar 19:15
Godoy Cruz v Winner G5 23 Mar 19:30

Matchday 5
Peñarol v Godoy Cruz 31 Mar 21:45
Winner G5 v LDU Quito 5 Apr TBC

Matchday 6
Peñarol v Winner G5 12 Apr 20:15
LDU Quito v Godoy Cruz 12 Apr 18:15

After the group stage teams are ranked according to their performance. The best ranking group winner is seeded number 1 and goes down to 8. Then its 1v16, 2v15, 3v14, 4v13, 5v12, 6v11, 7v10 and 8v9. Unlike the Champions League in Europe teams from the same group can face each other in the last 16.

The higher ranked team will always have home advantage in the second leg and as they progress they will always face the lowest ranked team left in the competition. At the semi final stage, if two clubs from the same association qualify then they are forced to meet each other at this stage. If a Mexican club reaches the final, the second leg of the final can not be held in Mexico. Away goals count in every round up to the final and if the tie is level after 180 minutes it goes straight to penalties. In the final, away goals don't count and if the tie is level at the end of 180 minutes there is 30 minutes of extra time before penalties will decide the destination of the trophy.

We'll be with you every step of the way, up to the final in June.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Campeonato Paulista A1 - Week 2

Ponte Preta 0-2 Mogi Mirim
Portuguesa 1-0 Oeste
Santos 3-0 Mirassol
Santo André 1-1 Linense
São Caetano 0-1 Americana
São Paulo 3-0 São Bernardo
Bragantino 1-1 Corinthians
Grêmio Prudente 1-2 Paulista
Botafogo SP 2-2 Noroeste
Ituano 1-4 Palmeiras

After running into São Paulo at the weekend Mogi Mirim sparked some life into their season after an away success at Ponte Preta. Ricardinho put Mogi Mirim ahead with eight minutes on the clock and he doubled the lead from the spot half way through the second half. Portuguesa were another team to kick start their season after disappointment at the weekend when the defeated Oeste. A single goal separated the sides and it came from Kempes twelve minutes from time. Oeste though finished with 10 men after Cristiano was sent off eight minutes from time. The Santos machine keeps on rolling after the disposed of Mirassol at the Pacaembú. Maikon Leite put Santos ahead with 27 minutes on the clock. Zé Eduardo doubled the lead two minutes after the break and his second fifteen minutes from time wrapped things up. Promoted Linense were denied all three points at Santo André when a last minute goal from Ribeiro rescued last year's runner up. Gilsinho had put Linense ahead after half an hour but it was a cruel break for the 2010 Série A2 winners.

Americana remain one of four unbeaten clubs after their success at São Caetano. A single goal was enough to win it and it came from Helton with fifteen minutes on the clock. São Paulo are another of the unbeaten sides as they comfortably brushed aside promoted São Bernardo at the Morumbi. Dagoberto put São Paulo ahead with four minutes on the clock and Marlos doubled the lead four minutes before the break. Fernandinho wrapped up a comfortable night for São Paulo fourteen minutes from time. The surprise result of the night came at Bragantino where Corinthians had to come from behind to claim a point. And own goal from Chicão put Bragantino ahead on the quarter hour before Jorge Henrique got the leveller eight minutes from time. Bragantino were brave in the second half as they held on for their point.

Grêmio Prudente can't buy a win for toffee at the moment as they went down at home to Paulista, the final side with a 100% record so far. Hernane put Paulista ahead with ten minutes on the clock but Grêmio Prudente were level seven minutes later courtesy of Rai. Paulista claimed all three points when Rone Dias grabbed the winner on the hour. Botafogo SP and Noroeste both picked up their second draw in succession after an entertaining game. Rodrigo Pontes gave Botafogo SP an eleventh minute lead and they held that lead until the 56th minute when Ricardinho levelled for Noroeste. Moacir restored the Botafogo SP lead half way through the second half but Noroeste again fought back and Zé Carlos levelled fifteen minutes from time. After a disappointing draw at the weekend Palmeiras sprung into life as they brushed aside Ituano. Kléber put the Big Green ahead with 27 minutes on the clock but when Welton levelled just before half time you wondered how Palmeiras would react. Fortunately for Felipão the reaction was a positive one, Dinei restored the lead eight minutes after the break and a second from Kléber on the hour doubled the advantage. Tinga wrapped things up with the fourth in injury time.

