More friendlies took place this week as the sides gear up for the 2012 Apertura set to start on the 3rd February. Paraguay Football was present at two of the games, Cerro Porteño vs Boca Unidos (ARG) at La Olla on Tuesday followed by Guaraní vs Rubio Ñu at Dos Bocas yesterday. Here are some thoughts and photos from those games with a round-up of Olimpia, Luque and other games below.
Cerro Porteño vs Boca Unidos
Cerro Porteño ran out 3-1 winners in this game, having seen the B-sides draw 2-2 in
games of 35 minutes halves. The threat of a storm nor the Gs 10,000 ($2.50) entrance fee put off fans with an estimated 2-3,000 supporters showing up on Tuesday evening. Surprisingly the visitors from Corrientes, Argentina went ahead only for Cerro to respond almost immediately with a Nanni penalty after Edgar ‘Pajaro’ Benitez was felled in the box. In the second half goals were added from the extremely talented Jorge Rojas playing on the right wing and a long shot from Fabbro’s flourescent boots sealed the win.
In the first game, Cerro Porteño fielded plenty of shaven-headed teenagers recently promoted from the U20s side to the senior squad (the shaved head is the traditional initiation here in Paraguay). Particularly impressive was Carlos Gonzalez at right back, athletic and always looking to overlap the winger. Both left wingers, first Juan Franco and later Diego Godoy (back from his loan with Rubio Ñu) looked lively and skilful albeit lacking end product.
B-team: S.Valinotti (E.Vergara); C.González, T.Paredes, J.Alonso, C.Benítez (M. Balbuena); L. Cáceres, J.Villarreal (C. Serna), A.González (R.Burgos), J.Franco (D.Godoy); A. da Silva, I.Torres (Pablo Noguera)
Goals: Javier Villareal and Alejandro da Silva
A-team: D.Barreto (P.Gavilán); M.Corujo, M.Uglessich (J.Alonso), P.Benítez, L.Cardozo; J.Rojas (E.García), J.Dos Santos, F.Oviedo (A.González), E.Benítez (C.Serna); R.Nanni, J.Fabbro (J.Franco)
Goals: Roberto Nanni (pen), Jorge Rojas and Jonathan Fabbro
Guaraní vs Rubio Ñu
On Wednesday two sides who narrowly missed out on the Copa Sudamericana, Guaraní and Rubio Ñu, locked horns with both clubs under new management and still experimenting. Pablo Caballero seemed to play with a line of three, Elvis Marecos playing like a centre-back while Fillipini and Blas Caceres wing backs. New signing Marcelo Palau was impressive as the anchor in midfield. Rubio Ñu were blown away in the first ten minutes with goals from Federico Santander (too good for this league but his asking price is scaring off European suitors) and Jorge Mendoza. It seems Chiqui Arce’s brother Juan has plenty of work to do, although the albiverde managed to stem the flow of attacks and the game finished 2-0. One of the calmest players on the pitch for Rubio was a ‘rubio’ Robert Piris da Motta just 17 years old (although looks 12) with good touch and vision in central midfield.
The B-team game was a rout, 5-0 to Guaraní who profited from an inexperienced Rubio Ñu defence. Iván Gonzalez Ferreira was particularly strong for the Aborigen. There was the odd sight of two sendings off in the 1st half, Aranda and Sosa getting into an ugly scrap. The referee did soften up and let both players back on for the 2nd period though.
B-team: P.Aurrecochea (A.Aguilar); T. Bartomeus, F.Carballo, R.Aldama, E.Aranda; L.De la Cruz, P.Chavez, J.Aguilar, D.Ocampo; M.Parana, I. Gonzalez Ferreira (B.Ruiz Diaz)
Goals: Roberto Aldama, Ivan Gonzalez Ferrira (pen), Dario Ocampo, Marcos Parana and Benigno Ruiz Diaz
A-team: J.Silva (P.Aurrecochea); J.Manzur, L.Cabral, E.Marecos; E.Filippini (T. Bartomeus), B.Caceres (I. Gonzalez Ferreira); M.Palau, J.Mendoza, N.Romero (L.De la Cruz), F.Santander (B.Ruiz Diaz), D.Lopez
Goals: Federico Santandar and Jorge Mendoza
Rubio Ñu XIs
B-Team: J.Gauto; J.Ojeda, J.Arce, S.Paniagua, G.Nuñez; A.Bareiro, P.Sosa, W. Santander, G.Gonzalez; J.Manzano, F.Vera
A-Team: M.Villasantti (J.Chena); A.Espínola (C.Ortiz), G. Velázquez, O.Velázquez (D.Riveros), N.Ruiz (P.Arce); C.Llamas, R. Piris da Motta (B.Ojeda), E.Ramos, D.Chamorro (D.González); J.Cardoso, M.Cáceres (W.Santander)
- Olimpia took on Trinidense at Para Uno, both the B-team and A-team games ending in draws, 1-1 and 0-0 respectively. The Olimpia goal was from Osvaldo Hobecker his first for the club.
- Luque took on Cerro PF in the Feliciano Caceres and lost 3-1 with Cesar Caceres Cañete scoring the only goal for the Auriazul, the veteran has been in goalscoring form for his new club notching four now in pre-season. Pablo Aguilar got the winner for the reserves, the only goal of the game.
- Nacional overcame Independiente 2-1 thanks to a brace from Ariel Bogado, Carlos Ayala for Inde. The visitors got revenge over the Albo in the A-team game winning 1-0 with trialist from Argentina Luciano Ursino scoring.
- In competitive football…the Interligas semi finals also took place, Paranaense 1-0 Caacupeña, Ovetense 3-0 Yasy Cañy. The final is on Sunday in Luque at 5pm local time.
There are more friendlies this weekend, starting on Friday actually with Tacuary vs Sportivo Carapeguá – the league kicks off on 3rd February, Paraguay Football’s Apertura preview with ALL the transfer news will be up next week! I leave you with some more photos of this week’s games.