Stoppage Time – International Football Blog

Ecuador: Emelec defeated as Deportivo seal fifth title (video)

Posted in South America Football by peterbein on December 17, 2011

Deportivo Quito are the new champions of Ecuador following their 2-0 aggregate victory over Emelec in the final of the domestic championship.

In order to qualify for the play-offs Deportivo won the second stage of the league, which was played from July to December, topping the table after 22 games with a four point margin over Barcelona de Guayaquil. Deportivo’s opponents Emelec had already won the first stage, which took place from January to June, having got the better of LDU Quito with a similar margin of victory. The first leg of the overall championship final took place on Tuesday with Deportivo gaining a slender 1-0 advantage thanks to Fidel Martinez’s goal on the half hour mark.

Today saw the return fixture with Deportivo sealing the title in front of their home supporters. Matius Alustiza’s goal two minutes before the end secured Deportivo their fifth national title, their third in four years, and was all the more sweeter in a week which saw their arch rivals LDU lose out in the 2011 Copa Sudamericana final to Universidad de Chile.

Deportivo Quito and Emelec will participate in the 2012 Copa Libertadores along with the winner of the 3rd/4th play-off between LDU and El Nacional.  The latter lead 2-1 from the first leg with the return fixture to be played on Tuesday night.

DEPORTIVO QUITO v EMELEC – 2ND LEG HIGHLIGHTS

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South America: Estudiantes and LDU grab the honours

Posted in South America Football by peterbein on December 13, 2010

The title race was settled in Argentina this weekend whilst the first stage in Ecuador’s top league also came to a conclusion. As it turned out two of South America’s most successful teams on the continent in recent years, Estudiantes de La Plata and LDU Quito, went on to add silverware to their domestic honours board.

In Argentina the title race went down to the final day and it was a two-horse race between two of the country’s top clubs, Estudiantes and Velez Sarsfield. Four-times champions of Argentina and South America, Estudiantes were in the ascendancy going into the final round of matches as they had a two point lead over Velez. This meant that Velez needed a win and hope for an Estudiantes defeat to claim the title outright or a draw to take the season into a championship play-off fixture. At half-time the omens were looking good for Velez as Juan Manuel Martinez’s 23rd minute goal had them leading their tie away at Racing Club whilst Estudiantes were drawing 0-0 at home in La Plata against Arsenal de Sarandi.

In the second half things got better for Velez as Maximiliano Moralez doubled their lead in the 57th minute leaving most of the fans in the stadium listening to their radios for the latest news coming from La Plata. For Velez fans, however, the title dream would be over in the final twenty minutes of the season as Rodrigo Lopez bagged a brace for Estudiantes which would guarantee them their fifth Argentine championship, their first for four years. The La Plata giants won with 45 points from 19 games, two more than Velez who will rue the two points dropped in the goalless draw against, ironically, Estudiantes’ local rivals Gimnasia Y Esgrima de La Plata on Matchday 14 as the difference between success and failure.

In Ecuador the country’s most successful club Emelec were hoping to defeat the continental powerhouses of LDU Quito in the championship 1st stage final which was played over two legs this week. In the first leg last Sunday LDU won their home tie 2-0 with a double strike from Miller Bolanaos with his second goal in the 92nd minute of the match ultimately proving crucial. Yesterday Emelec won the return fixture with a David Quiroz goal on the hour mark but the 1-0 win proved not enough with LDU prevailing 2-1 on aggregate.

