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10. dec. 2013 10:58
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Soccer Roundup: heart-stopping last round ensures grand final title decider

Table toppers will meet in a grand final match after O’Higgins and Católica both win, Huachipato fires manager while Colo Colo displays faith in coach Tapia with full-time contract.

The Primera División final round played out over the weekend in such dramatic fashion it felt scripted. For neutrals, the topsy-turvy manner in which O’Higgins ensured a grand final title decider with Universidad Católica was thrilling — for fans it was surely torture.

Tied at the top of the table on 36 points apiece going into their respective matches on Saturday at 6:30 p.m., anything but an even points haul shared by both teams would have seen a champion crowned.

Nine times the goal tallies changed — twice the scoreline had Católica the league victor, once O’Higgins. In Talca, Mauricio Gómez put Rangers ahead via a penalty on 15 minutes, though his goal was cancelled out four minutes later by O’Higgins’ Julio Barroso. Just before the half, striker Pablo Calandria put the visitors ahead via a penalty, and with the score at 0-0 in La Calera the trophy edged its way closer to Rancagua. Eleven minutes after the break, however, Rodolfo González tied the game up for Rangers, and panic flickered through the away team. Contrasting a swashbuckling Católica side, O’Higgins earned tied top position this season on the back of an exemplary defensive record — such a tumultuous match was foreign territory for the players.

Incredibly, the 67th minute delivered a double blow to O’Higgins’ hopes — José Muñoz put Católica 1-0 up while Rangers made it 3-2 simultaneously. O’Higgins needed two goals in under half an hour to keep its title dream alive.

Midfielder Osmán Huerta’s bundled finish produced one on 78 minutes, though the traveling support’s chances diminished with each passing second, and tears pricked the eyes of many Rancagüinos as the game entered the desperate hinterland of injury time.

They need not have worried — as was the case so often this season, Calandria made the difference. The man simply does not accept defeat — in the dying stages he flung himself into every header and bust his lungs to reclaim the ball. His break came on 91 minutes — the Argentine galloped into the box toward a loose ball, fast enough that goalkeeper Nicolás Peric could not withdraw his mistimed challenge, clattering Calandria to the ground for a penalty. Peric was ejected, and with no more substitutes Rangers were forced to put an outfielder between the posts. It is a commonly held soccer superstition that the player who wins a spot-kick should never strike it, though in this case the penalty taker was never in doubt. Calandria strode up to the dead ball and fired it home, sending his fans into raptures, and his team into the finals.

Then, in an agonizing — close to needless — recoiling of tension, pulses fluttered around Estadio Fiscal one final time. News came through that an injury time goal had occurred in La Calera just seconds after the penalty. A collective gasp was replaced by rueful laughter — it wasn’t the equalizer that would have given O’Higgins its first major trophy, it was Católica’s own shining knight Ismael Sosa, scoring the team’s second and his ninth of the season, incidentally mirroring Calandria’s tally this semester.

Católica and O’Higgins will lock horns over 90 minutes on Tuesday, and a hair’s breadth divides the teams. O’Higgins handed Católica its only league home defeat of the season, while the Santiago side hit back in the Copa Chile quarter finals. The narrow margins that define this season’s most thrilling and unexpected rivalry were summed up by Católica manager Martín Lasarte when word from Talca reached him.

“We will be practising penalties.”

The grand final is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Estadio Nacional.

Colo Colo 2-0 Ñublense

Colo Colo will be under the stewardship of a new manager next season following the full-time appointment of interim coach Héctor Tapia. He indicated to press that there may be some changes afoot with club captain, Luis Mena, the first to possibly leave before next term begins.

Colo Colo and Ñublense clocked off the season all square with 24 points apiece after the home side bagged all three points on Sunday thanks to a penalty from midfielder Emiliano Vecchio and a Felipe Flores strike. However, the season ultimately ended in disappointment for both sets of fans as neither team managed to qualify for the Copa Libertadores playoffs.

Vecchio made the most of a soft challenge on 11 minutes before stepping up to take the penalty himself. No more than four minutes later striker Flores popped up unmarked in the penalty area to head in an accurate cross.

Ñublense
 did come close in the second half when substitute midfielder Tomás Lanzini rattled the upright with a fizzing free kick 25-yards out. Colo Colo, the most successful team in Chilean history, finish the season a disappointing eighth while minnows Ñublense
 wrap things up a single place above.

