With the Paraguayan general elections dominating the weekend, the tenth round of games took place on Thursday and Friday with the Libertad vs Luque fixture postponed due to the Gumarelo’s Copa Libertadores match. We were treated to two five-goal thrillers in the televised games, firstly Olimpia fell to Capiatá before the league leaders Nacional grabbed a winner deep into stoppage time to down Sol de América. The other headline is Chiqui Arce’s Cerro Porteño who have now won three straight league games and must be considered dark horses for the title because of their talented squad.
Olimpia vs Capiatá
Para Uno, Asunción
(0-1) 2-3 – Ferreyra, Ortiz; Aranda (og), López (2)
Capiatá certainly save their performances for the big teams, having beaten Cerro Porteño at La Olla they have now added the scalp of Olimpia in Para Uno. Eduardo Aranda inadvertantly put the visitor’s ahead under pressure as he ran towards his own goal but the real turning point was Cristian López’s double strike in two minutes in the second half.
Both goals were ferocious left-footed strikes and it meant Capiatá had scored three in the Primera División for the first time ever. Olimpia pulled a goal back late on through Richard Ortiz’s placed finish but it wasn’t enough as they fell to their first defeat in 8 games in all competitions.
Rubio Ñu vs Cerro Porteño
La Arboleda, Asunción
(0-1) 1-2 – Lusardi; Salcedo, Almirón
The first time in a long time the television cameras were in Barrio Trinidad at Rubio Ñu’s ground, but the home team seemed to be suffering from stage fright when they conceded after just ten minutes. Angel Romero’s darting run and shot resulted in the rebound falling to Santiago Salcedo who rediscovered the thrill of scoring for the first time since February 24th.
Hugo Lusardi’s emphatic curler from the edge of the box restored parity and azulgrana fans will have feared that the doubts would creep back into their player’s minds after such a poor run of results in recent weeks. But there is a new found confidence amongst the Barrio Obrero boys and it was a ‘boy’ who grabbed the winner, Miguel Almirón with his first ever senior goal to record another three points.
Nacional vs Sol de América
Defensores del Chaco, Asunción
(2-1) 3-2 – Benítez, Melgarejo, Torales; Mendieta, Goiri
A deserted Defensores del Chaco was treated to a fabulous game of football that didn’t fail to entertain at any point during the 90 minutes. Two fully committed sets of players were involved in an end-to-end match that culminated in a dramatic victory for Nacional.
Julian Benitez has continued his purple patch, opening the scoring with his sixth goal in five games, a back-post header. David Mendieta pulled one back with a sweetly struck shot that swerved past Justo Villar (who had another excellent game in goal). When Marcos Melgarejo put the Academia ahead before halftime I assumed they would push onto win but the Danzarin had other ideas and defender Adalberto Goiri stabbed home an equaliser to put the win in doubt. The victory did come deep into stoppage time, Silvio Torales with great technique to control a looping header with his chest and smashing home before the ball hit the floor. Sol were furious with the referee for the extra time played and his general performance, even Nacional’s president complained afterwards about the refereeing but not about the final result, more vital points in the bag.
Results: Olimpia 2-3 Capiatá, Rubio Ñu 1-2 Cerro Porteño, General Díaz 1-1 Cerro de Franco, Nacional 3-2 Sol de América, Guaraní 2-1 Carapeguá, Libertad P-P Luque
By Ralph Hannah