In a weekend that saw Sol and Guaraní both lose their unbeaten records in the league (the only two clubs that hadn’t suffered defeat until yesterday) it can still be considered a fairly ‘normal’ week as for the first time in the Clausura the ‘Big 3’ of Cerro, Olimpia and Libertad all recorded victories. Luque were the double winners, beating Carapeguá to catch up with them in the promedio standings and moving top of the table at the same time. Here is a brief round-up of the televised games.
Tacuary vs Olimpia
Estadio Roberto Bettega
(2-2) 2-3 – Martinez, Viera; Salgueiro (2), Ortiz
Another thriller in Zeballos Cué, reminiscent of the famous Olimpia win by the same scoreline whihc effectively sealed the 2011 Clausura title. Credit must go to Tacuary who really took the game to their opponents early on and both teams played at an incredible pace in the first half. That initial forty-five minutes had four goals which left question marks hanging over both defences, particularly Olimpia’s with Alejandro Silva guilty of losing concentration to keep Nicolás Martinez onside for the opening goal. The equaliser was a touch of class from the best player on the pitch, Juan Manuel Salgueiro, the Uruguayan hit a direct freekick out of reach of Carlos Servín. Richard Ortiz scored what can only be described as a ‘playground goal’ as the ball became part of a scrap on the six-yard line following a corner. Diego Viera’s equaliser for Tacuary was also via a set piece with the free kick seemingly bouncing off a back and then an arm before being turned in. Olimpia appealed for a handball but on closer inspection it seemed to have struck their defender Enrique Meza’s forearm.
The second half saw Tacuary try and preserve the point they must have felt they had earned, they sat deep and tried to pick off Olimpia on the break. While the away side kept pushing for a winner, a turning point in the match came almost by chance – striker Arnaldo Castorino limped off with an injury and Gregorio Perez decided to send on winger Jorge Nuñez and change to a 4-4-2. The ploy worked well as Nuñez constantly put the ball into the box, it was direct but it caused unrest among the Tacuary defence. With ten minutes to go and the game still tied, Perez threw caution to the wind bringing on a striker for a defender. He got his reward for his bravery with three minutes to go, a Nuñez cross to the back post was headed back across goal by Maxi Biancucchi and Salgueiro arrived late to head in his second of the game and fourth of the season.
Independiente vs Cerro Porteño
Estadio Defensores del Chaco
(0-0) 0-1 – Dos Santos
Like Olimpia, Cerro Porteño left it late to beat their lowly rivals in what was an exciting contest despite the lack of goals. Independiente struck the bar after just one minute through Aldo Vera and the nominal home side had several more chances to take the lead in the first half, most notably through Gabriel Avalos who got the better of Pedro Benitez only to fire over the bar. Cerro for their part were not without goalmouth action and looked particularly dangerous from set pieces as Independiente committed a lot of fouls in their own third.
Ultimately it was a moment of good fortune (coupled with Independiente’s profligacy in front of goal) that led to the winner. Julio Dos Santos whipped in a dangerous cross that evaded everybody including Blas Hermosilla and crept in. It was their 20th goal of the season scored in the last 15 minutes, an incredible statistic.
Nacional vs Sol de América
Estadio Arsenio Erico
(1-0) 1-0 – Piris
Nacional’s captain and experienced centreback Raúl Piris got the only goal to earn the Academia their first home win of the season while condemning Sol to their first defeat. He thumped the ball into the roof of the net following a corner that wasn’t cleared properly.
Other results: As mentioned above Guaraní lost their unbeaten status when they crashed to defeat in Presidente Franco against Cerro de Franco, it was an excellent home win for the azulgrana who profited from Rogerio Leichtweis to score the only goal of the game. Luque were comfortable winners over Carapeguá, 3-1 with
Saguier gone: Carlos Jara Saguier has announced his resignation following Independiente’s latest defeat, the man who guided Paraguay to their only Olympic medal (Silver 2004) said he is ‘tired’ and has stepped aside.
Team of the Week: Diego Barreto (Cerro Porteño); Claudio David Vargas (Luque), Raúl Piris (Nacional), Mariano Uglessich (Cerro Porteño), Walter López (Cerro Porteño); Carlos Ruiz Peralta (Nacional), Richard Ortiz (Olimpia), Juan Manuel Salgueiro (Olimpia), Aldo Vera (Independiente); Rogerio Leichtweis (Cerro de Franco), José Ariel Nuñez (Libertad)
Player of the Week: Juan Manuel Salgueiro deserves it this week for his two goals and another strong all-round display for Olimpia, it begs the question just why was he left out of the team that played Emelec.
Goal of the Week: Salgueiro’s freekick was very good but my favourite was Adrián Duarte’s late goal for Luque, he raced onto the through ball and lifted it over the goalkeeper, check it out on the link below.
By Ralph Hannah