Stoppage Time – International Football Blog

Copa Libertadores: Inter claim second title (+video)

Posted in South America Football by peterbein on August 19, 2010

Internacional clinched their second Copa Libertadores title in Porto Alegre last night getting the better of Chivas Guadalajara 5-3 on aggregate. There was an expectant 56,000 crowd for the match held at Internacional’s Estádio Beira-Rio home ground and they were hoping that there wouldn’t be further Brazilian disappointment after second-leg home losses to Grêmio, Fluminense (albeit after a penalty shoot-out) and Cruzeiro in the last three finals. The signs were positive after Inter had defeated Chivas 2-1 in the first leg in Guadalajara and O Colorado wanted to reclaim the title they’d won for the first time in 2006 in a dramatic final against compatriots São Paulo.

The Mexicans, however, were prepared to make a bit of a fight of it in the first half and Chivas would eventually make their breakthrough two minutes before the half-time interval when Marco Fabián was on hand to score the opening goal of the game with a splendid overhead kick and, thus, make the home support a little edgier going into the second half. Inter’s experience meant that they would eventually have a say in the match and once Rafael Sóbis equalized in the 61st minute there was no turning back for the hosts. Strikes from second half substitutes Leandro Damião (76 mins) and Giuliano (89 mins) ensured that the party started early in the stands with Patricio Araújo’s consolation goal in stoppage time proving academic. When Colombian Oscar Ruiz blew the whistle for full-time the celebrations were already in full flow but moments later a fight broke out after Chivas’ goalscorer Fabián alleged that he’d been punched by an Inter supporter which then started an altercation between the two teams. After the teams had been separated the stage was set for Internacional captain Bolívar to hoist the trophy into the heavens and signal the club as Bi-Campeão (two-time winners) and secure a place at the 2010 FIFA Club World Cup in which they’ll expect a truly “international” contest against European champions Internazionale FC in the final.

WATCH COPA LIBERTADORES FINAL 2ND LEG HIGHLIGHTS HERE:


Copa Libertadores: Inter hold advantage after first leg in Mexico (+video)

Posted in South America Football by peterbein on August 12, 2010
Bolívar

Bolívar gave Internacional the lead in their Copa Libertadores 1st leg tie away at Chivas

The opening leg of the 2010 Copa Libertadores final took place last night in front of a capacity crowd at the Estadio Omnilife in Guadalajara. The local team Chivas took to the field against 2006 champions Internacional of Porto Alegre hoping to become the first Mexican side in history to win the coveted trophy after their compatriots Cruz Azul failed in 2001. It looked good for the Mexicans after 45 minutes as Chivas went into the dressing rooms at the break with a 1-0 lead thanks to Adolfo Bautista’s heavily looped header on the stroke of half-time. Chivas had a grip on the game and the Brazilians found it difficult to break them down but Inter didn’t give up and got their reward in the 72nd minute when Giuliano also scored with a header to restore parity. Just four minutes later and the Brazilians had taken the lead thanks once again to somebody using their head, quite literally, this time it was Bolívar who directed home to give Internacional a crucial lead which could prove decisive in next week’s second leg in Porto Alegre.

Watch CHIVAS GUADALAJARA V INTERNACIONAL 1st leg goals HERE:


Copa Libertadores: semi-finals remain tight after first leg (+video)

Posted in South America Football by peterbein on July 29, 2010

The first legs of the Copa Libertadores have been played and both fixtures are finely poised ahead of the second legs which will be played next week. The all-Brazilian contest in Porto Alegre on Wednesday finished with 2006 champions Internacional grinding out a slender 1-0 win against four-time winners São Paulo in the Estádio José Pinheiro Borba. The goal came midway through the second half for Inter after some good work around the box led to the ball finding its way to the feet of Giuliano whose shot from just inside the 18 yard box hit the inside of a post before hitting the back of the net. On Tuesday Chileans Universidad de Chile and Mexicans Chivas Guadalajara finished in a 1-1 draw with both goals being scored early in the second half. Rafael Olarra gave the visiting Universidad side the lead after he took advantage of Chivas’ inability to clear a free-kick but la U, as the Chileans are more popularly known, barely had five minutes to enjoy the lead as the home side equalized in the 52nd minute when Omar Arellano tucked the ball home from a couple of yards out after Omar Bravo’s header was saved by Universidad keeper Miguel Perez. The second legs take place next week with Universidad de Chile hosting their second leg with Guadalajara on Tuesday, August 3rd whilst the all-Brazilian second leg takes place in São Paulo two days later.