Copa Libertadores: First Stage Preview

Posted in South America Football by peterbein on January 27, 2010
Newell's Old Boys

Newell's Old Boys from Argentina begin in the first stage of the 2010 Copa Libertadores against Ecuadorian team Emelec

The Copa Libertadores, South America’s premier club competition, begins again this week as twelve teams fight it out in the first round in order to qualify for the group stage which begins next month. “Stoppage Time” previews the impending match-ups which are played over two legs during the next couple of weeks:

JUNIOR (Colombia) v RACING (Uruguay)

Junior qualified for the Copa Libertadores as the best placed non-champion team in Colombia’s Copa Mustang competition in 2009 whilst Racing fought it through a tough pre-Libertadores ‘Liguilla’ (mini league) competition in Uruguay and qualified as runners-up. Whereas Racing will be making their maiden appearance in the Libertadores Barranquilla based side Junior have a little more experience in what will be their tenth tournament, their best finish coming in 1994 when they reached the semi-finals. The team who qualifies for the group stage will find themselves against Corinthians (Brazil), Cerro Porteño (Paraguay) and Independiente Medellín (Colombia) in Group 1.

JUAN AURICH (Peru) v ESTUDIANTES TECOS (Mexico)

Both sides are little known outside their borders and should prove to be a tough encounter seeing as they are making their third and first appearances in the Libertadores respectively. Juan Aurich qualified as the best placed team that didn’t win any of the two groups during the ‘Descentralizado’ whilst Tecos had to play in a post-season “InterLiga” for those teams that didn’t directly qualify for the Libertadores for fill up the two final berths. Despite beating Puebla in their last match they finished runners-up behind Monterrey who qualified directly. South American champions Estudiantes de La Plata (Argentina), Bolivar (Bolivia) and Alianza Lima (Peru) await the winners in Group 3.

DEPORTIVO TÁCHIRA (Venezuela) v LIBERTAD (Paraguay)

Deportivo Táchira compete in their thirteenth Libertadores having qualified for the tournament as the best placed non-champion with the best aggregate points total at the end of the Opening and Closing tournaments whilst Libertad got through in a similar fashion having accumulated the most points in the Paraguayan championship. Libertad have plenty of experience in the Libertadores, their best performance coming as recently as 2006 where they were knocked out in the semi-finals by eventual champions SC Internacional. Deportivo also have some history in the tournment having reached the quarter-finals in 2004. The winners from this tie will play in one of the weaker groups of the tournament against Lanús (Argentina), Blooming (Bolivia) and Universitario (Peru) in Group 4.

NEWELL’S OLD BOYS (Argentina) v EMELEC (Ecuador)

The side from Argentina’s second city of Rosario have come close on two occasions to winning the Libertadores but were defeated in the 1988 and 1992 competitions. They begin in this year’s tournament having qualified with the third best average points total among non-champion clubs. They face an Emelec side who finished third in Ecuador’s ‘Serie A’ after beating 2008 Libertadores champions LDU Quito in a two-legged play-off. Whoever comes through the two matches will be in the same group as SC Internacional (Brazil), Cerro (Uruguay) and Deportivo Quito (Ecuador) in Group 5.

REAL POTOSI (Bolivia) v CRUZEIRO (Brazil)

Bolivia’s Real Potosi are making their fifth appearance in the competition having won an end of season play-off whilst Cruzeiro guaranteed their berth by finishing fourth in the Campeonato Brasileiro on the final day of the 2009 season. The Brazilian side have a distinguished history in the Libertadores having been crowned champions on two occasions in 1976 and 1997 whilst the Bolivians are making only their fifth ever appearance amongst South America’s elite. Velez Sarsfield (Argentina), Colo Colo (Chile) and Deportivo Italia (Venezuela) await the winners in Group 7.

COLÓN SANTA FE (Argentina) v UNIVERSIDAD CATÓLICA (Chile)

Colón qualified for the Libertadores thanks to having the second best average among non-champions in Argentina whilst Universidad Católica were the best placed non-champion in the 2009 Torneo Clausura. The Chileans came close to winning the competition in 1993 but succumbed to the superiority of their opponents São Paulo whilst Colón have only ever made one appearance in 1998 where they reached the quarter-finals before being knocked out by compatriots River Plate. The winners of this tie will meet up against Flamengo (Brazil), Universidad de Chile (Chile) and FC Caracas (Venezuela) in Group 8.