Weekend Wrap: Goals Goals Goals as Cerro sit solo on summit

Guaraní vs Tacuary
Estadio Dos Bocas
(1-0) 4-0 – Fabio Escobar ’15, Dario Ocampo ’53, Dante Lopez ’61, Luis de la Cruz ’86

Guaraní’s revival continues, sweeping aside Tacuary in a confident display. The first goal was from the impressive Fabio Escobar, a stooping header at the back post from Eduardo Filippini’s cross. In the second half Tacuary were guilty of slack marking at the back post to allow Dario Ocampo to bring the ball down at the back post and rifle it past Carlos Servín. The third goal was another defensive slip, Dante Lopez had been played onside as he received Marcelo Palau’s pass (following some nifty footwork to create space) to turn the goalkeeper and score. Substitute Luis de la Cruz made it four in the dying minutes, a long crossfield ball from Elvis Marecos over the defense and the 20-year-old midfielder lobbed the onrushing Servín.

Fabio Escobar celebrates his opener, Photo: D10.com.py

Guaraní XI: J.Silva; E.Filippini, L.Cabral, J.Manzur E.Marecos; M.Palau, N.Romero, J.Mendoza, D.Ocampo, F.Escobar, D.López

Subs: T.Bartomeus for E.Filippini, L.De la Cruz for J.Mendoza, P.Chavez for D.Ocampo

Tacuary XI: C.Servín; G.Gimenez, L.Vera, D.Viera, M.Acosta; A.Mazacotte,P.Espinoza, L.Silva, R.Román, J.Ortega; S.Alvarenga

Subs: E.Ortiz for L.Silva, G.Vieira for A.Mazacotte, M.Gimenez for R.Román

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Sol de America vs Libertad
Estadio Luis Giagni
(0-2) 0-3 – Luciano Civelli ’29, Sergio Aquino (pen) ’45+3 José Ariel Nuñez ’75

Sol have suffered in the last two games and Libertad with no Copa Libertadores worries put in arguably their most complete league performance of the year. Victor Caceres was named M.o.M but it could have been any outfield player in a game that Libertad dominated. Cristian Menéndez is used to scoring but he was to be the provider today, the Argentine’s cross from the right was brought down by compatriot Luciano Civelli and as the first defender slipped he jinked past the second to score with his weaker right foot. On the stroke of half time Libertad were two goals clear, Sergio Aquino’s penalty after Menéndez was felled in the area by Sol’s goalkeeper, Mario Santilli.  In the second half José Ariel Nuñez, back from injury, completed the scoring with an excellent goal on the breakaway. Nuñez evaded the keeper and finished from a tight angle having been played in by an incisive through ball by Menéndez.

Luciano Civelli celebrates goal for Libertad, Photo: golazotropical.com.py

Sol de América XI: M.Santilli; R.Bonet, R.Martinez, E.Segovia, D.Arruá; F.Gimenez, E.Orzusa, A.Rojas, D.Ciz; J.Ortigoza, E.Prono

Subs: D.Mendieta for E.Segovia, S.Escalante for F.Gimenez, C.Dominguez for A.Rojas

Libertad XI: R.Muñoz; C.Bonet, N.Bareiro, I.Benegas, M.Samudio; R.Gamarra, V.Caceres, S.Aquino, L.Civelli, P.Velazquez, C.Menendez

Subs: V.Ayala for C.Bonet, J.A.Nuñez for P.Velazquez, J.Santana for R.Gamarra

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Olimpia vs  Nacional
Estadio Para Uno
(1-0) 2-1 – Luis Caballero ’36, Maxi Biancucchi ’87; Ariel Bogado ’57

In general Olimpia and Man Utd comparisons are pretty easy to make, most domestic titles, large fan base, strong record in international competition and at the moment it is even easier. The day before United played ‘badly’ and beat Tottenham, Olimpia did the same thing to Nacional, the same thing they’ve been doing for the last few weeks. They are not playing as well as Cerro Porteño in terms of aesthetics but they are gathering up points.

Olimpia’s opener was courtesy of Caballero’s cabezazo after 36 minutes and one would have imagined plain sailing from there on in, especially when Nacional’s defender Herminio Miranda received his second yellow. But El Decano enjoy making things difficult for themselves, the game was evened up numerically on 50 minutes when Adrian Romero suffered the same fate as Miranda. Seven minutes later a corner from the left was misjudged by the usually inflappable Martin Silva and Ariel Bogado was on hand to steer it home with his head.

As the game progressed, Nacional’s coach Javier Torrente became more and more incensed by what he saw as incorrect refereeing decisions and eventually he was sent off and put in what seemed to be a dungeon underneath the ground (seriously). He was probably close to exploding when Olimpia won the game three minutes from time when Maxi Biancucchi turned in Sergio Orteman’s square ball. Goalkeeper Ignacio Don immediately claimed a foul in the build up by Arnaldo Castorino who had slid in close to the Argentine, but any contact was minimal.

Javier Torrente in his makeshift cell!

Torrente was released at full time and marched (policeman by his side) to remonstrate with the officials, Olimpia breathed freely again after another bruising battle that they had won. Friday they visit Libertad, ‘crunch game’ is an understatement.