Watch Internacional – São Paulo highlights HERE:

Watch Chivas Guadalajara – Universidad de Chile highlights HERE:

Copa Libertadores: Semi-Final Preview

Posted in South America Football by peterbein on July 26, 2010
Internacional v São Paulo

The 2006 Copa Libertadores final saw Internacional beat São Paulo. Will the same outcome occur in this year's semi-finals?

Following the exit of Estudiantes de La Plata from the competition at the quarter-final stage the Copa Libertadores will have a new champion this year. In the semi-finals there will be an all-Brazil affair ensuring that the country supplies a finalist in the tournament for the sixth consecutive year. In the other semi-final two surprise teams from Chile and Mexico will face off in the hope that they can go all the way to the final. Stoppage Time – International Football Blog previews both matches, which are played over two legs.

The first semi-final is an all-Brazilian contest which also happens to be a repeat of the 2006 Copa Libertadores final. On that occasion Internacional of Porto Alegre got the better of defending champions São Paulo winning 4-3 on aggregate and a similar result is what Inter will be after this time if they are to maintain hopes of winning the trophy for a second time. São Paulo, however, have much experience in this competition and are hoping to be triumphant in this tournament for a fourth time. A look at the Campeonato Brasileiro table at the moment shows Internacional going well in 4th place, five points behind leaders Corinthians whilst São Paulo are languishing in 15th place after an inconsistent start. However one shouldn’t take the Tricolor lightly as they have made a habit in recent years of starting slowly in the Brazilian championship in order to concentrate on South America’s biggest prize before ultimately improving at the business end of the domestic season to secure a top four finish and qualify for the following season’s Libertadores. São Paulo also have one of the top scorers in this year’s tournament in the form of Washington who has scored five times and who is determined to make up for the defeat he suffered with Fluminense at the hands of LDU Quito in the 2008 Copa Libertadores final.

The other semi-final features two teams never to have won the Copa Libertadores and are looking to make their own bit of club history by reaching the final of the competition for the very first time. Universidad de Chile have only reached the semi-final stage on two other occasions, the most recent being in 1996 when they went out to eventual winners River Plate. Their opponents Guadalajara were semi-finalists as recently as 2005 but they were defeated 5-2 on aggregate by Atlético Paranaense and have had limited success at international level, only winning a CONCACAF Champions’ Cup title as far back as 1962. In this year’s tournament Guadalajara didn’t have to compete in the group stage due to accepting an invitation to return to the competition after they were forced to withdraw from the 2009 tournament because of the outbreak of swine flu. Universidad got through their quarter-final tie against Brazilian giants Flamengo by defeating the Rubro-Negro on away goals while Guadalajara just got the better of Paraguayan team Libertad coming through with a 3-2 aggregate scoreline. Domestically Universidad de Chile are in good form at the moment lying in second place just two points behind Colo-Colo whilst Guadalajara’s first match in the 2010 Torneo Apertura finished in a goalless draw at home to Puebla FC.

COPA LIBERTADORES SEMI-FINALS 2010

1ST LEGS

Guadalajara v Universidad de Chile (27/07/10)

Internacional v São Paulo (28/07/10)

2ND LEGS

Universidad de Chile v Guadalajara (03/08/10)

São Paulo v Internacional (05/08/10)

Copa Libertadores: Round of 16 Review (+video)

Posted in South America Football by peterbein on May 7, 2010

The Copa Libertadores has concluded its round of 16 stage and “Stoppage Time – International Football Blog” highlights the events of a compelling and, at times, controversial first knockout round:

