Copa Libertadores Wrap: April 14 – 16

17 04 2009

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50 Years of Passion is what the 50th Anniversary Copa Libertadores is all about. The tournament is 2 weeks away from finalizing the seedings for the knockout stage. There is still a lot of maneuvering as teams look to finish in the top 2 slots in their groups.

Group 6 is setting up for some massive drama on the final day after Venezuelan side FC Caracas pulled an important 3 points at home versus Chilean side Everton. Darío Figueroa’s penalty in the 62nd minute sealed the gritty 1-0 win and moved FC Caracas into 1st place. Chivas of Guadalajara failed to better their position in the group after their 0-0 home draw versus Lanus and now sit 1 point back of Caracas in 2nd with Everton in 3rd sitting 2 points behind the Venezuelans.

Wednesday featured 4 Brazilian teams in action. Palmeiras hosted Sport Recife in a crucial Group 1 match that ended in a 1-1 draw that boosted Sport’s chances of advancing to its 1st ever knockout stage. Wilson’s 45th minute goal canceled out Keirrison’s 15th minute penalty. Sao Paulo lost 2-1 in Colombia to Independiente Medellin and lost their undefeated record however the Tricolor Paulista is still in the next round. Gremio remained unbeaten with a big 2-0 road win versus La U de Chile. Tricolor Gaucho is now in a good spot for a #1 seed in the knockout stage.

On Thursday, Boyacá Chicó moved closer to their 1st ever knockout stage when they beat Aurora 2-1 at home. Marco Perez scored the eventual game winner in the 69th minute, the Colombians are in 2nd place in Group 7 with 9 points and only need a draw in their next match to advance.

Here are the results from this week’s Libertadores action:

TUESDAY, APRIL 14

Group 5
Deportivo Quito (ECU) 3 – 1 Univ. de Sucre (BOL)
DPQ: Luis Saritama (12′ & pen 61′) & Léider Preciado (pen 43′)
USC: Nicolas Raimondi (27′)

Group 6
FC Caracas (VEN) 1 – 0 Everton (CHI)
CAR: Darío Figueroa (pen 62′)

CD Guadalajara (MEX) 0 – 0 Lanus (ARG)

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 15th

Group 1
Palmeiras (BRA) 1 – 1 Sport Recife (BRA)
PAL: Keirrison (pen 15′)
SPO: Wilson (45′)

Group 4
Independiente Medellín (COL) 2 – 1 São Paulo (BRA)
DIM: Diego Cabrera (16′) & Rafael Castillo (27′)
SPO: André Lima (40′)

Group 7
Univ. de Chile (CHI) 0 – 2 Gremio (BRA)
GRE: Léo (33′) & Maximiliano López (66′)

THURSDAY, APRIL 16th

Group 2
Deportivo Táchira (VEN) 2 – 1 Guaraní (PAR)
TAC: Jonathan Del Valle (69′) & Marlon Fernández (75′)
GUA: Julián Benítez (18′)

Group 4
América de Cali (COL) 0 – 0 Defensor Sporting (URU)

Group 7
Boyacá Chicó FC (COL) 2 – 1 Aurora (BOL)
BOY: Miguel Caneo (pen 50′) & Marco Perez (69′)
AUR: Christian Fernández (88′)

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Argentine Clausura- Week 9 Wrap

12 04 2009

The Argentine league continues to be an uncertainty because no one seems to assert their dominance.  League leaders Lanús fell on Friday night against an inspired Argentinos Juniors side.  That left the door wide open for Ricardo Gareca’s Vélez Sarsfield side to take the top spot in the Clausura tournament as it reaches the halfway point. El Fortín came to the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Boedo to face a San Lorenzo side that was eliminated from Copa LIbertadores play at midweek and saw coach Miguel Ángel Russo step down.   It was a home game by default as the San Lorenzo fans jeered and insulted their team all throughout the match.  They also were resentful at club brass starting with president Rafael Savino as well as the investment group that has been in place for the past year which was led by Argentine media mogul Marcelo Tinelli.

Defending champ Boca Juniors seems to have lost their bid to repeat as domestic champs after losing to Estudiantes in La Plata.  The loss puts Boca at an eight-point deficit, which leaves them in a position to play spoiler at home in The Superclásico against arch-rivals River Plate. Los Millonarios had the opportunity to go be two points from the top with a win against Gimnasia La Plata, but it would be a tough challenge as well as a game they could easily overlook. They also were being threatened by their fans with chants stating that if they did not win in La Bombonera, to not bother coming back. The news was somewhat put on the backburner as Angel Cabrera had become the Latin American golfer to win the Masters. No fear for River fans as Mauro Díaz equalized early in the second half and took the lead. Gimnasia would equalize close to the end and almost took the three points away from the Monumental; further incensing the the River Plate faithful

Independiente in the meantime were able to bounce back from the 5-1 thrashing at the hands of the Granate last weekend.  Tigre let three points slip away in injury time when Matías Giménez missed a penalty kick.

