I wasn’t in Asunción over Easter so had to resort to listening to both Cerro Porteño and Olimpia on the radio (no cable in the countryside) but I did get my fill of football and of course all the weekend’s action (and there is a lot) is here. See how Cerro Porteño and Olimpia warmed up for this Sunday’s superclásico, Libertad’s limp response to a dramatic late win in the Copa Libertadores and finally, finally, Tacuary celebrated a win (as predicted here)!
Sol de América vs Cerro Porteño
Estadio Oddone Sarubbi
(1-0) 2-2 – William Mendieta 38′, Enzo Prono 47′, Julio Dos Santos (pen) 60′, Jony Fabbro (pen) 72′
Somewhat surprisingly Sol de América brushed off recent form (three straight losses) and the José Ortigoza shaped hole in attack to go two goals in front in Ciudad del Este. William Mendieta opened the scoring, picking up Enzo Prono’s flick from a long ball and skirting his way round Cerro’s defence to finish with a clever chip. Just after the break Prono profited from an incredible mix up by Pedro Benitez and Alexis Gonzalez, the Sol striker pouncing on the mistake to tuck away a simple chance.
The Cerro comeback began on the hour mark, a penalty given to the away side for handball which seemed correct – the Uruguayan left back Diego Ciz had his arm away from his body as he leaned to block an overhead kick. Julio Dos Santos whipped the spot kick into the top corner, 2-1. When Angel Enciso was shown a second yellow less than ten minutes later it was clear the tide had turned in El Ciclon’s favour and sure enough on 72 minutes they had equalised, again from 12 yards. This time Edgar Segovia went for a routine clearance only to find that Jorge Rojas had reached the ball first so rather than smashing the ball 60 yards he smashed Rojas about 6 yards instead. Clear penalty. With Dos Santos no longer on the pitch, Jonathan Fabbro stepped up and smashed it hard enough that the keeper’s touch only pushed it into the roof of the net.
After the game the imposing figure of Sol coach Ricardo Dabrowski took on some serious menace when he growled to journalists after the game about the refereeing and in particular an elbow on his player William Mendieta. ” When these things happen, Sol doesn’t lose, Paraguayan football loses.” indicating that the reason that the big Paraguayan clubs suffer in international football and “ship 6 goals” [Olimpia lost 6-0 to Lanús last week] is because they don’t get the same favourable treatment from referees abroad as they do at home. The big man might have a point there.
Sol de América: Roberto Acosta; Roberto Bonet, Ricardo Martínez, Édgar Segovia, Diego Ciz; Reinaldo Ocampo, Ángel Enciso, Alfredo Rojas, David Mendieta; William Mendieta, Enzo Prono
Subs: E.Orzusa for R.Ocampo, C.Dominguez for E.Prono, S.Escalante for W.Mendieta
Sent Off: A.Enciso (two bookable offences)
Cerro Porteño: Diego Barreto; Matías Corujo, Mariano Uglessich, Pedro Benítez, Luis Cardozo; Jorge Rojas, Alexis González, Julio Dos Santos, Édgar Benítez; Jonathan Fabbro, Santiago Salcedo
Subs: W.López for J.Dos Santos, G.Beltrán for E.Benitez, L.Caceres for J.Fabbro
Olimpia vs Sportivo Luqueño
Estadio Manuel Ferreira a.k.a Para Uno
(0-1) 2-1 – Arnaldo Castorino 73′, Gabriel Montiel 82′; Carlos Martinez 14′
Olimpia took the first steps to erasing the Buenos Aires humiliation with a typically gritty win over Luque in Para Uno. The relegation strugglers were a goal up against their illustrious rivals when youngster Carlos Martinez scored. He was given time and space on the right hand side to drive home from outside the box. Luque would have been two up at halftime were it not for Salustiano Candía’s goal line heroics, Luque striker Guido Di Vanni had lifted the ball over Martin Silva and it was heading into the empty net only for Candia to race back and stretch out a leg to keep the score at 1-0.