Unión Española 4-1 Cobresal

Three goals in eight second half minutes effectively put this encounter to bed as Unión Española prepared for their shot at Copa Libertadores glory in style. Sunday’s result also confines Cobresal to ninth place and a fruitless season.

Traveling defender Felipe Salinas was adjudged to have brought down striker Francesco Castro with a shirt pull in the 11th minute, resulting in a penalty driven in by Uruguayan midfielder Diego Scotti. A defensive horror show then gifted Cobresal an equalizer as goalkeeper Diego Sánchez and defender Jorge Ampuero dilly-dallied the ball to one another before Cobresal stole possession and punished Española with the softest of goals scored by midfielder Mariano Torres.

Before the second half onslaught Española had time to save a penalty after a handball — Sánchez making up for his earlier error with a fine save. Last season’s man of the moment Sebastián Jaime then hit his seventh of the season on 67 minutes with a low strike before midfielder Lorenzo Faravelli jinked his way through the defence and scored three minutes later.

Española saved the best for last as Castro placed a technically flawless volley beyond the keeper from 25-yards out — igniting wild celebration from the home support who will be hoping their team fares well against the best of South American opposition during the Copa Libertadores. The team had already qualified for the continent’s premier international club competition after winning the Transition Tournament earlier this year, though a third placed finish will hearten fans who saw their side open this season with the worst title defending record in top flight history.

Cobreloa 2-2 Universidad de Chile

A hard fought draw between mid-table Cobreloa and Universidad de Chile
 ensured the latter nailed down a playoff spot after cementing fourth place.

Given that Española already holds down a playoff place, second place will now play sixth placed Iquique — not fifth placed Palestino who will play fourth placed Universidad de Chile instead — to decide which team will join the league winners and Española to complete Chile’s three Copa Libertadores berths.

Each of Sunday’s four goals came in the last half hour of the match, the first arriving on 62 minutes when Cobreloa midfielder Cristian Gaitán reared his head completely unmarked to thump in a pinpoint cross. Universidad de Chile midfielder Igor Lichnovsky replied with the first of his brace six minutes later when he headed in a corner.

It wasn’t long before the Chilean grabbed his second on 72 minutes when the home defense failed to clear another corner. However, striker Ignacio Herrera scored a brilliant equalizer eight minutes from time when he deftly brought down a lofted through ball and drilled it past the helpless Johnny Herrera in goal.

Cobreloa ends the season in tenth after three losses from the side’s final four games.

Universidad de Concepción 1-1 Iquique

A 1-1 draw against Universidad de Concepción was enough to guarantee Iquique a Copa Libertadores playoff place against the loser of Tuesday’s league decider between O’Higgins and Universidad Católica.

On the lush, shaded greenery of Estadio Municipal de Yumbel it was Universidad de Concepción who looked the most dangerous during the early stages of Sunday’s duel. This pressure was rewarded with a headed goal from Diego Ruíz — his fifth of the season.

It wasn’t until the second half that Iquique began to create some chances and after a missed penalty veteran striker Manuel Villalobos leapt high to head in a fantastic cross from red-headed midfielder Santiago Romero in the 71st minute. As a result Concepción ends the season occupying 12th spot.

Palestino 1-2 Audax Italiano

Despite losing Sunday’s encounter with Audax Italiano 2-1, this season’s overachiever Palestino cemented a Copa Libertadores playoff place — finishing up an impressive fifth place in the standings.

Palestino will now face-off against fourth placed Universidad de Chile for the third and final Copa Libertadores spot, as opposed to third placed Unión Española, who qualify by virtue of winning the Transition Tournament.

An incredible solo goal by Palestino striker Roberto Gutiérrez put the home side ahead just after halftime but midfielder Marco Medel curled a beautiful left-footed free kick into the top corner on 62 minutes to make it 1-1.

Medel then supplied the ammunition for the unlikeliest of sources, defender Nelsón Saavedra, to head home seven minutes from time — his first goal of the season. Italiano move up a place to 14th winning three of the team’s last five games.

Everton 2-3 Huachipato

Huachipato head coach Jorge Pellicer has confirmed that he is leaving the club through mutual consent. After winning 2012’s Clausura under Pellicer the team’s form took a nose dive and the dizzy heights of Huachipato’s success and consequent Copa Libertadores qualification could not be repeated this term.

“I never intended to leave the team,” Pellicer told press after defeating Everton. “This is neither resignation or dismissal, but a mutual departure.”

Former Chile Under-20 national team coach Mario Salas will take the reigns next term until after agreeing a deal with Huachipato’s board that will take him through June 2015. Salas will manage in the top flight for the first time.

