The first spring weekend of football in Paraguay has come to an end with no wins for Olimpia nor Cerro Porteño but both teams suffering problems with there fans which we’ll talk about below. First the on-pitch action from the weekend’s televised games.
Nacional vs Rubio Ñu
(0-0) 2-0 – Teixeira, A. Orué
Another home victory for the Academia who are mounting a challenge for the league title as they get closer to assuring at least a spot in the 2013 Copa Sudamericana. Rubio Ñu posed some resistance early on and threatened Oscar Agüero’s goal themselves on various occassions but the league’s lowest scorers were unable to find the net.
In the second half Brazilian striker Rodrigo Teixeira opened the scoring with a scrappy finish following a corner. From that point on Nacional looked comfortable, happy to sit back and wait for a mistake. That came in the 88th minute when an albiverde midfielder lost possession cheaply and Angel Orué received a pass with just the keeper to beat, he slotted the ball past him only for it to strike the covering defender Oscar Velaquez who only helped to slow the ball on its way into the goal.
Luque vs Cerro Porteño
The first goalless draw in 38 games in the Feliciano Cáceres and only Cerro Porteño’s second in 2012 helped neither side’s league aspirations. Luque remain close to the relegation zone while El Ciclón know that the league is no longer at stake – they are fully focussed on trying to win their first piece of continental silverware in this, their centenary year. The defending league champions made seven changes for this game.
For the most part Luque were the better team especially in the second half when they gave Diego Barreto plenty of food for thought in the Cerro goal, with Juan Pablo Raponi playing well in midfield. Despite so much action in the final third neither side was able to score a goal signalling the first draw at the Feliciano Cáceres in over four years.
Cerro de Franco vs Olimpia
Estadio Oddone Sarubbi
(1-1) 2-2 – Leichtweis, Godoy; Salgueiro (pen), FBareiro
Having crashed out of the Copa Sudamericana in the week, Olimpia’s bus broke down on the way to Ciudad del Este for this game which hardly helped an already dispirited squad. Unsurprisingly they came away without a win from the game with Cerro de Franco in another poor performance that contributed to the end of Gregorio Perez’s time in charge.
Cerro de Franco’s topscorer Rogerio Leichtweis put the home team ahead thanks to his well-timed run and cute assist, but that was cancelled out by Juan Manuel Salgueiro’s penalty. Martin Silva made some good saves during the game but he was at fault for Cerro de Franco’s second goal, a long range hit from Miguel Godoy that deceived the big Uruguayan. It capped a hapless week for the goalkeeper who was one of a number of Olimpia player’s to have publicly criticised Marcelo Recanate in response to the club president’s own comments. Fredy Bareiro rescued a point with a header in the dying stages and really was a point earned for Olimpia and two points lost for Cerro de Franco.
Guaraní vs Sol de América
(1-1) 3-2 – Palau (2), Orteman; Enciso, Rivas
A five-goal thriller to cap off the round of games which saw the league leaders stretch the gap at the top to six points. The goals came courtesy of the two Uruguayan midfielders, the first from Marcelo Palau after just five minutes who saw a bit of space in front of him and let fly from range. Sol’s response was equally impressive as Angel Enciso’s piledriver crept under a sprawling Aurrecochea.
The second half was when the game really sparked into life, Sol gave away their fifth penalty of the season and concede for the fifth time, although only just as Sergio Orteman’s spot kick down the middle was almost palmed out by Acosta in goal. Palau then doubled the advantage with a side-footed finish from Dario Ocampo’s pass. The strength shown by Enzo Prono in the area was commendable as he played the ball into Esteban Rivas’ path for Sol’s second but they couldn’t find the equaliser in the final twenty minutes.
OFF THE BALL
Other Results: Basement boys Tacuary and Carapeguá couldn’t be separated in a 2-2 draw that helps neither team. Libertad were ruthless in their 3-0 victory over Independiente as Ruben Israel’s side are sniffing a Copa Libertadores spot with Olimpia in freefall.
Bricks and Stones: There were disappointing scenes from a minority of both Cerro Porteño and Olimpia fans at the weekend. The Cerro fans managed to launch a huge concrete slab towards the Luque dressing room. The game stopped for a few minutes, thankfully the missile didn’t hit anybody full on as it would have been fatal. Meanwhile in Ciudad del Este the Olimpia team bus was pelted with stones as the fans vented their anger at recent results – order was restored quickly as mounted riot police arrived on the scene and shots were fired into the air to disperse the crowd. You can see a photo of the concrete block here.
By Ralph Hannah