Three points is all that separates arch-rivals Cerro Porteño and Olimpia after another topsy turvy week in the 2012 Apertura. The defending champions couldn’t beat Nacional in Ciudad del Este while a last-minute Julio Dos Santos goal gave the azulgrana maximum returns from their clash with Rubio Ñu. This was the final game before the scheduled mid-season break to allow Paraguay time to acclimatise in Bolivia ahead of the World Cup Qualifier in La Paz.
Rubio Ñu vs Cerro Porteño
Estadio Defensores del Chaco
(1-1) 2-3 – Josias Cardoso 41′, Arturo Aquino 81′; Mariano Uglessich 31′, Roberto Nanni 64′, Julio Dos Santos 90′
Another thrilling game between these two sides (last time was 5-3 to Cerro) was decided by Julio Dos Santos’ strike seconds before the end of regulation time after Rubio Ñu had equalised with less than ten minutes remaining. It consigned the albiverde to their fifth straight defeat while Cerro now have seven victories in ten games, not a bad return.
The scoring started with Argentinian defender Mariano Uglessich, a header from a wonderful Jonathan Fabbro corner, who netted just after the half hour mark. Brazilian striker Josias Cardoso replied with a thunderous left-footed strike after Diego Barreto had saved Fredy Coronel’s sharp shot. The latter was then sent off for a second bookable offence, his second expulsion in three games. At halftime Hugo Caballero, criticised for making a defensive change last weekend while on top, decided to haul off goalscoring defender Uglessich for striker Roberto Nanni and go to a 3-4-3 formation. The change was justified when Nanni grabbed a goal after a wonderful pass from Fabbro to put the veteran forward through on goal.
While it seemed Cerro had done enough to win they were stunned in the 81st minute by left-back Arturo Aquino’s wonder goal, a thirty-yard free kick that over the wall and past Barreto’s despairing dive. Then came that Dos Santos winner, once again Fabbro was involved to cap an excellent performance, his dinked pass found Nanni who sent a cushioned header across goal for Dos Santos to turn in.
Rubio Ñu XI: Osvaldo Cabral; Alberto Espínola, José De Vaca, Derlis Riveros, Arturo Aquino; Fredy Coronel, Wilfrido Bazán, Erick Ramos; Derlis González, Claudio Correa, Josías Cardoso
Subs: César Llamas for Claudio Correa, William Santader for Josias Cardoso
Sent Off: Fredy Coronel (2nd Yellow Card)
Cerro Porteño XI: Diego Barreto; César Benítez, Mariano Uglessich, Pedro Benítez, Luis Cardozo; Jorge Rojas, Fidencio Oviedo, Julio Dos Santos, Jonathan Fabbro, Edgar Benítez; Guillermo Beltrán
Subs: Roberto Nanni for Mariano Uglessich, Juan Manuel Lucero for Guillermo Beltrán
Nacional vs Olimpia
Estadio Antonio Oddone Sarubbi
Last week Olimpia huffed and puffed to score in the final minute of stoppage time, no such luck for El Decano on Sunday as they failed to score and have just one win in the last four. Most worrying for Gerardo Pelusso must be the lack of goals since he dismissed the now notorious trio for indiscipline. Without Sergio Orteman and Vladimir Marín in the side there is obviously a lack of creativity and it has proved with just one goal in the 180 minutes without that pair.
Olimpia did take some positives from the game with the first team return of both Richard Ortiz and Julio Cesar Cáceres from long term injury. As for Nacional this was a valuable point in the quest for another continental appearance in 2013.
Nacional XI: Ignacio Don; Ricardo Mazacotte; Herminio Miranda, Denis Caniza, Raúl Piris; Carlos Ruiz Peralta, Silvio Torales, Marcos Riveros, Ramón Cáceres; Rodrigo Teixeira, Ariel Bogado
Subs: Gustavo Cristaldo for Ramón Cáceres, Derlis Orué for Marcos Riveros, Javier González for Rodrigo Teixeira
Olimpia XI: Martín Silva; Renzo Revoredo, Francisco Nájera, Carlos Humberto Paredes, Sebastián Ariosa; Eduardo Aranda, Miguel Amado, Osvaldo Hobecker; Pablo Zeballos, Luis Caballero, Maxi Biancucchi
Subs: Richard Ortíz for Miguel Amado, Julio César Cáceres for Carlos Humberto Paredes, Arnaldo Castorino for Pablo Zeballos
Libertad vs Sol de América
Estadio Nicolas Leóz
(0-0) 0-1 – José Ortigoza 85′
What a season it has been for the danzarín who have now taken 51 points from 31 matches under Ricardo Dabrowski (thanks to Alex Chapman for that stat) and boast the league’s topscorer in José Ortigoza who got the winner five minutes from time. The Paraguay international was involved in the build up down the left, receiving a pass from David Mendieta and returning it via a classy backheel. Mendieta’s deep cross was met at the far post by Edgar Orzusa diving forward to head it past Cecilio Dominguez and with Libertad’s defenders ball watching Orti was on hand to drive the ball home with his left foot.
That victory was the third successive win for Sol de América, the last time they managed four in a row was in August 2008 – can they emulate that this year? I suppose we will “find out after the break”
Libertad XI: Rodrigo Muñoz; Jorge Moreira, Joe Bizera, Pedro Sarabia, Gustavo Mencia; Marcos Melgarejo, Víctor Cáceres, Jonathan Santana, Nestor Camacho; Rodolfo Gamarra, Cristian Menendez
Subs: Maurito Caballero for Marcos Melgarejo; José Ariel Nuñez for Nestor Camacho, Victor Ayala for Jorge Moreira
Sol de América XI: Roberto Acosta; Roberto Bonet, Ricardo Martinez, Bruno Valdez, Diego Ciz; Sergio Escalante, Angel Enciso, Marcos Duré, David Mendieta; Enzo Prono, José Ortigoza
Subs: Cecilio Dominguez for Enzo Prono, Edgar Orzusa for Sergio Escalante, Alfredo Rojas for Marcos Duré
OFF THE BALL
Just a brief one as I was away this weekend…
Player of the Week: Jonathan Fabbro put in a majestic performance for Cerro Porteño just when they needed it, he was heavily involved in all three goals.
Goal of the Week: Arturo Aquino’s stunning free kick for Rubio Ñu can be found here
Results: Cerro PF 0-1 Luque, Libertad 0-1 Sol de América, Tacuary 1-1 Guaraní, Nacional 0-0 Olimpia, Independiente 1-1 Carapeguá, Rubio Ñu 2-3 Cerro Porteño
Intermedia Results: 29 de Setiembre 1 – 1 Trinidense, Fndo de la Mora 1 – 0 3 de Febrero, Sport Colombia 4 – 2 Resistencia , Gral Caballero 0 – 1 Atl. Colegiales , Gral Díaz 0 – 0 River Plate, Paranaense 1 – 2 2 de Mayo, Dvo. Capiatá 5 – 0 Dvo. Santaní, Sp. Iteño 1 – 3 San Lorenzo
By Ralph Hannah