Despite a rare win on Friday night, the Talcahuano based team ends the season rooted to the bottom of the table with a dismal 13 points from 17 games. Midfielder Gabriel Sandoval rose above Everton’s defence to head home the game’s first goal on 11 minutes from a corner. Striker David Llanos then made it 2-0 shortly after halftime when he headed another corner beyond the flailing arms of Everton keeper Gustavo Delsasso.

The home team was handed a lifeline in the 56th minute when Huachipato keeper Nery Veloso bumbled the ball into his own net after failing to hold a free kick. However, midfielder Martín Rodríguez registered his second goal of the campaign with a clever chip ten minutes later, effectively ending any hopes of an Everton comeback.

Everton did grab a consolation goal through Argentine striker Emiliano Romero on 72 minutes but it was not enough to end the season any higher than 15th place in the overall standings.

Huachipato has the chance to salvage something from the Apertura when the team hosts Católica
 in the first semi-final leg of Copa Chile, Jan. 7.

Santiago Wanderers 1-1 Antofagasta

Santiago Wanderers and Antofagasta — two teams resigned to mid-table mediocrity — ended the season in typical fashion by grinding out a 1-1 draw Sunday. Neither side created many clear-cut chances and when an opportunity did arise a clinical finish usually went lacking.

Wanderers’ striker Marco Sebastián Pol and Antofagasta forward Javier Elizondo — last season’s joint top scorer — both wasted gilt-edged opportunities to go one up in the first half. It wasn’t until ten minutes after halftime that Pol atoned for his earlier miss, scoring his seventh goal of the season with a fine header.

However, the away team replied in the 78th minute with arguably the best move of the match as midfielder Luis Cabrera ran on to a through pass and placed the ball beyond the onrushing goalkeeper. Wanderers finish up the season in 13th while Antofagasta must settle for 11th.

Apertura upcoming fixtures:

Grand final at Estadio Nacional, Dec. 10, 7:30 p.m.: Universidad Católica vs. O’Higgins

Copa Libertadores play offs:

Estadio Municipal de La Cisterna, Dec. 13, 4 p.m.: Palestino vs. Universidad de Chile

Estadio Nacional, Dec 16, 4 p.m.: Universidad de Chile
 vs. Palestino

Iquique will play the loser of the league grand final on Dec. 13 and Dec. 16. The final of the Copa Libertadores play offs will take place over two legs on Dec. 19 and 22.

Mål

http://www.cdf.cl/videos/
Brasil: Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense, Botafogo (100% Carioca) Rio > Säo Paulo

MENGÃO BI DA AMÈRICA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RlVt8zJhXQ
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10. dec. 2013 11:04
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Franco Cángele: "Lo mejor es irme de Boca"

A un día de que Boca cierre su participación en el Torneo Inicial, el delantero Franco Cángele habló en ESPN Radio en Rivadavia y afirmó que "de palabra está cerrada la salida" para dejar el club en el mercado de pases de verano.

"Al no haber tenido la posibilidad de tener minutos, creo que lo mejor es irme de Boca. Es lo mejor para mí, como también para el club", expresó quien fue refuerzo de Boca a mitad de año, luego de ocho años fuera del club.

A su vez, Cángele manifestó que "volver y seguir con pocos minutos no sirve". "Después de la pretemporada, estaba ilusionado con jugar más. Pero no tuve la oportunidad y no se pudo dar", agregó.

"A Bianchi le estoy agradecido. Me hizo entrenar cuando más lo necesitaba y me fichó. Lo que no entendí es por qué nunca me pudo dar una oportunidad", señaló Cángele, quien apenas ingresó desde el banco de suplentes en cuatro partidos del actual campeonato.

Finalmente, Cángele confesó "Antes del partido con All Boys le fui a preguntar a Bianchi porque no jugaba y me dijo que no me veía para jugar 90 minutos". "Me queda la espina porque todos tuvieron su oportunidad", concluyó.

Franco Cángele, de 29 años, regresó a Boca en el último mes de junio tras ocho años fuera del club. En dicho período pasó por Independiente y Colón, en Argentina, y Sakaryaspor y Kayserispor, en Turquía.
Brasil: Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense, Botafogo (100% Carioca) Rio > Säo Paulo

MENGÃO BI DA AMÈRICA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RlVt8zJhXQ
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10. dec. 2013 11:05
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Omar De Felippe: "No esperaba estar en zona de ascenso"

BUENOS AIRES -- El entrenador de Independiente, Omar De Felippe, afirmó que desde que llegó al club tenía como objetivo terminar lo más arriba posible pero "no esperaba estar en puestos de ascenso".

