A close win for Cerro Porteño following Olimpia’s draw with their Ciudad del Este namesake Cerro de Presidente Franco has closed the gap between the teams to five points. Meanwhile Libertad have woken up following their slump as they recorded another big victory this time against Luque in freefall.
Olimpia vs Cerro PF
Estadio Manuel Ferreira a.k.a Para Uno
(1-1) 3-3 – Edgar Aranda 35′, Adrián Romero 51′, Vladimir Marín 65′; Rogerio Leichtweis 40′ & 72′, Francisco Lopez 83′
Olimpia welcomed back their injured stars in defence and embarked on their quest for a tenth consecutive win and preserve their seven point lead at the top. It was somewhat ironic therefore that with the reinforced rearguard Olimpia conceded three in the league for the first time in 28 games! For Cerro PF it was the first time this year they had scored more than one goal away from Alto Paraná and only the second time they’ve hit three since being promoted.
Things started brightly for Olimpia with Eduardo Aranda rocketing home a drive to put El Decano ahead having received Pablo Zeballo’s beautifully weighted pass. Cerro de Franco for their part were not dispirited by going a goal down and took just five minutes to get back on level pegging, Rogerio Leichtweis played a clever one-two with Cristian Andersen and shot across Martin Silva as the teams went into halftime on a par. Against Carapeguá midweek, Olimpia stormed out of the blocks in the second half taking the game by the scruff of the neck and motoring on to a win. The same story played out on Saturday night, after 65 minutes they were 3-1 ahead.
Adrián Romero had restored Olimpia’s lead just six minutes into the second half with a thumping header from Aranda’s cross after the Uruguayan defender had roamed forward in an attacking move. Vladimir Marín doubled the lead with a simple tap to end an excellent passing move that had split Cerro’i apart. The Colombian opened the play on the left and when the centre found Marín again on the edge of the area he played a ball over the defense to Luis Nery Caballero before getting into the box to get on the end of Caballero’s pass.
Olimpia had the game sewn up but managed to let Cerro PF tear away at the stitching with some unspectacular defending. Firstly Leichtweis got his second of the match, the 23-year-old seemed to be well marked but had no problem heading in a corner after Silva decided to stay on his line and Olimpia seemed to switch off collectively. The hero of the hour was substitute Francisco López who stunned the home side in the 83rd minute. A shot from the left of the box was blocked by Romero only to fall at the feet of López, with the defender off balance he was composed as he jinked to the left and fired passed the onrushing Silva.
Olimpia’s run comes to an end although they remain unbeaten and top of the league, certainly more a speedbump rather than a pothole.
Olimpia XI: Martín Silva; Francisco Nájera, Adrián Romero, Enrique Meza, Sebastián Ariosa; Eduardo Aranda, Sergio Orteman, Hernan Perez, Vladimir Marín; Pablo Zeballos, Luis Nery Caballero
Subs: Arnaldo Castorino for Luis Nery Caballero, Carlos Humberto Paredes for Hernan Perez, Gabriel Montiel for Eduardo Aranda
Cerro PF XI: Rafael Agüero; Gustavo Velázquez, Fabián Balbuena, Arnaldo Recalde; Fulvio Duarte, Jorge Villar; Miguel Godoy, Joel González, Leonardo Delvalle, Cristian Andersen; Rogerio Leichtweis
Subs: Nelson Figueredo for Joel Gonzalez, Francisco López for Cristian Andersen, Marcos Prieto for Rogerio Leichtweis
Luque vs Libertad
Estadio Feliciano Caceres
(0-0) 0-4 – Victor Caceres 52′, José Ariel Nuñez 83′, Cristian Nasuti 88′, Rodolfo Gamarra 91′
Once again Luque were blown away in the later stages to go down heavily and are starting to lose touch at the bottom of the promedio standings. The first half finished goalless in the Feliciano Caceres before Victor ‘Topo’ Caceres broke the deadlock early into the second period following a counter attack. The midfielder found himself in the box and latched onto a good pass from Nestor Camacho before rounding Ever Caballero and tapping in.
Luque remained strong and kept looking for the equaliser with Juan Pablo Raponi and Carlos Martinez leading the charge but left space at the back as they did against Cerro Porteño. While El Ciclón only scored twice late-on to make it 3-0, Libertad went one further netting a treble in the final seven minutes of play to win by four goals.
José Ariel Nuñez sprinted onto Luciano Civelli’s pass to dink the ball over his opposing goalkeeper before Cristian Nasuti profited from Victor Ayala’s proficiency at set pieces, heading in a corner. The final goal was a combination between two substitutes who have lost their places in the starting line up recently, Civelli again providing a low cross that should have been cut out, Rodolfo Gamarra turning the ball in. It just proves the strength and depth of the Guma’s squad that players of that calibre can find themselves out of the team on merit (Camacho was player of the week last Monday).