Week Three takes place this weekend and they line up like this

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

Campeonato Carioca - Taça Guanabara Week 1

Boavista 1-1 América
Vasco da Gama 0-1 Resende
Flamengo 2-0 Volta Redonda
Americano 1-1 Nova Iguaçu
Olaria 1-0 Madureira
Botafogo 2-1 Duque de Caxias
Bangu 0-1 Fluminense
Macaé 3-0 Cabofriense

Boavista and América kicked off the 2011 Campeonato Carioca with a 1-1 draw at the Estádio Eucy de Resende Mendonça. América are looking to improve on their 2010 performance they took the lead five minutes before the break through Leandro. They didn't keep their lead long as Frontini levelled for Boavista just before the break. The biggest shock of the opening round came at the São Januário where Resende but Vasco into an immediate early season crisis with a shock victory. Vasco would have settled for a point after the way things went but Alexandro grabbed a winner four minutes from time. Flamengo got into the swing of things as they had a comfortable victory over Volta Redonda at the Engenhão. Vander put the Rubro-Negro ahead five minutes before the break and Wanderley doubled the lead on the hour. The final game in Group A finished level as newcomers Nova Iguaçu came from behind the claim a point at Americano. A Felipe goal put Americano ahead but Diego levelled for Nova Iguaçu half way through the second half.

In Group B, a game that looked a pretty even contest on paper between Olaria and Madureira went the way of the home side thanks to a goal from Vinícius seven minutes before half time. Champions Botafogo were stunned when a penalty from Somália five minutes before the break put Duque de Caxias ahead at the Engenhão. It looked like it was going to be Botafogo's night but Sebastian Abreu got the Alvinegro level from the spot twelve minutes from time and Caio won it two minutes later. In the second game of a double header at the Engenhão ten man Fluminense just about scraped past Bangu. Souza of Fluminense was sent off seven minutes before the break but he was followed by Raphael of Bangu on the hour. Veteran striker Fred won the game for the Tricolor nine minutes from time. Macaé are top of Group B after a strong second half showing was too much for newcomers Cabofriense. Marcos Tamandaré put Macaé ahead nine minutes after the break and André Gomes doubled the lead ten minutes later. Hyanthony wrapped things up for Macaé thirteen minutes from time.

Week Two takes place this weekend and they line up like this

América x Flamengo
Volta Redonda x Boavista
Resende x Americano
Fluminense x Olaria
Duque de Caxias x Macaé
Madureira x Bangu
Nova Iguaçu x Vasco da Gama
Cabofriense x Botafogo

Monday, 17 January 2011

Carioca Gets Ready To Kick Off

With the Paulista kicking off at the weekend the other of the state leagues that we pay close attention to starts this midweek. With Botafogo the reigning champions the other of the big three, national champions Fluminense, Flamengo and Vasco da Gama will be looking to knock the Alvinegro off their perch at the top of the table.

Flamengo of course have the highest profile singing as yet when it was announced that Ronaldinho Gáucho had put pen to paper on a 4 year contract at Gavéa last week. Also Thiago Neves never has joined the Rubro-Negro and the former Fluminense player will be looking to make an impression. Also arriving from Portuguese side Sporting Braga is the former Corinthians stopper Felipe on a 12 month loan deal and Argentinian midfielder Darío Bottinelli has arrived from Universidad Católica in Chile. There have been plenty of players going through the exit door as well, Toró, Juan have moved onto pastures new while forwards Val Baiano, Diogo and Christian Borja have been told they are surplus to requirements. Former international Kléberson has also been shown the door as has veteran Serb Dejan Petkovic.

Botafogo were boosted when coach Joel Santana agreed a years extension to his contract just before Christmas. Striker Somália has had a recent drama when he was the victim of a kidnapping but he managed to escape unscathed. Botafogo though have seen some departures, Lucio Flavio has headed to Mexico while Marcelo Cordeiro has returned to Internacional after his loan period expired. Full backs Márcio Azevedo, Lucas and central defender João Filipe have all arrived at the Engenhão in the close season.