Independiente cerró el año en la tercera posición del torneo de la B Nacional, luego de ganarle como visitante a Patronato de Paraná y de que Crucero del Norte empató frente a Independiente Rivadavia de Mendoza, por lo que si el torneo terminara de esta mañana conseguiría el esperado regreso a Primera.

"No esperaba estar en los puestos de ascenso, aunque si cerca, porque si los de arriba (Banfield y Defensa y Justicia) se mantienen va a ser difícil pelear por un solo lugar", dijo De Felippe.

El ex técnico de Quilmes contó que no imaginaban "la cantidad de puntos y la campaña de los chicos" desde que llegaron.

"La verdad es que estamos agradecidos, porque la exigencia fue muy grande y han logrado levantarse porque las cosas no estaban bien", destacó De Felippe.

Luego de señalar que los jugadores "se hicieron cargo" de cambiar la imagen del equipo, De Felippe contó que "la confianza" era lo primero que querían recuperar.

"Todavía podemos rendir más y confiamos mucho en esta pretemporada", dijo el técnico del "Rojo".
Brasil: Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense, Botafogo (100% Carioca) Rio > Säo Paulo

MENGÃO BI DA AMÈRICA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RlVt8zJhXQ
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10. dec. 2013 11:08
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Brazil tries to ease violence fears

SAO PAULO -- As video of Brazilian fans kicking, beating and using metal bars to pummel supporters of a rival team spread across the globe, officials moved quickly to assure people considering coming to the 2014 World Cup that they won´t see that type of violence at the global tournament.

A day after four people were hospitalized following clashes in a key match in the final round of the Brazilian league, World Cup organizers said Monday that fan safety will not be a problem during the World Cup.

"We can assure that the safety of this event will be guaranteed," said Andrei Augusto Passos Rodrigues, one of the Brazilian government´s officials in charge of security during major events. "The lamentable scenes such as the ones that happened yesterday will not be repeated."
But violence around Brazilian football is growing, including about 30 deaths this year. In July, a referee in a village match fatally stabbed a player after an argument. The referee was then stoned and decapitated by the crowd.

In the Brazilian league this year, police and fans clashed in and outside stadiums at least once a month. In most Brazilian games, anyone with a ticket can sit anywhere in the stadium. Rival fans take up separate sections, and taunting and physical confrontations often erupt where the two groups meet.

On Sunday, hundreds of supporters from first-division clubs Atletico Paranaense and Vasco da Gama charged against each other in the southern city of Joinville on Sunday, exchanging punches, kicks and using homemade weapons in the fight that stopped the match for more than an hour. A police helicopter had to land on the field to airlift a man with a serious head injury.

Sunday´s match was played in Joinville instead of Atletico Paranaense´s base in Curitiba because the club had been punished for fan fighting earlier this year.

The disturbing images from the fight came just two days after FIFA held the draw for the World Cup with an extravagant ceremony in a luxurious resort in northeastern Brazil.

"This is very sad for Brazilian football," FIFA said in a statement. "FIFA and the local organizing committee condemn any form of violence and such incidents should not happen in any football stadium."

But the scenes were not new to Brazilians. Authorities are unable to contain rival fan groups that go to stadiums mostly to fight. A recent study by Rio de Janeiro sociologist Mauricio Murad showed that at least 30 people have been killed in incidents across the country this year alone, more than in 2012.

Confrontations are likely in nearly every match, from the most high-profile ones to the least watched. Cruzeiro´s title celebrations a few weeks ago had to be canceled because of fan fighting.

Few troublemakers are ever arrested, and those who are will rarely stay in prison. Punishment usually comes from Brazil´s sports tribunal, which bans teams from playing at home after fan violence.

"Violence in football is treated differently than it is in society," said Leonardo Bertozzi, a commentator with ESPN Brasil. "You need to arrest those who take part in this type of violence and that doesn´t happen."

Only three of the hundreds of fans seen fighting on Sunday were arrested.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff called for an end to lack of punishment.

"The country of football cannot live with violence in stadiums anymore," Rousseff said on Twitter.

Many of the fights are pre-arranged by rival groups on the Internet and are not only related to teams´ poor performances. Authorities know that many criminals are part of the fan groups but have been unable to ban them from stadiums.

