Week 8 was a veritable goal fest in Paraguay with 20 goals scored at an average of 3.33 per game, the highest scoring was Cerro Porteño’s 3-3 draw with Libertad while the lowest scoring was Guaraní’s smash and grab win over Olimpia by the single goal. We look at both those games in more detail here.
Olimpia vs Guaraní
(0-0) 0-1 – Centurión 78′
The clásico añejo was an entertaining contest, particularly in the first half, as both teams looked capable of opening the scoring. Olimpia looked better in possession and more dangerous when Juan Manuel Salgueiro received the ball in the opposition half but Guaraní threatened in spells especially down the left-hand side with the surging runs of Dario Ocampo. In fact it was Guaraní who came closest with a Diego Centurión goal ruled out for offside although replays suggest he had been in line. El Decano’s best chance had been Fredy Bareiro’s header well saved by Pablo Aurrecochea who had a good game.
In the second period the home side began to control the game and looked to be turning the screw, Aurrecochea with a great double-save from a Richard Ortiz long shot and Bareiro’s follow up. Enrique Meza had the ball in the net but was (correctly) flagged for offside and Bareiro headed wide when he really should have scored. Then with 12 minutes on the clock the aborigen stunned the home crowd with a goal from Centurión’s good header as he got across his marker easily. It was the Paraguayan’s 7th goal of the season as he stays top of the scoring charts and the win means Guaraní maintain their position at the top of the table. For Olimpia it continues a disappointing record of not having scored in the 2nd half of all 6 home games this season.
Cerro Porteño vs Libertad
(2-2) 3-3 – R. López 41′, S. Salcedo (pen) 45′, Nanni 62′; Velazquez 15′, Mencia 37′, Aquino (pen) 80′
A six-goal thriller on a steamy evening in the Olla only served to demonstrate what we knew about both teams, great going forward but less strong in defence as they were during the Apertura. Pablo Velazquez opened the scoring for the away team, given plenty of time to bring the ball down in the box and poke a shot past Fernandez in goal. The second was from Gustavo Mencia who had stayed up from a set piece and arrived late into the box to thunder a header into the top corner.
Cerro reacted well by scoring twice before the end of the first half to take them into the break level. Hernan Rodrigo López got his long-awaited first goal for the azulgrana, taking the ball down on his chest and turning in a shot. Santiago Salcedo then equalised from the penalty spot. Just after the hour and the home side were ahead, a teasing cross from Rodrigo López was met by Roberto Nanni who got his head in front of Rodrigo Muñoz’s gloves. Libertad however would rescue a point thanks to the skills of Maurito Caballero who won a foul inside the 18-yard box which was converted by Sergio Aquino. The third time this season that Cerro have conceded three goals.
Other Results: Luque were unable to keep the pace with Guaraní, drawing 1-1 with Rubio Ñu, the ex-Luque striker Roberto Gamarra opened the scoring before Diego Godoy equalised against his former club. Nacional are up to third place with a 3-1 away win against Carapeguá who are struggling in the promedio standings. So too are Tacuary who also lost 3-1 to a rampant Sol de América with Sergio Escalante scoring twice. Independiente’s Miguel Almirón scored both goals for his team in a surprise 2-1 win against Cerro de Franco.
Goal of the week: Decide for yourselves here, in all those 20 there are around 10 headers and 5 penalties so probably give it to Mencia for the best of the headers
By Ralph Hannah