Fluminense of course will have the distraction of the Copa Libertadores as they try to claim their first state title since 2005. Muricy Ramalho remains at the helm of the Tricolor as the Fluzão had the boost of talisman Dario Conca signing a new contract to keep him at the club for another five years. It's pretty much as you were for the Tricolor but expect them to be more concentrated on Libertadores success than a Carioca title.

Vasco da Gama meanwhile have spent most of the short off season fending off bids for star man Zé Roberto despite him only arriving at the São Januário last July. There have been four arrivals for far, defender Anderson Martins arrives from relegated Vitória, forwards Misael and Marcel from Ceará and Santos respectively whilst midfielder Eduardo Costa returns back to Brazil after a spell at AS Monaco. No further signings are expected before the season starts by Vasco.

Of the other sides, Cabofriense and Nova Iguaçu come up to the top flight, whilst América will look to build on their promising season last year. Olaria and Boavista can be dangerous on their day and Resende will be looking to avoid a relegation battle this year.

The format of the competition is unchanged. The teams are drawn into two groups with the big four seeded two to a group. The first stage is the Taça Guanabara where all the teams play a single round robin against the teams in their group, giving seven games. The top two in each group meet in a single game semi final with a group winner playing the opposite group runner up, which if level goes straight to penalties, before a single game final which again goes to penalties after 90 minutes.

The second stage is the Taça Rio, for this the clubs play every team in the opposite group giving a total of 8 games. As with the Guanabara the top two in each group meet in a single game semi final with a group winner playing the opposite group runner up, which if level goes straight to penalties, before a single game final which again goes to penalties after 90 minutes.

If a team wins both stages, as happened last year with Botafogo, they are automatically crowned state champions and the need for the play off is not required. Otherwise the winners of the Taça Guanabara and Taça Rio meet over two games at the Engenhão with the winners over the two games being crowned State champions.

We get underway on Wednesday night and they line up like this;

Group A

Boavista x América
Vasco da Gama x Resende
Flamengo x Volta Redonda
Americano x Nova Iguaçu

Group B

Olaria x Madureira
Botafogo x Duque de Caxias
Bangu x Fluminense
Macaé x Cabofriense

Campeonato Paulista A1 - Week 1

Linense 1-4 Santos
Palmeiras 0-0 Botafogo SP
São Bernardo 3-1 Grêmio Prudente
Oeste 3-0 São Caetano
Mogi Mirim 0-2 São Paulo
Corinthians 2-0 Portuguesa
Americana 1-0 Bragantino
Noroeste 2-2 Santo André
Mirassol 2-1 Ponte Preta
Paulista 2-1 Ituano

The season got underway on Saturday when the respective 2010 champions of Série A2 and A1 met to start things off. It was Santos though who began the defence of their title in style as they showed Linense life in the top flight isn't going to be easy. Maikon Leite headed Santos ahead with just eight minutes on the clock and Eduardo doubled the lead just after the half hour. When Keirrison converted from the spot to make it three just before the break you feared just how many Santos might get but they could only add one more goal in the second half when Maikon Leite got his second. Linense though had the last laugh when Fausto grabbed a consolation two minutes from time. Palmeiras will be looking to perform much better than last year but they didn't get off to the greatest of starts when they were held to a scoreless draw at the Pacaembu by Botafogo SP. Another of the promoted sides São Bernardo got off to a great start when they brushed aside Grêmio Prudente. Elionar Bombinho put São Bernardo ahead five minutes before the break and Danielzinho doubled the lead on the hour. Reinaldo made the game safe for São Bernardo ten minutes later. Grêmio Prudente pulled a goal back from Jandson ten minutes from time but it was too little too late. Oeste got out of the block as they over came São Caetano thanks to a Fabio Santos hat-trick. The first came seven minutes before the break and two goals around the hour mark completed a good day for Fabio Santos and Oeste.

