Apertura 2013 Week 7 Wrap: Nacional top as General Díaz finally lose, Olimpia in thrilling draw with Carapegua

Only four games played this weekend with Cerro Porteño and Libertad’s Copa Libertadores schedules allowing them to postpone fixtures with Luque and Sol de América respectively. The big game of the weekend was Nacional vs General Díaz and the Academia have moved joint top with the win. Sunday’s televised match was a fantastic draw between Carapeguá and Olimpia down in Paraguarí department littered with golazos.

Nacional vs General Díaz
Defensores del Chaco
(1-0) 1-0 – Julian Benítez

A feisty and combative game with General Diaz true to their physical and ultra-pressing style that had brought five wins from five matches. There were some seriously strong challenges flying around and maybe it is no surprise that the Aguilas ended the game with ten men following Sanabria’s sending off.

Nacional win to go joint top - Photo: Prensa Club Nacional

Nacional win to go joint top – Photo: Prensa Club Nacional

The only goal of the game was a move of genuine quality just after the half hour, Cesar Cáceres Cañete flicked a long pass onto Ramón Cardozo who returned the ball and ‘Caña’ lifted a perfectly weighted through ball between Díaz’s defenders and onto Julian Benítez who finished for his 4th of the season. Towards the end of the game Daniel Ferreira had the perfect opportunity to equalise from 12 yards but Justo Villar evoked memories of the 2010 World Cup and 2011 Copa América by making a smart penalty stop.

Carapeguá vs Olimpia
Estadio Municipal
(1-0) 2-2 – Pereira, Gonzalez Ferreira; Prono, Bareiro

A beautiful sunny afternoon and what turned out to be a wonderful game of football, in part thanks to both manager’s tactical awareness (Celso Ayala in the first half, Ever Almeida in the second) and both side’s defensive problems. After 90 minutes of pulsating football the draw was a fair reflection of this meeting between apprentice and maestro, Ayala having won the league as a player in 1993 under Almeida’s tutelage.

David Pereira put the hosts in front with a fabulous diving header to connect with Diego Godoy’s pinpoint cross from the left-hand side. The breakaway had begun on the edge of Carapeguá’s penalty area when Ruben Maldonado carried the ball 50 yards following the breakdown of an Olimpia attacking move. Counter attacking and direct passing had been a feature of El Potro’s play and it reaped rewards.

Olimpia have a great record of scoring just after the break and that continued when Enzo Prono (one of three halftime substitutes) scored his first ever goal for the club with a goal straight out of the top drawer, his volley from 35 yards out was unstoppable. While everybody tried to settle down and recover from Prono’s breathtaking strike there were cries of goal at the other end, a corner kick was headed in emphatically by Celso Gonzalez Ferreira to restore the home side’s lead. The equaliser would also arrive from a set piece, a Tomas Guzman freekick was floated to the far post and somehow Fredy Bareiro managed to head home despite seemingly facing away from goal, it was unbelievable neck-work from the striker who now has 71 goals in domestic football.

Eduardo Aranda was sent off, a second yellow card, and will miss the clásico next weekend against Cerro Porteño.

Other games

Rubio Ñu earned a valuable home point thanks to Bryan Montenegro’s equaliser after Guaraní had taken the lead through substitute Rodrigo Teixeira. Cerro de Franco won 1-0 with a Sergio Samudio strike in Nelson Zelaya’s final game as coach. He has resigned for personal reasons and is currently undergoing psychological treatment following his involvement in a traffic accidente that killed three people last week.

By Ralph Hannah

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