Brazilian authorities argue that the 12 new World Cup stadiums will help drive out hooliganism and violence.

"We could discuss here for days the reasons why violence erupts in the stadiums," Rodrigues said. "But we believe that with the new events ... we will be able to overcome these issues and have safer stadiums to go to in Brazil. We hope that can change the old idea of a stadium as a place where violence can happen."

Security in Joinville was handled by private guards instead of police, similar to what is planned for the World Cup. Stewards are responsible for fan safety inside stadiums during FIFA events, with authorities usually in charge of security outside. Sunday´s fighting only stopped after police fired rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.

"For the 2014 FIFA World Cup a very comprehensive security concept is in place in an integrated operation between private and public security authorities to ensure the safety for fans, players and any other stakeholder involved in the event," FIFA said in a statement. "The concept has worked very well during the FIFA Confederations Cup and is built on models used at previous FIFA World Cups."

While there were only about 80 security guards separating the crowd in Joinville, the local organizing committee said nearly 900 private security agents worked in every match during the Confederations Cup, a warm-up for the World Cup.

Most of FIFA´s security concerns have been focused on protests outside of the venues. The fan groups common to club matches are not expected during World Cup games, in part because of the high prices of tickets.
Brasil: Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense, Botafogo (100% Carioca) Rio > Säo Paulo

MENGÃO BI DA AMÈRICA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RlVt8zJhXQ
Deportivo FAS
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10. dec. 2013 11:14
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Only Leon stands in way of America´s 12th title

Go ahead, hate Club America. Hate them for their gigantic stadium, which was hopping Sunday with frenzied fans encouraging them to overturn a one-goal disadvantage to Toluca. Azteca Stadium is an imposing venue for international matches, but to Las Aguilas, it’s home sweet home. Sunday was the time to turn that intimidating atmosphere against their opponents.

Hate Club America for their players. The club can afford many of the best in Mexico, and it’s not an accident the bulk of the domestic-based Mexico squad that qualified El Tri for the 2014 World Cup are from the club. The silky crosses of Miguel Layun, the effervescent scoring agility of Raul Jimenez, the uncanny ability of goalkeeper Moises Munoz to contribute when most needed meshed easily into a Mexico team fans could be proud of at the end of a shameful and frustrating year. Yet Club America also boasts top-level foreign talent as well, with the dynamic Rubens Sambueza leading the way.

Hate Club America for their coach, Miguel Herrera, who turned the star players into a cohesive unit, and who has helped the team bounce back from losing last season’s league scoring leader, the late Christian Benitez. Herrera is demonstrative and yet analytical, skilled in both motivating players and the tactics of the game. Even in a year interrupted by a national team stint, Herrera has remained faithful to getting the job done at Club America.

Above all else, fans of any other Liga MX team can hate Club America for the prize that is now within their reach -- an unprecedented full dozen championship titles, more than any other club in league history.

America defeated Toluca 2-0 to take a 3-2 aggregate victory Sunday, while Leon drew 2-2 against Santos Laguna to win 5-3 over the two legs.

The first leg of the Liga MX Apertura tournament final is Thursday in Leon, with the return leg in Estadio Azteca next Sunday. America is tied with Guadalajara rival Chivas on 11 league titles, while Leon, promoted to the first division in 2012, hasn´t won a championship since 1992.

It wasn’t as if Toluca didn’t try to deny America that 12th title. The pace of the match was frenetic from the start, with goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera doing well to deny chances for Las Aguilas, while Toluca struck fast on the counterattack.

But with intense fan support urging them on, Las Aguilas struck early. Aquivaldo Mosquera rose high in the box to head home a Sambueza pass that left Talavera no chance.

Toluca needed only one goal to swing the momentum back in their favor. Antonio “Zinha” Naelson and Isaac Brizuela were especially active in attempting to get it. Toluca took control in the second half, though Munoz reacted well in goal to keep America’s advantage. As the time ticked down, however, Toluca began to tire. Las Aguilas secured the vital second goal that assured advancement with barely five minutes left in regulation. Like Mosquera, Jesus Molina scored on a header.

Now Herrera, the coach once known as a man capable of good results but unable to claim the big prize, has his team poised to win back-to-back championships.

There was less suspense in the other Liga MX semifinal, since Leon had pushed out to a sizable advantage. Santos Laguna ended up scoring two goals, but that wasn’t enough, since Leon kept pace by scoring two of their own.

