Weekend Wrap: An inspired Independiente blow title race wide open

Incredibly Independiente beat Olimpia for the first time ever to keep the difference at the top of the table to just two points following Cerro Porteño’s win against their sister-side Cerro de Franco in Ciudad del Este. All the while Libertad are creeping up the ladder thanks to a win over Tacuary and will only be three points further back if should they win their game in hand next month.

Main

Game Cerro PF vs Cerro Porteño
Estadio Oddone Sarubbi
(1-2) 1-2– Guillermo Beltrán 11′, Walter López 29′; Leonardo Delvalle 27′

GOALS HERE

Cerro Porteño became just hte second side to win against Cerro de Franco in Alto Paraná despite spending half of the game with ten men following an eventful day for Uruguayan Walter López. After just five minutes the left back was thrown on when his compatriot Matías Corujo was injured. By halftime he had been sent off for the third time this season but not before he scored the winner in a frantic first thirty minutes.

Beltran celebrates his 2nd Cerro goal - Photo: D10.com.py

Guillermo Beltrán was first onto the scoresheet just eleven minutes into his first start for Cerro Porteño since joining from Once Caldas, the goal coming from a dead ball situation. Santiago Salcedo had moved towards the ball and away from his marker to flick the ball with his thigh into the path of Beltrán who struck emphatically on the half-turn to put the visitor’s ahead. Leonardo Delvalle managed to equalise some 16 minutes later from Fulvio Duarte’s clever hooked pass as El Ciclón went to sleep at a throw-in.

It took just two minutes later for the Asunción club to restore their lead, again a set piece, Julio Dos Santos’ inswinging freekick was of such quality that four attacking players could have headed it in, the benefactor in the end was Walter López who looked slightly surprised to have scored his second goal of the season. López was even more surprised on the stroke of halftime to receive his second booking of the game, he spoke of a conspiracy against him after the game but in truth he just needs to be a little bit more professional. His disciplinary record has seriously let him down this year.

Walter López scored the winner before being sent off - Photo: D10.com.py

In the second half the home side went in search of the equaliser and reverted to three at the back with wing backs (which Eduardo Rivera has been a fan of in previous games). But despite carving out some good chances and forcing plenty of corners (five in second half to Cerro Porteño’s one) they were unable to breach Diego Barreto’s goal as the boys from Barrio Obrero went home with all three points.

Cerro PF XI: Rafael Agüero; Gustavo Velázquez, Fabián Balbuena, Nelson Figueredo, Arnaldo Recalde; Fulvio Duarte, Miguel Godoy, Oscar Benítez, Leonardo Delvalle, Cristian Andersen; Rogerio Leichtweis

Subs:  Jorge Villar for Arnaldo Recalde, Sergio Samudio for Miguel Godoy, Francisco López for Fulvio Duarte

Cerro Porteño XI: Diego Barreto; Matías Corujo, Mariano Uglessich, Pedro Benítez, César Benítez; Jorge Rojas, Julio Dos Santos, Fidencio Oviedo, Édgar Benítez; Guillermo Beltrán, Santiago Salcedo

Subs: Walter López for Matias Corujo, Alexis Gonzalez for Guillermo Beltrán, Jonathan Fabbro for Santiago Salcedo

Sent Off: Walter López (2nd yellow card)

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Independiente vs Olimpia
Estadio Defensores del Chaco
(2-0) 3-0 – Francisco Garcia 8′,  Michel Godoy 14′, Imanol Iriberri 73′

For the second week running Olimpia conceded three and dropped points as their position on top of the Apertura 2012 pile is looking precarious. Full credit must go to Independiente who really took the game to Olimpia from the onset and were rewarded with two goals in the first quarter of an hour.

Francisco Garcia bagan the rout with a golazo that Cerro Porteño fans certainly cheered this time (ask me on Twitter if you don’t get the reference). Independiente broke with four players against four and as the ball was spread to Garcia on the left the youngster cut in onto his favoured right foot and let fly with a looping shot that left Martin Silva floundering. Another break led to the freekick which set up the second goal for the side from Campo Grande. Michel Godoy scored with a flicked header as Enrique Meza and Francisco Nájera seemed to be sleeping as they were not within five yards of the central defender.

Winning Eleven - Photo: Independiente de Campo Grande/Facebook

Nothing seemed to be going right for El Decano who offered almost nothing going forward in the first half and the defending didn’t improve in the second period. Imanol Iriberri was free on the right and despite the attentions of Renzo Reveredo, goalkeeper Silva rushed out to try and close the striker. It failed. Iriberri left the goalkeeper stranded outside his box and was strong enough to hold off Reveredo and finish in the empty net. To cap a terrible cold April evening for Olimpia the central defender Enrique Meza earned himself a red card and the unbeaten record was no more. For Independiente it was their third win in four games, Alicio Solalinde seems to be getting what he wants from his side.

Zeballos distraught as Independiente party - Photo: D10.com.py

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: Renzo Reveredo for Francisco Nájera, Arnaldo Castorino for Vladimir Marín, Osvaldo Hobecker for Hernán Perez

Sent off: Enrique Meza (Dangerous play)

Independiente XI: Roque Cardozo; José Baez, Michel Godoy, Miguel Almirón, Rody Martinez; Aldo Vera, Luis Miño, Edgar Ferreira, Francisco García; Emanuel Biancucchi, Imanol Iriberri

Subs: Victor Dávalos for Aldo Vera, Carlos Machuca for Francisco García, Osvaldo Díaz for Imanol for Iriberri

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OFF THE BALL

Solalinde’s sweet revenge: Alicio Solalinde was at his former club Olimpia until recently as technical director but is said to have left because he wasn’t being paid on time by Marcelo Recanate. It makes yesterday’s win all the more sweeter!

Toro sees red: Roberto ‘Toro’ Acuña is a wonderful professional still one of the league’s best midfielders to watch at the ripe old age of 40. Yesterday, however, he did the hapless Rubio Ñu side no favours by picking up a red card for elbowing Sol de América striker Enzo Prono.

Cold front affects attendances: Lower crowds than usual at the Olimpia and Cerro games was probably down to the cold snap, I confess I didn’t last the full 90 minutes at the only game I went to (6 de Julio vs Cordillerana in Costa Ybate, Caraguatay).

Salvador Cabañas watch: The former Paraguay international played 55 minutes in 12 de Octubre’s 3-1 win

Stat of the Week: 14 – the number of goals in Week 14’s games

Player of the Week: Francisco Garcia was one of the best player’s in Independiente’s woeful 5-2 defeat to Nacional when I last watched the side in person and yesterday the ex-Cerro Porteño player

Donkey of the Week: The Olimpia defence had this coming last week but survived as it might have been a one-off but six goals in two fixtures for the defending champions puts all six (including Reveredo the sub) in the dock.

Goal of the Week: Francisco Garcia’s was certainly the pick of the bunch, take a bow son

Photos of the week: Check out the best photos on D10’s website

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

Intermedia Results:  Sp. Iteño 0-0 Colegiales, 29 de Setiembre 0-1 River Plate, Gral. Caballero 0-2 Gral. Diaz, Dvo. Capiatá 2-3 2 de Mayo, Paranaense 2-0 Trinidense, Fdo de la Mora 1-2 Sp. San Lorenzo, Sport Colombia 1-2 3 de Febrero, Dvo. Sataní 0-0 Resistencia

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By Ralph Hannah

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