Rubio Ñu vs Guaraní
Estadio La Arboleda
(2-1) 2-1 – Claudio Correa ‘6 & ’38, Fillipini ’41
Paraguay Football saw Rubio Ñu for the second week running and the albiverde won again playing some excellent football employing a strike duo with a combined age of 37, one year less than captain Toro Acuña! It took the older half of that pair, 20-year-old Claudio Correa just 6 minutes to open the scoring, a powerful left foot shot evading the keeper in the far corner. The early goal seemed to settle both the home side and the player himself who had looked laboured in his debut last week.
Rubio Ñu celebrate Correa's brilliant second goal
One of the most colourful games in Paraguayan football (Rubio in green and white against Guaraní’s black and yellow) was accompanied by music, the travelling band of Guaraní fans banging drums and making plenty of noise in the sun. But it was Rubio Ñu that found their rythym, Juan Arce had instructed Derlis Gonzalez to play out on the left to combat the Aborigen’s line of three defenders, it worked as he constantly pulled the defence out of shape with none of the trio able to deal with his pace.
Jorge Chena went off after just 23 minutes with a knee injury to be replaced by Blas Valenzuela, the teenage stopper made one fantastic save soon after from Ivan Gonzalez Ferreira after Romero had led a breakaway, but it was one of the few times Guaraní found themselves able to overrun Acuña and Ramos in central midfield. Down the Guaraní left there was little joy for Blas Caceres who found himself stuck deep in the pocket of Alberto Espínola, the bald right back returning to Paraguay after nine years in Colombia, Ecuador and Perú.
The Paraguay Football Blog on La Arboleda turf
It was no surprise then when Rubio Ñu doubled their lead, Espínola won the ball and gave it to Benfica boy Derlis Gonzalez, his speed and skill made space to find Correa with a simple pass but there was still plenty to do. The former Luque striker used his strength to hold off the defenders, then nutmegged one with a great piece of skill before squeezing his way through the two centrebacks and finishing coolly with his left foot.
There was still drama to come in this all-action first half of football, first Guaraní got a glimspe of hope with Filippini’s header from a Gonzalez Ferreira free kick on 41 minutes. But just three minutes later that flicker of hope was extinguished, Derlis Gonzalez was too clever for Luis Cabral, taking the ball past the defender with a sweet touch only to be hauled down. The former Sol de America defender was the last man, no option for the referee but the red card.
Much like last week, Rubio Ñu were very comfortable and relaxed in possession but without the ball they didn’t press much and despite being at a numerical disadvantage it was the aurinegro that created the better chances. Valenzuela again forced into a great stop this time from Romero as Guaraní began to push Rubio deeper and deeper. Claudio Correa then made things even worse for the local team, trying to shield the ball he raised his arm and then he seemed to keep his arm raised and jut it into the face of his opponent. Another straight red and the same questions keep arising over the mentality of this talented youngster.
Rubio Ñu players after their second consecutive win
With the game now 10 vs 10 it would have been no surprise had Guaraní found an equaliser, but again Arce’s nous was very important. He kept substitute Bladimiro Ojeda (the 18-year-old making only his 2nd senior appearance) up on the left as an outlet while putting Derlis Gonzalez more central. It meant the away side had to be wary of a counter and Ojeda did find Gonzalez with an excellent cross and get a shot away on his favoured right foot which meant Guaraní couldn’t throw the kitchen sink at Rubio. As the minutes died down, the away team hit long balls forward but with no Santander (transferred to Racing) and no Dante Lopez (subbed off) they had little joy as Velazquez and Rodriguez headed away anything that came near them. It was another hard fought win by Rubio Ñu but with plenty of style to go with the substance.