The first games were completed on Tuesday night and there was one upset and one near upset as big boys from Argentina and Brazil struggled against teams from Mexico and Peru respectively. Vélez Sársfield, whose only Libertadores triumph came in 1994, were expected to go through against Mexican team Chivas especially as the Guadalajara based side were resting players ahead of a crucial Mexican championship match. Sadly for Vélez their opponents hadn’t read the script as Chivas won the first leg in Guadalajara by three goals to nil thanks to a brace from Omar Bravo and a penalty kick from Héctor Reynoso struck in second-half stoppage time. This spot kick proved to be the difference between the two sides as the Argentines pulled two goals back in the return fixture but could not equalize late on. Penalties were also crucial in deciding the match between three-time champions São Paulo FC and Peruvians Universitario Lima who were unable to score a goal between them over two games so had to decide the fixture in a shoot-out. São Paulo missed their first spot kick but converted the rest of their four attempts whilst Universitario reversed that pattern to lose the shoot-out 3-1. Watch the shoot-out here:

The all-Brazilian clash between Flamengo and Corinthians was arguably the most anticipated tie of the round when the draw was made. Flamengo, who won their sixth Brazilian championship last season, haven’t won the Libertadores since their sole triumph back in 1981 but their opponents Corinthians were hoping to win the big one for the first time in their centenary year, hence bringing players of the calibre of Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos back to their homeland. However Flamengo had a couple of quality strikers of their own in Adriano and Vágner Love, the latter’s second leg goal proving crucial. After Adriano had given Flamengo a 1-0 home win in the first leg O Mengão travelled to São Paulo for the return and were behind after 28 minutes thanks to a David own goal. Corinthians then took the lead overall in the tie when Ronaldo scored against his boyhood club six minutes before half-time. Flamengo were not to be denied and struck back just four minutes after the restart thanks to Vágner Love whose away goal proved the difference between the sides as the tie finished 2-2 on aggregate. Watch second leg match highlights here:

In Wednesday night’s other games defending Libertadores champions Estudiantes de La Plata eased through to the quarter-finals after wrapping up a 3-1 home victory against Mexican side San Luis who, along with Chivas Guadalajara, were invited back to the competition this year due to their forced withdrawal from last season’s tournament due to the swine flu epidemic. Leandro González, who scored the only goal in the first leg for Estudiantes, opened the scoring after just four minutes for the Argentines but Diego de la Torre replied for the visitors just three minutes later. The game was sealed in the second half with two goals in five minutes from Leandro Benítez giving Estudiantes a 4-1 aggregate victory. Brazilians Cruzeiro also eased their way through against three-times Libertadores winners Nacional of Montevideo with Thiago Rebeiro scoring four times in a 6-1 aggregate win for the Belo Horizonte side who will play against compatriots São Paulo in the next round.

On Thursday Brazilian success in the tournament continued with the progression of Internacional at the expense of Argentinian Apertura champions Banfield thanks to away goals. Inter were beaten 3-1 in the first leg but their away goal proved crucial once Alecsandro and Walter had given the Porto Alegre outift a 2-0 lead in the second leg. With the game tied 3-3 on aggregate the Brazilians just squeezed past El Taladro who were participating in only their third ever Libertadores. In Paraguay Club Libertad were involved in a struggle against 2008 champions Once Caldas from Colombia. Dayro Moreno gave the Colombians the lead after 55 minutes meaning that Club Libertad had to score twice without reply in order to go through. Roberto Gamarra stepped up to the occasion by converting a 73rd minute penalty and a last-gasp 89th minute winner to give the Paraguayans a 2-1 win on the night and on aggregate. The final match of the round was played in Chile and it turned out to be very controversial. One nil down from the first leg, Peruvians Alianza Lima were leading the second leg 2-1 on the night and going through on away goals when, a couple of minutes into stoppage time, Seymour’s shot gave Universidad de Chile a third goal of the tie to give the Chileans the advantage. However there appeared to be three players in an offside position but the linesman and the referee deemed the goal valid much to the annoyance of the Alianza players who surrounded the referee after the game, forcing the officials to be given a police escort from the field. Watch highlights here:

COPA LIBERTADORES QUARTER-FINAL DRAW

Universidad de Chile v Flamengo

São Paulo v Cruzeiro

Estudiantes de La Plata v Internacional

Club Libertad v Chivas Guadalajara

(1st Legs May 11-13; 2nd Leg May 18-20)