Olimpia didn’t get the victory they needed, Cerro Porteño did and it means the 2012 Apertura has gone to the wire the final game is Sunday’s superclásico between the country’s biggest two clubs. It is set to be an emotional ending to a thrilling title race.
Luque vs Olimpia
Estadio Defensores del Chaco
(1-0) 2-1 – Sergio Vergara, Juan Abente; Arnaldo Castorino
A sunny yet mild day, perfect conditions for football, greeted the players of Olimpia in the national stadium as they looked to secure a win against lowly Luque to wrap up their second consecutive title and 40th league championship overall. But after just 13 minutes things were looking complicated for El Decano when defender Sergio Vergara’s fabulous flicked header opened the scoring for the Luqueño’s.
Olimpia as exepcted responded with a flurry of attacks but were unable to get any reward in a feisty game that had seen three bookings in the first six minutes and the expulsion of Luque coach, Carlos Kiese. In fact it was the auriazul that doubled their lead in unexpected fashion just after the break, defensive midfielder Juan Abente’s deflected long-range strike crept past Martin Silva, he had been set up by a former Olimpia player, Edgar Robles.
Substitute Arnaldo Castorino did reply for the league leaders with a fantastic header just after the hour mark and their chances of getting something from the game increased when Jorge ‘Mono’ Britez stuck out a hand to block the ball and was sent off, his second booking. Yet Olimpia couldn’t get the two goals they needed for the league win, nor an equaliser to take some solace from the game.
Castorino equalised with a wonderful header – Photo: D10.com.py
Now they go to Sunday’s superclásico knowing that the winner takes it all.
Luque XI: Tobías Vargas; Rolando Bogado, Robert Servín, Marcos Pereira, Sergio Vergara; Edgar Robles, Jorge Brítez, Juan Abente, Juan Pablo Raponi; Adriano Duarte, Guido Di Vanni
Subs: Pedro Galeano for Juan Pablo Raponi, Ronald Huth for Juan Abente
Sent Off: Jorge Brítez (2 yellow cards)
Olimpia XI: Martín Silva; Renzo Revoredo, Francisco Nájera, Salustiano Candia, Sebastián Ariosa; Eduardo Aranda, Miguel Amado, Richard Ortíz; Pablo Zeballos, Maximiliano Biancucchi y Luis Caballero
Subs: Arnaldo Castorino for Pablo Zeballos, Carlos Humberto Paredes for Miguel Amado, Osvaldo Hobecker for Renzo Revoredo
Cerro Porteño vs Sol de América
Estadio Gral. Pablo Rojas a.k.a La Olla
(0-0) 2-0 – Santiago Salcedo 54′, Alejandro da Silva 85′
The azulgrana knew they had to win and even that might not be enough but they remained focussed, surely buoyed on by the crowd reaction telling them what was happening down the road with Olimpia, and dug in for another solid victory. The first half was goalless as the home side had plenty of chances but left themselves open at the back with Sol de America’s José Ortigoza creating opportunities for himself on the counter attack.
Santiago Salcedo celebrates his opener – Photo: D10.com.py
The breakthrough came after 54 minutes, Santiago Salcedo with his sixth goal of the season after he was too strong for his marker and managed to hold the ball up with his back to goal before turning and drilling the ball into the bottom corner. Substitute Alejandro da Silva wrapped up the victory just five minutes from the end with a superb left-footed volley, it was Cerro’s third straight victory and third consecutive cleansheet.
Now all is set up for superclásico Sunday.
Cerro Porteño XI: Pablo Gavilán; Luis Cardozo, Pedro Benítez, César Benítez; Luis Cáceres, Fidencio Oviedo, Julio Dos Santos, Walter López; Jonathan Fabbro; Edgar Benítez, Santiago Salcedo
Subs: Juan Manuel Lucero for Luis Cáceres, Alejandro Gonzalez for Edgar Benitez, Alejandro Da Silva for Jonathan Fabbro
Sol de América XI: Roberto Acosta; Roberto Bonet, Edgar Segovia, Bruno Valdez, Diego Arrúa; Sergio Escalante, Angel Enciso, Alfredo Rojas, David Mendieta; José Ortigoza, Enzo Prono
Subs: Diego Vazquez for Enzo Prono
ALL THE GOALS (including Pablo Velazquez’s excellent overhead kick)
Other Results: Carapeguá 0-0 Guaraní, Independiente 1-4 Libertad, Cerro de Franco 2-1 Tacuary, Rubio Ñu 3-3 Nacional