A funny week in which the major clubs didn’t manage a goal between them, in fact Cerro, Olimpia and Guaraní all lost while Libertad managed a goalless draw. The headlines are for the smaller teams, General Díaz continue this incredible winning run and become the first newly-promoted side since Atletico Tembetary in 1996 to win five games in a row. Deportivo Capiatá also recorded a famous win with a stoppage time freekick against Cerro Porteño to lift themselves off the bottom and temporarily out of the relegation zone.
We start with Fidel Miño’s wonderful freekick on Sunday evening, watch the video until the end to see the angle behind the goal. Cerro Porteño had looked the most likely to break the deadlock in a team packed with young stars with Junior Alonso and Miguel Almirón both making their senior debuts, but they were denied by Tobias Vargas and their own wasteful finishing.
Going back chronologically and on Saturday night Olimpia were blown away in the first 20-odd minutes by a Nacional side who look like they will be title challengers once again. A super-strike from Silvio Torales opened the scoring but was he given too much space by Jorge Baez, who was again unable to defend a cross at the back post which allowed Gustavo Cristaldo to head in after 15 minutes. Baez isn’t a bad player but he isn’t suited to the kind of defensive work Ever Almeida is trying to get him to do and it showed. Julian Benítez made it three after 23 minutes and that was game over with Olimpia not capable of pulling back that many goals even in an improved second half display.
On Friday night, General Díaz continue to surprise and make me look silly – although it is impossible to begrudge them another victory built on a fine defensive display, excellent team spirit and a few mindblowing saves. Jorge Cáceres got the winner in the dying stages, a header from a corner that keeps them top of the league.
In other news, Libertad rested players and drew nil-nil in Carapeguá while there was also a draw for Sol de América who finally scored again through Sergio Escalante, a late equaliser after Cerro de Franco had gone ahead. Another team that ended their four-game goal drought was Sportivo Luqueño, it took Claudio Correa just five minutes to head in and that proved to be the winner against his former club Rubio Ñu who are now in the relegation zone.
By Ralph Hannah