There were three early games on Sunday. São Paulo are a good bet for the title this year, with Santos and Corinthians having Libertadores committments to keep them busy throughout the campaign the only thing keeping São Paulo busy will be the Copa do Brasil, the first time they have been in this tournament in over five years. They got their campaign off to a winning start with a win at Mogi Mirim, Rogério Ceni set them on their way from the spot with just four minutes on the clock, but they only sealed the points three minutes from time when Marcelinho Paraíba got the second. Corinthians also got off to a winning start as they cruised to a 2-0 win over Portuguesa at the Pacaembu. Paulinho put the 2009 winners ahead with 11 minutes on the clock and the evergreen Roberto Carlos got an amazing second eight minutes later when he scored direct from a corner to wrap things up. Something that slipped under our radar was the change of name for Guaratinguetá to Americana and the newly named and promoted side started their campaign with success against fellow national Série B side Bragantino. A single goal settled the contest and that came from Marcinho with 33 minutes on the clock to give Americana a winning start in their new home and for the new name.

In the late games on Sunday night newly promoted Noroeste claimed a point against last year's runners up Santo André. Márcio Gabriel put Noroeste ahead half way through the first half but Santo André levelled through Rychely nine minutes after the break. Parity lasted less than a minute before Da Silva restored the Noroeste lead but a second from Rychely on the hour ensured a point each. Mirassol came from behing to collect all three points against Ponte Preta. Leandro Silva put Ponte Preta ahead two minutes after the break but three minutes later Xuxa levelled just three minutes later. A second for Xuxa fourteen minutes from time claimed all three points for the home side. Paulista also made a winning start as they overcame Ituano in the final game of the weekend. Diego Barboza put Paulista ahead with just eight minutes on the clock and Hernane doubled the lead on the half hour. Oliveira pulled a goal back for Ituano three minutes after the break but the home side held on to collect the points.

So, the Paulista is back up and running and on Wednesday it's the second week of matches and they line up like this

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

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Happy New Year!

We're back!

CONMEBalls opens up it's 2011 coverage as the Campeonato Paulista A1 begins at the weekend. We broke the news of the fixtures being released for this competition back at the end of October and we also revealed the new play off schedule.

Just as a reminder, the big change in format 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. For the opening two rounds the highest placed team will be at home and if it's all square after 90 minutes the highest places team will advance. The daft thing is, the league leaders could go four games without scoring in the play offs and as long as they don't concede they will collect the title.

Also making an appearance this year in the Paulista are the two additional assistant referees stationed behind the goal lines. They've not proved their worth yet in any competition they have been trialled in, including last year's Carioca and continental club competitions in Europe.

Santos are the defending champions, although they scored 72 goals in the process of winning the title last year they will be without Robinho this year. They've also stated they will be putting more eggs in the Libertadores basket but will still start as the team to beat. Santo André, runners up last year, will be lucky to stay up. After the success of last year they cashed in and sold all their best players and suffered relegation to Série C in the national championship. Grêmio Prudente also made the play offs last year and they also suffered a relegation, this time from the top flight. São Paulo finished fourth last year and without a Libertadores campaign to distract them they could be dark horses for the title.

Corinthians, winners in 2009, didn't even make the play-offs last season as they got sidetracked by their Libertadores campaign and they will have the same distraction this year as well. Portuguesa will look to build on their sixth place finish last year and they again just missed out on promotion back to the top flight nationally. Botafogo SP took the Torneo Interior last year but should be in good shape to make the play offs if they keep up their form from last year. Palmeiras were the biggest surprise last year, they finished in the bottom half of the table in 11th. But with Felipão now in charge they will be looking to head up the table and hopefully claim a first title since 2008.

The four promoted clubs who take their place in the top flight are Guaratinguetá, São Bernardo, Noroeste and Linense, the champions of Série A2 this year. They will be looking to keep their place in the top flight as four team will be relegated to Série A2.

So we get underway this weekend and they line up like this and we'll have a full round up on Monday

Linense x Santos
Mogi Mirim x São Paulo - Live on 1900GMT Sunday
Corinthians x Portuguesa
Palmeiras x Botafogo SP - Live on 2130GMT Saturday
Noroeste x Santo André
Guaratinguetá x Bragantino
São Bernardo x Grêmio Prudente
Mirassol x Ponte Preta
Paulista x Ituano
Oeste x São Caetano

Feel free to check friend of the site Pitaco do Gringo's far superior Paulista Guide