Week 21 Wrap: Libertad close in on title as Nacional stumble in home straight

There is just one round of games remaining and three teams are still in contention for the championship while another three are fighting to avoid the drop. If that wasn’t enough excitement, Olimpia’s goalkeeper popped up with the winner against Sol de América as he decided to take the penalty!

Libertad took a huge stride towards the finish line winning away to Cerro de Franco on Friday night with a solitary goal from Pablo Velázquez. The cleansheet was their third in a row and 11th of the season as once again Ruben Israel’s side looked in control. A win at home against Luque will seal the title, it would be the club’s sixth since 2006, as they continue to be the most successful side in recent times in Paraguay.

Guaraní are closest to the Gumarelo following a 2-1 win against Carapeguá in Dos Bocas, once again Diego Centurión providing a crucial goal with Dante López involved in the build up to both goals. López won the penalty after 30 minutes which was converted by Sergio Orteman, then in the second half he showed great awareness to find Centurión in the area with a pass giving his strike partner the simplest of finishes. Either side of the Aborigen’s double was a goal from Arnulfo Colmán that briefly gave the Carapegueños hope, all is not lost for the promoted side, if they can win their final game of the season they will survive.

Guarani's goalscorers - Photo: D10.com.py

Guarani’s goalscorers – Photo: D10.com.py

Nacional were the big losers this weekend, a home game against a weakened Cerro Porteño side was a great opportunity to stay joint top. The locals were out of the blocks quickly and for 20 minutes bombarded the azulgrana goal with crosses aimed at Rodirgo Teixeira and Cesar Cáceres Cañete hoping to thread balls into the box. However it was Cerro who opened the scoring after 31 minutes a move that saw Carlos Bonet get forward down the right and send in a low cross to Iván Torres who let the ball run through his legs to Santiago Salcedo for his first goal in five matches.

In other results, Olimpia beat Sol de América by one goal to nil as is customary – it was the 4th 1-0 victory for El Decano in the previous five games. The difference this time was the goalscorer, Uruguayan goalkeeper Martin Silva decided to take the penalty after 53 minutes to secure the win. Rubio Ñu won for the first time in 11 games by beating Tacuary 2-1, incidentally three of Rubio Ñu’s last four wins have come against Tacua. And finally, Luque secured their place in the top division for another season with a nervy 1-0 win over Independiente, as ever their hero was captain Claudio David Vargas who scored the only goal.


By Ralph Hannah


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