Rubio Ñu XI: J. Chena; A. Espínola, G.Velazquez, A.Rodriguez, N.Ruiz; C.Llamas, R.Acuña, E.Ramos, D.Chamorro; D.Gonzalez, C.Correa
Subs: Blas Valenzuela for Jorge Chena ’23, Bladimiro Ojeda for Diego Chamorro ’65, Josias Cardozo for Derlis Gonzalez ’86
Yellow Cards: None
Red Card: Claudio Correa ’74
Guaraní XI: J.Silva; J.Manzur, L.Cabral, E.Marecos; E.Filippini, M.Palau, I.Gonzalez Ferreira, J.Mendoza, B.Caceres; N.Romero, D.Lopez
Subs: Dario Ocampo for Blas Caceres ’58, Tomás Bartomeus for Dante Lopez ’66, Luis De la Cruz for Marcelo Palau ’76
Yellow Cards: I. Gonzalez Ferreira ’70, L.De la Cruz ’76
Red Card: Luis Cabral ’44
Sportivo Carapeguá vs Cerro Porteño
Estadio JC Pettengill
(1-1) 1-2 – Echeverria (pen) ; E.Ramirez (og) ’44, P.Benitez ’94
The first half is best not talking about from a Cerro Porteño point of view, having suffered such a tumultous week with the joy of finally resigning Santiago Salcedo (and picking up Guillermo Beltrán) cut short by Jonathan Fabbro’s ‘stomach problem’ (read transfer request). With several changes from the team that capitulated to Luque last Sunday the azulgrana looked a shadow of the side that fought gamely for the Clausura title.
Eduardo Echeverria put Carapeguá ahead after 26 minutes from the penalty spot, one of those “seen ’em given” shouts where the players are running side by side and a hint of an arm comes up from the defender. Echeverria has now scored in consecutive games against Olimpia and Cerro Porteño! The visitors were extremely fortuitous to go into the break level, Matias Corujo’s shot from his weaker left side struck the arm of Esteban Ramirez and bounced and spun its way agonisingly into the left hand corner with the goalkeeper caught flat footed.
The second half was more labouring for Cerro on a very sandy Itaguá pitch, Carapeguá played tough as always but they would pay the price later on. Cerro Porteño saw two penalty shouts turned down, both decent shouts but not stonewall. Firstly Ivan Torres felt the keeper’s hand and went down following great work by Pajaro Benitez. In the 70th minute Benitez himself wanted a penalty but it seemed more of a coming together.
Cerro were getting more joy going direct to big man Roberto Nanni than playing the ball on the floor and went more and more direct as the clock ran down. With four minutes to go, Carapeguás midfielder Diosnel Almirón was given his marching orders for a second yellow card as youngster Jorge Rojas had too much acceleration for his tired legs. From that moment on the balls bombarded the home team’s box but it seemed all in vain until the last seconds of the game. A Luis Caceres long ball found Corujo (the right back) lurking at the back post, the Uruguayan headed across goal and Pedro ‘Ganso’ Benitez flew in with a diving header to earn Cerro a most unlikely victory.
You must feel sorry for Sportivo Carapeguá, the newly promoted side have battled bravely against Paraguay’s two most illustrious sides only to come up with nothing both times.
Cerro Porteño XI: D.Barreto; M.Corujo, P.Benitez, M.Uglessich, L.Cardozo; J.Rojas, A.Gonzalez, J.Dos Santos, E.Benitez; A. da Silva, R.Nanni
Subs: Ivan Torres for Alejandro Da Silva ’45, Luis Caceres for Julio Dos Santos ’75, Epifanio Garcia for Alexis Gonzalez ’84
Yellow Cards: A. Gonzalez ’25, J.Rojas ’34, P.Benitez ’39, E.Benitez ’46, I.Torres ’58, R.Nanni ’70, L.Cardozo ’87
Red Card: None
Carapeguá XI: W.Quiñonez; D.Cantero, J.Caceres, M.Arce; J.Irrazabal, E.Ramirez, D.Almirón, E.Echeverria, H.Fleitas; R.Ortiz; E.Amarilla
Subs: A.Olmedo ’71, D.Benitez ’71, A.Silva
Yellow Cards: D.Almirón ’49, E.Ramirez ’61, E.Ramirez ’83, H.Fleitas ’86, A.Sliva ’89, E.Amarilla ’93
Red Card: D.Almirón ’86
Cerro Porteño PF vs Olimpia
Estadio Oddone Sarubbi
The journey to Guayaquil, Ecuador during the week followed by yesterday’s trip to Ciudad del Este “took its toll” according to Gerardo Pelusso. There was no doubt that Olimpia didn’t play as well as they can, and sorely missed Sergio Orteman in the middle but credit is due to Cerro Porteño PF who took the game to their opponents and were only denied a win by a superb performance from Martin Silva.