Olimpia XI: M.Silva; F.Nájera, A.Romero, E.Meza, E.Ariosa; E.Aranda, S.Orteman, F.Caballero V.Marín; M.Biancucchi, L.Caballero

Subs: S.Almirón for L.Caballero, O.Hobecker for F.Caballero, A.Castorino for E.Aranda

Red Card: A.Romero (2nd Yellow)

Nacional XI: I.Don; R.Mazacotte, H.Miranda, D.Caniza, D.Mendoza; C.Ruiz Peralta, J.Villareal, M.Riveros, R.Caceres; A.Bogado, R.Texeira

Subs: R.Piris for C.Ruiz Peralta, J.Gonzalez for R.Texeira, G.Cano for A.Bogado

Red Card: H.Miranda (2nd Yellow)

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Cerro Porteño vs Rubio Ñu
Estadio General Pablo Rojas (La Olla)
(3-0) 5-3 – Santiago Salcedo ’10, Edgar Benitez ’20, Mariano Uglessich ’24, Luis Caceres ’69, Guillermo Beltran ’90; Roberto Acuña ’59, Josias Cardoso ’89, Alberto Espínola ’93

The writing was on the wall after just ten minutes when Santiago Salcedo put them 1-0 up, a header from an excellent Walter Lopez cross that left the goalkeeper stranded and bounced up perfectly for the striker. Edgar Benitez should have had a penalty soon after having been shoved in the back, but he got his rewards with a goal on 20 mins. Lopez again was at the fore, his mishit cross was palmed onto the crossbar before falling at Benitez’s feet. Four minutes later Mariano Uglessich turned in corner on the volley with a clever run to near post. The best chance for the visitor’s was Diego Chamorro’s freekick that bounced just in front Diego Barreto, a brilliant reflex stop put it out for a corner. Cerro were playing very well, keeping posession and finding space wide by dragging Rubio Ñu all over the place. The away team ketp attacking and created a few chances before half time, several shots from within the box were blocked by an azulgrana defender.

The 2nd half saw Rubio Ñu continue with their game, trying to keep the ball and as ever they looked for openings, in the 53rd minute they had the ball in the net but it was ruled out for offside. Six minutes later a lovely piece of skill from Claudio Correa earned them a freekick on edge of the ‘d’ which Toro Acuña stroked home. At that point Juan Arce went for it, throwing on Josias Cardoso for a defender as Cerro went negative, bringing off Salcedo for midfielder Luis Caceres. Rubio Ñu seemed to be in the ascendency and nerves were getting a bit frayed amongst the home support, but that all evaporated in the blink of a Cerro counter attack. Benitez held the ball up and played it back to Caceres, he moved forward unopposed and instead of passing he unleashed a thunderbolt from 25 yards. Mario Grana was particularly relieved and took to furioulsy kicking an ice box while swearing to release the tension.

Grana appears and the ice boxes run scared Photo: D10.com.py

Eric Ramos was sent off (a soft second yellow card) to cap a miserable day out for the albiverde before a crazy spell of three goals in stoppage time. Josias Cardoso did close the gap momentarily, his header following a wonderful cross from Acuña having used his body to work some space on the right. Then Jonathan Fabbro replied with a pinpoint pass to Caceres and his low cross was met by debutant Guillermo Beltrán in the 92nd minute. Toro Acuña was to have the last word in this battle of two midfielders who are a joy to watch, he dug out a cross and substitute defender Alberto Espinola managed to flick a header in. At that point the referee decided to end the game to put a stop to the playground style end to end scoring.

Cerro Porteño XI: D.Barreto, M.Corujo, M.Uglessich, P.Benitez, W.López; J.Rojas, A.Gonzalez, F.Oviedo, J.Dos Santos; S.Salcedo, E.Benitez

Subs: L.Caceres for S.Salcedo, J.Fabbro for J.Dos Santos, G.Beltrán for J.Rojas

Rubio Ñu XI: O.Cabral; A.Rodriguez, G.Velazquez, J.Devaca, N.Ruiz; C.Llamas, R.Acuña, E.Ramos, D.Chamorro; D.Gonzalez, C.Correa

Subs: A.Espínola for N.Ruiz, J.Cardoso for A.Rodriguez, O.Velazquez for J.Devaca

Red Card: E.Ramos (2nd yellow)

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OFF THE BALL

Managerial Merry-go-Round: With Carapeguá sacking Eradio Espinoza last week (replaced by Mario Jacquet), Independiente have followed suit and given Martín Garcia the AVB treatment. His replacement is Olimpia hero and former national team coach, Alicio Solalinde.

Team of the Week: Ignacio Don (Nacional); Tomás Bartomeus (Guaraní), Mariano Uglessich (Cerro Porteño), Ismael Benegas (Libertad), Walter Lopez (Cerro Porteño); Roberto Acuña (Rubio Ñu), Dario Ocampo (Guaraní) Eduardo Echeverría (Carapeguá); Cristian Menendez (Libertad), Fabio Escobar (Guaraní), Guido Di Vanni (Luque)

Special Mention: There were so many good performances by strikers this week which means Jorge Ayala misses out despite getting a brace for Carapeguá, hopefully see you in the team next Monday!

Player of the Week: Cristian Menéndez a.k.a El Polaco is strong and has a knack of scoring, but this week he wasn’t on the scoresheet but was involved in all three of Libertad’s goals. With his back to goal he is often unplayable, wonderful strength and touch making it impossible for defenders to get the ball off him.

Player of the Week Menéndez, Photo: D10.com.py

Donkey of the Week: A collective “ee-aw” for the Tacuary defence, usually much sharper and organised they were all at sea against Guaraní

Stat of the Week: 4 – the average goals per game in a week of thrashings.

Goal of the Week: A few to pick from but there is something beautiful about how Acuña strikes a free kick,which you can see below.

ALL THE WEEKEND GOALS HERE

Results: Guaraní 4-0 Tacuary, Sol de América 0-3 Libertad, Olimpia 2-1 Nacional, Carapeguá 3-0 Independiente, Cerro Porteño 5-3 Rubio Ñu, Luque 3-0 Cerro PF

By Ralph Hannah

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