The tight game in the first half, which was scoreless, gave way to a scoring frenzy in the second. Oribe Peralta came through with the first goal for the Laguneros, but the next two were for Leon. A late consolation goal for Santos Laguna ended the scoring.

Leon may get love from neutral fans in the final partly as the last chance to keep the 12th title away from Club America, but they have a solid shot at the championship as well. Though not as flashy as Las Aguilas, Leon´s players are strong as a unit and have had a great season together.

Still, something seems preordained in the way that Club America has led Liga MX from the start this season. The players have dialed in the formula to win, and it will be difficult to knock them off course. Even the hate from others seems to only fuel them along.
Brasil: Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense, Botafogo (100% Carioca) Rio > Säo Paulo

MENGÃO BI DA AMÈRICA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RlVt8zJhXQ
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10. dec. 2013 11:17
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America and Leon present a fascinating final

MEXICO CITY -- A unique soccer culture. A unique national team. A unique final.

In what other country in the world would the national team coach bring his club team to the final of his country´s league tournament with 16 national-team players, from both clubs, on the field?

Yes: America (and Mexico national team) manager Miguel Herrera has 11 national-team players on his America side. And he had five players from the opposing team, Leon, under his tutelage during Mexico´s World Cup qualifying playoff games against New Zealand.

The first leg of the America-Leon Apertura tournament final is slated for Thursday in Leon, with the return leg on Sunday in Estadio Azteca.

Does Herrera´s situation seem like an unquestionable advantage? It´s actually relative. And let´s see why.

1. Herrera became familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of the spinal column of the Leon team during El Tri´s preparation stage, and during the team´s call-up and games against the Kiwis.

Having directed, observed, assessed, judged and spent time personally with five Leon players, Herrera (and 11 of his 23-man squad) should know Rafa Marquez, Jonny Magallon, Luis Montes, Gullit Pena and Edwin Hernandez intimately, inside and out.

Herrera coached and trained with the core of Gustavo Matosas´ Leon squad.

2. But the five Leon players also obtained in-depth knowledge of the tactical requirements Herrera demands from his players, or at least from seven of them directly on the field.

And if we add that the Leon players possess that spark of intelligence that defines players who can improvise tactically, they will surely have valuable information for their coach.

There is no doubt that Marquez, Gullit and Montes, more so than Edwin and Magallon -- who were cut out of the process -- could fill Matosas in on the instructions that Herrera gives regarding movements on the field.

Clearly, Herrera, without knowing it, had five friendly and loyal partners in the buildup and subsequent playoff against New Zealand, without knowing they would turn into efficient spies as his daunting adversary in the final of the 2013 Apertura.

And watch out, because Matosas has proven that he is as good or better a coach as Herrera.

And be warned: It was not a normal get-together. The relationship between the components of this emerging national team, tasked with rescuing qualification for the World Cup, must have been intense.

Intense because the mutual understanding of the group, and the commitment that they showed, makes it clear that they formed a perfect understanding of each other´s movements on the field.

Who will make the best use of this state of affairs?

The information Herrera and his 11 America players were able to memorize in those days of intense cohabitation with those five Leon players? Or the report the five Leon players can deliver about Herrera´s tactical habits, preferences and demands regarding where and how to play?

Really, it´s unique, it´s strange, it´s abnormal, it´s insane and crazy, it´s unbelievable -- but that´s what happened: Key players from both teams were heroic partners during Mexican soccer´s time of need, and they were able to meld together in an unprecedented way while shouldering their shared task.

But even though it is so dramatic and unique, in the end, because of the aggressive nature of both teams and because they know each other so well, the two games of the final will probably be even more fascinating and compelling.

And this, all of this, could only have happened in Mexico.

And to quote the brilliant Ney Blanco de Oliveira for the umpteenth time: "In Mexico, things happen that even God doesn´t believe."
Brasil: Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense, Botafogo (100% Carioca) Rio > Säo Paulo

MENGÃO BI DA AMÈRICA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RlVt8zJhXQ
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10. dec. 2013 11:53
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Unforgettable week for Costa Rica’s Oviedo

LONDON, England – Until recently, the only action that Bryan Oviedo had seen with English side Everton during the 2013-14 season was two matches in the League Cup and one in the Premier League as a second-half substitute.

But that has all changed over the last nine days for the Costa Rican international, who completed a run of three superb outings this weekend with the Toffees’ 1-1 draw at top-of-the-table Arsenal.

Oviedo was slotted into the starting line-up after stalwart left-back Leighton Baines suffered a fractured toe in a 3-3 draw against rival Liverpool on November 23.