Luis Caballero missed Olimpia's best chance, Photo: d10.com.py
Olimpia went with Zeballos, Biancucchi and Luis Caballero in the same starting line up for the first time this blog can remember but with that trio isolated from their midfielders it wasn’t a combination that bore fruit. Instead time and again Cerro PF flooded forward through the middle with Marín and Hobecker offering little resistance. After 14 minutes the golden chance arrived for Delvalle who decided he’d prefer to win ‘Miss of the Week’ (see below). Pablo Zeballos had the best chance for El Decano in the first half, forcing a good save from a free kick. On 23 minutes the home fans were claiming handball and it did seem the cross from the right had struck an arm but no penalty was awarded, it may well have been unintentional.
Just one minute into the second half Martin Silva, who had been kept busy in the first 45, produced a brilliant save low to his left following a long shot. He produced another stunning stop in the 62nd minute when Andersen tried his luck from distance but the best was to come with 11 minutes remaining. Cerro de Franco worked a one-on-one and as Sergio Samudio dropped his shoulder to beat Silva the Uruguayan stuck out a giant hand to divert the ball away from the player’s foot. Olimpia had a couple of chances themselves in the second half, Marín with a free kick that whistled wide on 70 minutes. The best move they put together was on 76 minutes which ended with Luis Caballero side footing meekly at the keeper from inside the box having had the ball served on a plate from Biancucchi’s pass.
Great resolve from Cerro PF to bounce back from last week’s thrashing with such a gutsy game, Olimpia will write this off to Copa Libertadores committments but expect that to play a huge part in any title challenge this season.
Cerro Porteño PF XI: R.Aguero; C.Ramirez, N.Figueredo, F.Balbuena, J.Gonzalez; F.Duarte, M.Godoy; C.Andersen, L.Delvalle; S.Samudio, R.Leichtweiss
Subs: Francisco Solano López for Rogerio Leichtweiss ’73, Oscar Benitez for Cristian Andersen ’78, Reinaldo López for Miguel Godoy ’92
Yellow Cards: F.Duarte ’16, J.Gonzalez ’66, C.Andersen ’77
Olimpia XI: M.Silva; R.Revoredo, A.Romero, E.Meza, S.Candia; O.Hobecker, F.Caballero,V.Marín; P.Zeballos, M.Biancucchi, L.Caballero
Subs: Hernan Perez for Pablo Zeballos ’68, Eduardo Aranda for Osvaldo Hobecker ’68, Alberto Contrera for Vladimir Marín ’87
Yellow Cards: F.Caballero ’45, R.Revoredo ’52, E.Meza ’89
Sol’s special mention: They have yet to be on TV but Sol de América are currently sweeping aside all before them, 8 goals in their first two games they sit top of the league ladder and striker Enzo Prono is first in the individual scoring charts with 3 goals. Bravo Sol!
Team of the Week: M. Silva (Olimpia); M. Corujo (Cerro Porteño), P.Benitez (Cerro Porteño), G. Velazquez (Rubio Ñu), N.Figueredo (Cerro PF); V.Ayala (Libertad), C.Andersen (Cerro PF), M.Riveros (Nacional), R.Ocampo (Sol de América); C.Correa (Rubio Ñu), J.Ortigoza (Sol de América)
Player of the Week: Martin Silva in the Olimpia goal made several excellent saves to earn Olimpia a point in Ciudad del Este against Cerro PF, the Uruguayan has been an excellent addition since joining last year
Goal of the Week: Last week Claudio Correa looked disinterested but he was fantastic for Rubio Ñu in the first half, his sending off means he misses out from the award above but his second goal was a wonderful combination of skill and strength
Goals of the Week: All 15 goals here
Donkey of the Week: Jonathan Fabbro seems to be throwing his toys out of the pram just when he could have been reinstated in the ‘enganche’ role he so wanted, he is turning his back on a lot of people who put a lot of faith (and money) in him
Miss of the Week: Leonardo Delvalle had the goal at his mercy and chance to put Cerro PF ahead against their illustrious opponents but conceived to put the ball over the bar from 4 yards out
Stat of the Week: 512.000.000 guaraníes (US$112.000) the gate receipts for Cerro PF’s match against Olimpia, most of the home support were actually Cerro Porteño fans supporting their sister club and generally hating on Olimpia.
Results: Rubio Ñu 2-1 Guaraní, Carapeguá 1-2 Cerro Porteño, Independiente 2-4 Sol de América, Nacional 2-0 Tacuary, Cerro PF 0-0 Olimpia, Libertad 1-0 Luque
By Ralph Hannah