One of those rare weekends when Olimpia, Cerro and Libertad all fail to win, it means Guaraní (who drew with the latter) stay top of the table but have been joined by relegation-threatened Luque.
Independiente vs Olimpia
Estadio Defensores del Chaco
(1-1) 1-1 – Lugo; Salguiero
Another draw for Olimpia who conceded their first goal of the Clausura when Richard Lugo surprised them after just five minutes with a firm strike having been set up by Gabriel Avalos’ excellent flick on. The equaliser was a rocket from Juan Manuel Salgueiro, Olimpia having capitalised on their opponents failed attempt to play the ball out of their own half.
In the second period the major talking point was Hugo Fleytas Baez’s sending off, at the time of the foul the referee seemed to have indicated a penalty kick as the left-back had grabbed Jorge Baez’s ankle. After lenghty consultation with his assistant the red card remained for the dangerous play but the penalty for Olimpia was commuted to an Independiente goal kick with the offence deemed to have taken place off the pitch. The incident is around 15 minutes into the video above. The substitute Jorge Baez almost had the final word with a stunning swerving strike that was tipped round the post for a corner by Roque Cardozo.
Libertad vs Guaraní
Estadio Nicolas Leóz a.k.a Tuyucuá
A case of an exciting goalless contest between these two sides, the point for Guaraní was enough to keep them joint top of the table and consign Libertad to their second consecutive draw. For much of the first half the game was end to end, the home side often with a more intricate passing move while the aborigen tried to hit them quickly on the break. Both goalkeepers were called into action on numerous occassions.
In the second half the intense pace of the game continued up until the final 15 minutes when Nestor Camacho was sent off for a dangerous two-footed challenge. Ten-man Libertad contained Guarani although they did find a chance themselves as José Ariel Nuñez burst into the box and went down under pressure from his opponent in a controversial moment – the home side felt after the game that they should have had a penalty. The frustration was compounded at the end of the game when Nery Bareiro received a second yellow card meaning a second red card for the Gumarelo, still the nine-men held out for a point.
Cerro Porteño vs Sol de América
Estadio General Pablo Rojas a.k.a La Olla
(0-2) 2-3 – Da Silva, Nanni; Vazquez, Mendieta, Escalante
The defending champions still don’t have a league win to their name after three attempts, Fossati decided to rest some starters thinking ahead to their international involvement with Paraguay and the next round of the Copa Sudamericana. His gamble didn’t pay off at all as they quickly fell behind to two goals. Mingo Salcedo’s chested backpass was pounced on by Diego Vazquez after five minutes and things got worse on 25 minutes when David Mendieta’s cute finish doubled the lead following good work by Lorenzo Frutos.
Undoubtedly the azulgrana dressing room will have been talking about getting a goal back but almost immediately after the break they conceded a third, Sergio Escalante raced down the right and fired home. Cerro finally got a consolation following a goalmouth scramble at a corner, Alejandro Da Silva was awarded with it. The crowd got a lift with five minutes remaining when Roberto Nanni headed home at the second time of asking.
Other results: Luque continue their good start to the Clausura with a win at home against Tacuary, Claudio Vargas opened the scoring with a superb strike and Guido di Vanni put them 2-0 up at halftime with a crashing left-foot shot. The second half didn’t see any goals but there was a red card for either side as di Vanni clashed with Tacuary defender Gregor Aguayo. The Arce brothers Chiqui and Juan couldn’t be separated in Trinidad, a 1-1 draw with Josias Cardoso’s shot for Rubio Ñu cancelling out Jorge Ayala’s opener. A five-goal thriller in Ciudad del Este saw Cerro de Franco go two goals up only to be pegged back by Nacional who then snatched a last gasp winner with a Cesar Cáceres Cañete penalty.
Team of the Week: Roque Cardozo (Independiente); Caudio Vargas (Luque), Bruno Valdez (Sol de América), Luis Cabaral (Guarani), Sebastian Ariosa (Olimpia); Sebastian Eguren (Libertad), Sergio Orteman (Guaraní), Juan Manuel Salgueiro (Olimpia), Sergio Escalante (Sol de América); Diego Vazquez (Sol de América), Gabriel Avalos (Independiente)
Player of the Week: 20-year-old forward Diego Vazquez is just one of an exciting group of strikers in Sol de América’s side, he was too hot to handle for Cerro Porteño’s new look defence and having scored the first he was involved in the third and proved a nuisance all day.
Goal of the Week: Claudio Vargas twisted and turned to find room before unleashing a rocket past Carlos Servín in the Tacuary goal, it is the third goal on the video (which includes every goal from Week 3)
Stat of the Week: 18 – the number of goals Cerro Porteño have now scored in the final 15 minutes of games in 2012, it represents 36% of their goals scored!
By Ralph Hannah