It was an opportunity that the 23-year-old has seized with both hands.

On November 30, Oviedo played 90 minutes and scored his first goal of the season in a 4-0 win over Stoke City.

Four days later, the former FC Copenhagen and Saprissa star made history for the Liverpool-based side, netting in the 86th minute to give Everton its first triumph at Manchester United since 1992.

The good times continued on Sunday against Arsenal, as Oviedo was once again a main figure, assisting on Gerard Deulofeu’s brilliant equalizer with six minutes left in regulation.

Three matches, two goals, one assist. For Oviedo, it has been a week to remember.

“I think it has been my best week in England and I am so happy for this,” Oviedo told the club’s website. “But I am very happy for the team because we are playing very well.

“The fans have been very important for me because they have given me more motivation. I am so happy with the support because they are important for us in every match.”

Interestingly, Friday’s World Cup draw produced a pairing between Costa Rica and England next year in Brazil. The match will pit Oviedo against some of Everton teammates, including Baines.

“I am happy to get to play against England,” beamed Oviedo. “It is a difficult group. We have to play hard for the next six months so we are prepared.”

Everton will return to action on Saturday at home against Fulham, a game that could see Oviedo square off against countryman Bryan Ruiz.
Brasil: Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense, Botafogo (100% Carioca) Rio > Säo Paulo

MENGÃO BI DA AMÈRICA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RlVt8zJhXQ
Deportivo FAS
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10. dec. 2013 11:57
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Central America Recap -­ December 9, 2013

Real España captured the first leg of the Honduran final at home, while Guatemala and El Salvador now have their finalists.

HONDURAS

Real España got two goals Bryan Rochez and another from Claudio Nicolas Labariñas Cardozo to defeat Real Sociedad 3-1 in the first leg of the Honduran Apertura final on Sunday at the Estadio Francisco Morazan in San Pedro Sula.

Rochez opened the scoring in the 15th minute, reacting well to strike from seven-yards out off a cross from the left side of the box by Allan Aleman. The 18-year-old forward netted his second 17 minutes later with a header from the edge of the six-yard box.

Real Sociedad was able to cut the deficit in the 58th minute courtesy of a penalty converted by Elkin Gonzalez. Three minutes prior, home goalkeeper Luis Lopez brought down Rony Martínez in the area and the referee did not hesitate to point to the spot.

Four minutes later, Labariñas Cardozo sealed the win, controlling a ball from Rochez with his thigh and firing in with his right foot.

Head coach Hernán Medford’s team will now look to become champion next Sunday, when the return leg is contested at the Estadio Francisco Martinez Duron in Tocoa.

GUATEMALA

Comunicaciones and Heredia are the finalists in Guatemala following second leg play in the Apertura semifinals this past weekend.

Comunicaciones followed up a 1-0 first-leg loss to Marquense with a 4-0 win at home on Saturday. A penalty kick by Juan Jose Paredes, plus additional goals from Paolo Suárez, Jairo Arreola and Jonathan Marquez, paved the way for a comprehensive Cremas triumph.

On Sunday, visiting Heredia completed a 4-1 aggregate triumph over Municipal with a a 1-1 draw at the Estadio Manuel Felipe Carrera, El Trebol. A 17th minute goal by Mario Rodríguez goal gave the Rojos hope of a momentous comeback, but Manuel Lopez’s equalizer five minutes before the break ensured that Heredia advanced comfortably.

Heredia will host Comunicaciones in the first leg of the final on Thursday at the Estadio in the Estadio Del Monte. The two sides also met in the 2013 Clausura final, which was won by Comunicaciones, 2-1 on aggregate.


EL SALVADOR

After surviving an entertaining Sunday of second leg, semifinal action, Isidro Metapan and FAS will meet in the Salvadoran Apertura final.

At San Salvador’s Estadio Cuscatlan, ten-man Metapan rallied late from a two-goal deficit to earn a 2-2 draw with Atletico Marte and progress 3-2 on aggregate. Marte took advantage of Narciso Orellana’s 21st minute ejection, when Christopher Ramirez poked home from close range off Otoniel Salinas’ left-sided cross 11 minutes later. Ramirez doubled the advantage in 73rd minute on the second attempt, chipping in from four-yards out after his initial attempt was blocked.

With five minutes left in regulation, Metapan’s Milton Molina made it 2-1, sharply heading in a corner kick from seven yards.