Luque XI: Ever Caballero; Juan Gamarra, Pablo Aguilar, Oscar Gimenez, Sergio Vergara; Claudio Vargas, Carlos Martinez, Jorge Britez, Juan Pablo Raponi; Guido di Vanni, Rodrigo Soria
Subs: Edgar Robles for Rodrigo Soria, Carlos Villagra for Sergio Vergara, Cesar Caceres Cañete for Jorge Britez
Libertad XI: Rodrigo Muñoz; Carlos Bonet, Cristian Nasuti, Ismael Benegas, Miguel Samudio; Víctor Ayala, Víctor Cáceres, Jonathan Santana y Néstor Camacho; José Ariel Núñez, Pablo Velázquez
Subs: Luciano Civelli for Nestor Camacho, Cristian Menendez for Pablo Velazquez, Rodolfo Gamarra for José Ariel Nuñez
Cerro Porteño vs Carapeguá
Estadio La Olla
(1-0) 1-0 – Mariano Uglessich 29′
Cerro kept the title race open with an important win over Carapeguá that improved interim manager Hugo Caballero’s stock and took their winning streak at La Olla to nine games. Although that run was nearly ended by a late Carapeguá goal, given by Carlos Amarilla only to be ruled out when he saw his assistant’s raised flag. Replays have shown that it was the correct decision as Ricardo Tom Ortiz had strayed offside following a hectic move in which Diego Barreto made a great save from Ortiz, the ball then hit Amarilla before being deflected in by the prostrate Ortiz.
The only legitimate goal of the game was from Mariano Uglessich who headed in Mathias Corujo’s corner, the second time in as many games that a defender has been the first on the scoresheet for El Ciclón. Carapeguá were well organised and created chances as they always do despite their low league position and Barreto was forced into several superb stops vindicating his position as Chiqui Arce’s number one. The win was met with a huge cheer by the weekend’s largest crowd it was a significant step towards clawing back Olimpia.
Cerro Porteño XI: Diego Barreto; Mathías Corujo, Mariano Uglessich, Pedro Benítez, César Benítez; Jorge Rojas, Julio Dos Santos, Fidencio Oviedo, Édgar Benítez; Roberto Nanni, Santiago Salcedo
Subs: Guillermo Beltrán for Roberto Nanni, Jonathan Fabbro for Santiago Salcedo, Luis Caceres for Edgar Benitez
Carapeguá XI: Wilson Quiñónez; Aldo Olmedo, Jorge Cáceres, Marcos Arce ; Jorge Florentín, Julio Irrazábal, Eduardo Echeverría, Daniel Almirón, Ricardo Tom Ortiz; Rodrigo Cantero; Jorge Ayala
Subs: Esteban Ramirez for Jorge Florentín, Danilo Carando for Daniel Almirón
OFF THE BALL
Guaraní grinding: Two consecutive 1-0 wins for the aborigen with both goals from Marcelo Palau a defensive midfield by trade but has shown quality further up the field with four goals to his name so far this year. Crucially for Guaraní they are keeping apace with Libertad in what could be an interesting battle for the accumulative Copa Libertadores spot come the Clausura.
Salvador Cabañas watch: El Mariscal was left on the bench in 12 de Octubre’s 1-1 draw
Stat of the Week: 360 minutes is how long it has been since Diego Barreto conceded at La Olla (via ABC)
Player of the Week: Rogerio Leichtweis was sent off last week but on Saturday the striker picked up two goals against Olimpia to help Cerro PF
Donkey of the Week: Fredy Coronel of Rubio Ñu needlessly picked up a second booking in the 63rd minute against Guaraní, ten minutes later his side were losing 1-0 with no way back. The last thing a manager needs when their team is away from home and on course to pick up a vital point in what has been an indifferent season.
Goal of the Week: Eduardo Aranda doesn’t score often but when he does they are usually pearlers (and come in a 3-3 draw) his venomous opener for Olimpia from a tight angle was the pick of the bunch.
Results: Olimpia 3-3 Cerro PF, Luque 0-4 Libertad, Sol de América 1-2 Independiente, Guaraní 1-0 Rubio Ñu, Cerro Porteño 1-0 Carapeguá, Tacuary 0-3 Nacional
Intermedia Results: 3 de Febrero 5-1 Dvo. Capiatá, Atl.Colegiales 0-1 29 de Setiembre, Gral. Díaz 2-0 Sp. Iteño, River Plate 1-0 Fdo de la Mora, Sp. San Lorenzo 1-0 Paranaense FC, Trinidense 0-3 Sport Colombia, Resistencia 1-1 Gral. Caballero, Sp. 2 de Mayo 3-1 Dvo. Santaní
By Ralph Hannah