Stoppage Time – International Football Blog

Paraguay: Points shared in Superclásico (+video)

Posted in South America Football by peterbein on September 5, 2011

Paraguay’s Superclásico took place this weekend with Olimpia and Cerro Porteño having to be content with sharing the spoils following a 1-1 draw in the capital city of Asuncion on Sunday.

Record champions Olimpia may have amassed 38 league titles to date in their glory-laden history but the last of those championships came eleven years ago which is far too long for a club of its stature. Cerro Porteño have caught up a little on their arch-rivals in the title stakes in recent times having won four championships in the last decade (the last was the 2009 Apertura) taking their tally up to 28. Both clubs have started off well in the current Clausura campaign, occupying places in the top four with the new tournament six games old. Club Nacional, who won the opening Apertura championship this season, and Club Libertad, Paraguay’s most successful team in the last decade with seven title wins since 2000, also occupy spots in the top four so it was important for one of Paraguay’s traditional big two to get all three points in the Superclásico this weekend.

Alas, for both teams, this proved to be too tough a task and they had to settle for a point each. Cerro Porteño took the lead three minutes into the second half with Freddy heading home from close range but host side Olimpia equalized in the 62nd minute through Sergio Orteman’s powerful shot from the edge of the penalty area following Cerro’s inability to clear the ball. The point won meant that Olimpia preserve their place at the top of the standings with thirteen points from six matches, two points ahead of Cerro Porteño who lie in fourth place as an inferior goal difference means that they are sandwiched by Club Libertad and Club Nacional.

Tagged with: , ,

LDU Quito in a Liga of their own

Posted in South America Football by peterbein on December 3, 2009
Copa Sudamericana Logo

The Copa Sudamericana is South America's version of the UEFA Europa League

Liga Deportiva Universitaria de Quito, better known as LDU Quito, have won the 2009 Copa Nissan Sudamericana after what became an angst-ridden 5-4 aggregate victory in a two-legged final against Brazilian giants Fluminense. This is the third continental success for the Ecuadorians after winning the 2008 Copa Libertadores (South American Champions League), again beating Fluminense, and the 2009 Recopa (a South American version of the European Super Cup) in which they defeated another Brazilian team Internacional of Porto Alegre 4-0 over two legs. It has been a meteoric rise for the club who have steadily built a good footballing side and have become the dominant force in Ecuador. Their appearance in the 2008 FIFA Club World Cup final against Manchester United made the football world take notice despite their narrow defeat to a lone Wayne Rooney strike.

It hasn’t all been plain sailing for LDU this year. In the 2009 Copa Libertadores they came crashing back down to earth after the previous year’s joy of success. LDU finished bottom of their group behind Sport Recife, Palmeiras (both from Brazil) and Chilean representatives Colo Colo. Thankfully for LDU they finished second in the first stage of the Ecuador Serie A championship, thus qualifying for the Sudamericana, and from there they rediscovered their form in continental competition. After a first round 2-1 aggregate win against Libertad of Paraguay LDU then went on to beat Argentinians Lanus 5-1 (agg.) and Velez Sarsfield 3-2 (agg.) to set up a semi-final tie with Uruguay’s River Plate. A 7-0 drubbing of their opponents in the first leg meant that LDU could afford to take their foot off the gas in the second leg, which they lost 2-1. This set up a second major final with Fluminense who had overcome Paraguayans Cerro Porteno 3-1 (agg.) in their semi-final.

In the first leg of the final in Quito it was the Brazilians that struck early, Marquinho giving the visitors the lead after sixty seconds. After that though LDU dominated with Edison Mendez scoring a hat-trick before the hour mark and two late goals from Franklin Salas and Ulises de la Cruz securing a 5-1 lead to take to Rio de Janeiro. In the second leg the Ecudorians were on the defensive from early on as Dieguinho and Fred gave “Flu” a 2-0 lead at half-time. Any ideas that LDU may have had before the game of cruising this second leg were dashed even further eighteen minutes from the end when Gum made it 3-0 on the night to the Rio side. However despite the best efforts of Fluminense they couldn’t get the fourth goal necessary to take the match into extra-time (away goals not counting in this tournament) and the party could start once again in the Ecuadorian capital after LDU held out to win the final 5-4 on aggregate. LDU are now the envy of Ecuador having shown that they are in a league of their own for handling the big occasion. As a reward for this victory LDU will play Estudiantes de la Plata, the team that replaced them as Copa Libertadores champions in 2009, in the 2010 Recopa final.