Two minutes later, Andres Flores delivered a cross just outside the six-yard box that Puerto Rico international Hector Ramos headed into an empty net to seal Metapan’s place in the final.

In Santa Ana, Jefferson Viveros scored a goal in each half to lead FAS to a 2-1 win over visiting Juventud Independiente, giving the Tigers a 4-3 aggregate triumph. The Colombian struck for the host in the 31st and 81st minutes, while Oscar Ceren netted for Juventud in the 63rd.

The single-game final will be played on Sunday at the Estadio Cuscatlan with the winner earning a place in the next CONCACAF Champions League.
Brasil: Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense, Botafogo (100% Carioca) Rio > Säo Paulo

MENGÃO BI DA AMÈRICA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RlVt8zJhXQ
Deportivo FAS
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10. dec. 2013 15:48
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Gareca probó un equipo de Vélez con Romero y Cáseres

BUENOS AIRES -- El delantero Ramiro Cáseres y el volante Lucas Romero asoman como titulares en Vélez Sarsfield el domingo próximo en el decisivo partido ante San Lorenzo por el torneo Inicial, al formar parte del primer equipo que dispuso en la práctica Ricardo Gareca.

Cáseres aparecía desde la semana pasada como el postulante principal para ocupar la vacante que dejó Mauro Zárate por su expulsión ante Colón, relegando a Ezequiel Rescaldani al banco de suplentes.

En tanto, cuando alumbraba la chance de Ariel Cabral en el medio tras recuperarse de un traumatismo en un pie, en la práctica de fútbol en la Villa Olímpica fue Romero el que ocupó el puesto junto a Leandro Desábato.

Gareca dispuso formar el equipo con Sebastián Sosa; Fabián Cubero, Fernando Tobio, Sebastián Domínguez, Emiliano Papa; Agustín Allione, Desábato, Romero, Federico Insúa; Cáseres y Lucas Pratto.
Brasil: Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense, Botafogo (100% Carioca) Rio > Säo Paulo

MENGÃO BI DA AMÈRICA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RlVt8zJhXQ
Deportivo FAS
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10. dec. 2013 18:14
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Guillermo Barros Schelotto: "Estoy muy ilusionado con ser campeón"

BUENOS AIRES -- Guillermo Barros Schelotto, entrenador de Lanús, se mostró muy ilusionado con la posibilidad de ser campeón el miércoles por primera vez en su rol de técnico, cuando su equipo reciba a Ponte Preta de Brasil, por la revancha de la final de la Copa Total Sudamericana.

"Estoy muy ilusionado con ser campeón como técnico. Gané muchos títulos y Copas como jugador, pero es mi primera competencia internacional como DT y me ilusiona pensar que podré cumplir el sueño de todo técnico", explicó Guillermo, ex jugador de Gimnasia de La Plata y Boca.

Con Boca, equipo en el que jugó una década y ganó 16 títulos, Barros Schelotto festejó las Copas Libertadores 2000, 2001 y 2003 y la Intercontinental 2003, entre otros logros internacionales.

"La chance del título como técnico me genera a la vez mucha ansiedad. Pero, como sabe todo el plantel, tenemos que estar concentrados y tranquilos para que Lanús pueda hacer en el campo de juego lo mejor que pueda", comentó el Mellizo, de 40 años.

"Hay mucha expectativa porque varios jugadores del club viven esto no solo como profesionales sino como hinchas. Eso te puede dar un plus pero a la vez hay que manejar ansiedad", agregó.

Para el entrenador, Lanús debe "tener la pelota y buscar ser protagonista del partido. No puedo definir el equipo titular porque hay jugadores con molestias, pero no vamos a cambiar esquema táctico, con los habituales tres delanteros".

Sobre el rival, Ponte Preta, con quien igualó 1-1 en el encuentro de ida en Brasil, Barros Schelotto consideró que "hay que cuidarse de su salida rápida, se cierra bien en defensa y te puede salir con un contraataque peligroso por el buen dominio de pelota que, de por sí, tienen los brasileños".

Además, el Mellizo` recalcó que deben tener cuidado con el factor "sorpresa" de los brasileños. "Siempre te sorprenden con algo, como nos pasó en la ida que teníamos todo controlado y con un tiro libre Bastos nos empató. Y después el mismo Bastos casi nos gana el partido con otro tiro libre", aclaró.
Brasil: Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense, Botafogo (100% Carioca) Rio > Säo Paulo

MENGÃO BI DA AMÈRICA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RlVt8zJhXQ

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