Stoppage Time – International Football Blog

Chile: Universidad Católica pip Colo Colo to the championship

Posted in South America Football by peterbein on December 6, 2010
Universidad Católica

Universidad Católica are Chilean champions for the tenth time

Universidad Católica have taken advantage of some slip-ups by record champions Colo Colo in recent weeks to register their 10th domestic championship. Universidad only needed a draw at home to relegation threatened CD Everton whilst Colo Colo could only pray that fortune was on their side in their game against Universidad de Concepción.

Due to the devastating earthquake which affected the South American country earlier in the year Chile’s football championship was turned into a larger 34-game season, as opposed to smaller Apertura and Clausura tournaments as is the norm. For Universidad the result of their game against CD Everton was never in doubt once  Fernando Meneses had given them the lead after just four minutes with Marcos Gonzalez doubling the lead to take a 2-0 lead into half-time. The second half turned into a rout with further strikes from Adan Vergara and Felipe Gutierrez as well as a second for Meneses giving Universidad a 5-0 win to win the championship in style and, thus, send their hapless opponents down to the second division in the process. Colo Colo defeated Universidad de Concepción 4-2 in their final match but the record champions finished three points behind Universidad Católica who finished the league campaign with 74 points from 34 matches.

Chile: Quadruple assault on the title (+video)

Posted in South America Football by peterbein on September 27, 2010
Cristobal Jorquera

Cristóbal Jorquera scored Colo-Colo's last-gasp winner this weekend

Chile’s football championship has reached new heights of excitement after this weekend’s round of matches as the title race begins to reach the final straight. Five points separate the top four teams with fourth place Audax Italiano announcing themselves as serious title contenders following their weekend 3-2 victory away at fellow challengers Universidad Católica. Champions Colo-Colo were the main beneficiaries of the weekend as their 2-1 away win at Deportes La Serena was complimented by the news of defeats to league leaders Universidad de Chile as well as third place Católica. Stoppage Time – International Football Blog reviews the latest action in one of South America’s top leagues.

Record champions Colo-Colo are hoping to win their 30th domestic championship this season and they took what could be a significant step towards their goal with a last-gasp victory away to Deportes La Serena. The home side had the lead following Mauricio Salazar’s goal on 33 minutes and that was how the score remained at half-time. Colo-Colo came back out in determined mood for the second half and had Esteban Paredes to thank for restoring parity just seven minutes after the break. A point would not have been bad for Colo-Colo but, in a dramatic finish to the game, Cristóbal Jorquera ensured that they got all three with a stoppage time free-kick winner to send Colo-Colo on level points with league leaders Universidad de Chile.

SEE ‘LIVE FOOTAGE’ OF JORQUERA’S WINNING GOAL HERE:

Universidad de Chile missed the chance to maintain the three point gap between themselves and Colo-Colo after going down to a 2-1 home reverse against Palestino. The visitors took a two goal lead in the first half through Juan Albornoz (9 minutes) and Gerardo Cortés (37′) before Diego Rivarola halved the deficit for the hosts nine minutes into the second half. The defeat means that Universidad have lost their last two games and thus gave Universidad Católica the opportunity to overtake both Universidad de Chile and Colo-Colo at the top of the standings but it proved to be a very difficult match at home to fourth place Audax Italiano.

Audax, who were unbeaten in their previous eleven league matches before the Católica game, were the form team amongst the top four and went on to prove this despite falling behind to an early third minute goal from Católica’s Roberto Gutierrez. Audax equalized midway through the first half thanks to Lucas Domínguez before going on to take a two goal lead immediately after the interval with Matías Campos’s goals in the 46th and 48th minutes stunning the hosts into silence. Although Católica hit back on 56 minutes with Gutíerrez’s second goal of the game it would ultimately prove not to be enough.

As a result of this weekend’s games Universidad de Chile still hold the league leadership but only by virtue of goals scored. They have 51 points from 25 games with Colo-Colo on the same number of points with a game in hand. Universidad Católica lie in third place just one point behind the top two while Audax’s win moves them to within four points of their defeated weekend opponents to keep their hopes of the title alive.

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.