Stoppage Time – International Football Blog

Chile: Top two to meet in championship final (+video)

Posted in South America Football by peterbein on June 6, 2011

Defending Chilean champions Universidad Católica have reached the Torneo Apertura final and will face-off against arch-rivals Universidad de Chile in the two-legged contest.

Universidad Católica, who finished top of the regular season standings, met sixth-placed Unión La Calera who had disposed of Unión Españolain the quarter-finals. Unión took the first leg by two goals to one but yesterday’s second leg saw Universidad scrape through to the final after Enzo Andía’s 46th minute strike helped his team to a 2-2 aggregate draw and thus go through via a superior higher league position in the regular season.

WATCH SECOND LEG HIGHLIGHTS HERE:

Things were much easier for Universidad de Chile after they swept away the challenge of O’Higgins with an 8-1 aggregate win. The first leg, played last Wednesday, was decided in Universidad’s favour with Diego Rivarola’s 67th minute goal proving the difference between the two sides. Saturday’s second leg tie, however, was a completely different story as Universidad put seven goals past their hapless opponents. Strikes from Gustavo Canales (2), Eduardo Vargas, Charles Aránguiz, Albert Acevedo, Marcelo Díaz and Rivarola settled the tie with Enzo Gutiérrez’s 8th minute opening goal proving to be a consolation in the end.

WATCH SECOND LEG HIGHLIGHTS HERE:

Both legs of the Torneo Apertura final will be played at the National Stadium in Santiago on July 9th and 12th.

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.

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.