El Decano pushed and pushed for an equaliser, it finally came 17 minutes before the end from an Arnaldo Castorino header who reacted to Sergio Orteman’s flick on following a corner. As ever the black and white machine driven forward by captain Orteman didn’t stop there. The Uruguayan shrugged off his marker on the right to send a looping cross over to the other side of the box where the debutant left-back Gabriel Montiel (the Paraguayan press insist on calling him Eugenio but he uses Gabriel on his facebook so I’m sticking with that!) had made a lung-busting run into the box and side footed in on the half volley to win the game and extend their lead at the top of the Apertura Table to four points.
It was a wonderful moment for Montiel, from Mariano Roque Alonso on the outskirts of Asunción, who had everything to owe to his parents who supported him with the little money they had. His mother, like many Paraguayans in tough economic situations, moved to Spain to work as a maid and send money home so her son could continue his dream of playing football. Now 20 years old that dream is starting to come true.
Olimpia: Martín Silva; Francisco Nájera, Adrián Romero, Salustiano Candia, Gabriel Montiel; Eduardo Aranda, Fabio Caballero, Sergio Orteman, Alberto Contrera; Pablo Zeballos, Luis Caballero
Subs: A.Castorino for A.Contrera; S.Almirón for L.Caballero, O.Hobecker for F.Nájera
Sent Off: O.Hobecker (straight red – elbow)
Luque: Tobías Vargas; Juan Gamarra, Ronald Huth, Pablo Aguilar, Sergio Vergara; Claudio Vargas, Édgar Robles, Juan Raponi, Carlos Martínez; Guido Di Vanni, Pablo Giménez
Subs: C.Caceres Cañete for P.Gimenez, J.Britez for J.P.Raponi, R.Gamarra for C.Martinez
OFF THE BALL
Libertad punch up: Libertad’s last gasp Copa Libertadores win meant nothing at the end of a 1-1 draw with lowly Independiente in the league. In the previous home game there had been verbal exchanges after the same result against Carapeguá but this time things got physical. Pulciano Aquino, the assistant to Jorge Burruchaga, sought out ex-board member Gustavo Invernizzi who had been verbally abusing the coach’s wife as an angry mob gathered around the press conference area to vent their anger at results. A full on fight was only avoided by the private security present (if you thought that should read police, dream on) who waded in to pull the potential pugilists apart.
León out the door: Felix de León has left Luque to become the third manager to lose his job so far this season having garnered just 12 points from a possible 30 which keeps the auriazul in relegation trouble. His replacement is Carlos Kiese which has been received with a mixed reaction, in his previous tenure as Luque manager he won just one game!
Tacuary win twice! Not only did Tacuary win their first game of the year in the Primera but their namesake in the regional league of Caraguatay got the better of my local team 6 de Julio on Maundy Thursday. They are the ones in green and white!
Player of the Week: Must be the aforementioned Montiel!
Donkey of the Week: Sorry Federico Carballo of Guaraní – your own goal was one for the ee-aw collection!
Goal of the Week: Derlis Gonzalez showed everybody why he is on Benfica’s books, gliding past two challenges to fire home clinically from the edge of the box. It is the first goal in the link below!
Results: Guaraní 2-1 Carapeguá, Tacuary 1-0 Cerro PF, Libertad 1-1 Independiente, Nacional 0-2 Rubio Ñu, Olimpia 2-1 Sportivo Luqueño, Sol de América 2-2 Cerro Porteño
Intermedia Results: Atl. Colegiales 2 – 0 Paranaense FC, General Díaz 0 – 0 Fernando de la Mora, Sp. Iteño 2 – 2 29 de Setiembre, 2 de Mayo 1 – 2 General Caballero, 3 de Febrero 0 – 1 Resistencia FC, River Plate 1 – 1 Sport Colombia, Sp. Trinidense 0 – 0 Dvo. Santaní, San Lorenzo 1 – 3 Dvo. Capiatá
By Ralph Hannah