Argentinos Juniors 2-1 Lanús

ARJ: Ignacio Canuto (10′), Pablo Hauche (48′)

LAN: Diego Lagos (44′)

Tigre 1-1 Newell’s Old Boys

TIG: Carlos Luna (5′)

NEW: Diego Armani (86′)

Godoy Cruz 2-2 Gimnasia (J)

GC: Víctor Figueroa (35′, 78′)

GIJ: Cristian Leiva (7’og), Mauricio Ferradas (57′)

Colón 1-1 Arsenal

COL: Franco Jara (44′)

ARS: Matías Oyola (66′)

Banfield 0-0 San Martín

Independiente 2-1 Huracán

IND: Federico Mancuello (11′), Daniel Montenegro (13′)

HUR:  Matías De Federico (9′)

San Lorenzo 0-1 Vélez Sarsfield

VEL: Hernán López (40′)

Rosario Central 0-1 Racing

RAC: Sosa (72′)

Estudiantes 1-0 Boca Juniors

EST: Fernández (43′)

River Plate 2-2 Gimnasia (LP)
RIV: Mauro Díaz (54′), Diego Barrado (67′)
GLP: Roberto Sosa (35′), Juan Cuevas (69′)

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Copa Libertadores Wrap: April 7 – 9

10 04 2009

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A full week of Libertadores matches took place this week as teams seek points to advance to the knockout stages which are less than 1 month away.  On Tuesday, Libertad’s perfect record ended with a 2-1 road loss to Universitario in Lima.  The Peruvians took the 3 points when Piero Alva scoring in the 62 minute to move Universitario into 2nd place in Group 8 with 8 points.  La U just needs a draw against San Lorenzo in their next match to insure their place in the Round of 16.

Wednesday’s matches were less dramatic than Tuesday’s as every team won by at least 2 goals.  The most impressive being Estudiantes’ 4-0 win over Cruzeiro in La Plata. Cristian Sanchez Prette continued his heroics with 2 late goals to solidify the La Pincha victory and 2nd place in Group 5. The midfielder, on loan from Romanian club CFR Cluj, continues a memorable stretch.  He scored the equalizer late against eternal rival Gimnasia last Sunday and added his first goals of the Libertadores in beating Cruzeiro.

Thursday’s matches featured the biggest name teams in the tournament.  Defending champions Liga De Quito lost 3 points at home to Colo Colo when veteran forward Claudio Bieler scored an own goal in 2nd half injury time to split points with the Chilean side.  The ’08 champions are now 2 points out of a Round of 16 spot with 2 matches remaining.

3-time Copa Libertadores champions Sao Paulo got two goals from Borges and managed to keep the 3 points despite an own goal from Sao Paulo icon Rogerio Ceni.  The 2-1 victory at the Morumbi over Uruguay’s Defensor Sporting moved Tricolor Paulista into 1st place of Group 4 and pretty much secured a spot into the Round of 16.

Boca Juniors continued their smooth ride towards a 7th Libertadores title with a comfortable 3-1 home win versus Paraguayan side Guarani.  Los Xeneizes biggest names came through as Martin Palermo, Rodrigo Palacio, & Juan Roman Riquelme scored to give Boca the victory and inside track for the #1 seed in the knockout stage.

Here are the results from this week of matches:

Tuesday, April 7th

Group 3
Club Nacional (PAR) 1 – 1 San Martin (PER)
NAC: Fabio Escobar (66′)
SNM: Martin Arzuaga (42′)

River Plate (ARG) 0 – 0 Nacional (URU)

Group 7
Gremio (BRA) 3 – 0 Aurora (BOL)
GRE: Rafael Marques (33′), Maximiliano López (64′), Réver (82′)

Group 8
Universitario de Deportes (PER) 2 – 1 Libertad (PAR)
UNI: Ronaille Calheira (28′) & Piero Alva (62′)
LIB: Ximénez (13′)

Wednesday, April 8th

Group 8
San Luis Potosi (MEX) 2 – 0 San Lorenzo (ARG)
SLP: Jesús Palacios Olague (44′) & José Rodolfo Reyes (68′)

Group 7
Universidad de Chile (CHI) 3 – 0 Boyaca Chico FC (COL)
UCI: Emilio Hernandez (22′), Juan Manuel Olivera (48′), Nelson Cuevas (90′)

Group 5
Estudiantes LP (ARG) 4 – 0 Cruzeiro (BRA)
EST: Juan Sebastián Veron (6′), Gastón Fernandez (32′), Cristian Sanchez Prette (74′ & 78′)

Group 1
Sport Recife (BRA) 0 – 2 Palmeiras (BRA)
PAL: Keirrison (23′) & Diego Souza (72′)

Thursday, April 9th

Group 1
Liga De Quito (ECU) 1 -1  Colo Colo (CHI)
LDQ: Jairo Rolando Campos (48′)
COL: Claudio Bieler (og 90’+1′)

Group 4
Sao Paulo (BRA) 2 – 1 Defensor Sporting (URU)
SPO: Borges (71′ & 75′)
DEF: Rogerio Ceni (og 39′)

Group 2
Boca Juniors (ARG) 3 – 1 Club Guarani (PAR)
BOC: Martin Palermo (34′), Rodrigo Palacio (36′), Juan Román Riquelme (pen 86′)
GUA: Miguel Paniagua (44′)





This Week On MAF

5 04 2009

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The guys will wrap up the weekend in Spain and Italy as well as in Argentina and the rest of South America as well as the MLS alongside MLSTalk’s Kartik Krishnaiyer and Jovannei Arroyo.

SI.com and Goal.com writer Greg Sica will be with us to hang out and talk about Copa Lib as well as discuss the fallout from CONMEBOL quallies. He will also give his Champions League predictions as the quarterfinals are about to begin.