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Sv: Sydamerikansk fodbold i Danmark - hvad mener I?

The story of O’Higgins: From tragedy to triumph

It is February 8 2014, fans of O’Higgins have gathered on la calle Millán in Rancagua. However, this isn’t a buoyant gathering to honour the first top-flight title in the club’s history. Nor is it to celebrate the club’s upcoming return to the Copa Libertadortes for the first time in 20 years.

The fans have assembled to pay tribute to 16 of their fellow Rancagüinos who tragically died when making their way back from witnessing O’Higgins defeat Clausura 2012 champions Huachipato 2-0.

In the early hours of Saturday morning, February 9 2013, just after 1am, news emerged that a bus carrying fans home from the Estadio CAP in the city of Talcahuano in the south of the central zone of Chile had been involved in an accident. Barely 40km into their journey north, the bus was passing through Tomé on the Cuesta Caracoles in the dark, on a road that was narrow, steep and treacherous. The combination of factors saw the bus veer from the road and plummet down a ravine. Of the 37 people on board, 16 passed away, including the bus driver, with the remaining passengers suffering injuries.

As fans paid their tribute a year on, with supporters group La Trinchera Celeste organising the ‘16 Estrellas, Siempre Estarán’ memorial, which saw bands play until 1.20am on Sunday – the time of the tragedy – it marked 12 emotional months that will be hard to forget. For good and for bad, from the lowest of lows to incredible highs for the players, the fans and anyone else associated with the club.

The mere mention of O’Higgins piques the interest of many a football fan. One of many South American teams who have a unique and interesting name, O’Higgins’ take theirs from Bernardo O’Higgins – the Chilean independence leader who liberated the country from Spanish rule in the early 1820s. Compared to their European contemporaries, O’Higgins are a relatively young club having formed in 1955 following the merger of two rival clubs in Rancagua: O’Higgins Braden and América de Rancagua.

The intervening 59 years have, on a whole, been reticent. Up until a few months ago the club had only had a couple of Segunda División titles to show for their efforts, plus two runner-up places in the Copa Chile and a runners-up place in the league in 2012.

The last two and a half years have been the most successful in the club’s near 60-year history and much of it is owed to the man appointed at the end of 2011.

The man who oversaw this appointment and the pivotal turning point in the club’s history was president Ricardo Abumohor. He had headed the group which took over the club in 2005 and his father was involved with the country’s football association when they requested that the two Rancagua clubs merge in 1955 to form O’Higgins. Abumohor was also the man who gave Jorge Sampaoli his break in Chilean football, but he had the revolving door spinning at such a speed it was as if Road Runner had been let loose and couldn’t stop himself; six managers came and went between 2010 and 2001. But there was one man who had caught his eye. A former Argentine internationalist he was a long-time admirer of: Eduardo Berizzo.

The former River Plate, Marseillie and Celta Vigo centre back started his career with Newell’s Old Boys under the intense gaze of Marcelo Bielsa – the man who would go on to give Chilean football an identity that it had been crying out for. Berizzo’s formative years as a player were spent under Bielsa, and his career came full circle when his first steps into coaching saw him work as assistant to El Loco when he was in charge of La Roja. It was here where he caught the eye of Abumohor, but the president, at first, had to wait before he could attract Berizzo to Rancagua. The man who picked up 13 caps for Argentina opted for Argentine side Estudiantes. The spell would be short-lived, however, as he lasted less than a year before crossing the Andes to the city 54 miles south of Santiago.

After reaching the play-offs of the 2011 Apertura following a fifth place finish, the Celeste spiralled down the table in the Clausura finishing 16th in the 18 team league. The turn around was immediate, however, as the Berizzo-effect became transparent. With the Bielsa craze having swept the country following its journey to its first World Cup since 1998, clubs were looking to snap up coaches who had worked under Bielsa or were certified Bielsa disciples. Late last year, Marco Antonio Figueroa, at the time manager of Universidad de Chile, the club who are modelled closest on the national team, quipped that a coach who has even shared a coffee with the eccentric manager was getting a job in Chile.

However, anyone expecting manic football in formations of 3-4-3s or 3-1-3-3s at Estadio El Teniente was to be disappointed. Until, of course, they had actually witnessed the intelligent football professed by Berizzo. He himself recently admitted he was no Bielsa disciple. He felt it was Sampaoli who was the closest thing to El Loco and he only had 1 per cent of the intelligence of Bielsa.

Berizzo has forged his own way and his own style, while taking aspects of Bielsa’s workings, such as the studious preparation or the interest in all aspects of the club. His approach is almost altruistic, wanting to have a firm understanding of everything that is happening at the club.

At the start of 2012 Chilean football was riding the high of Universidad de Chile’s Copa Sudamericana run and the esteem in which they were held for the way they were playing under Sampaoli – the Copa Sudamericana was only the second continental trophy a Chilean team has won after Colo Colo’s Copa Libertadores win 23 years ago.

In 34 regular season games in 2011 O’Higgins conceded 52 goals. There was a clear issue defensively, but rather than sugar coat it by focusing on scoring one more than the opposition Berizzo, on arrival, instilled a 4-2-1-3 formation that served up a concoction of defensive solidity and attacking threats from different areas of the pitch.

The balance and responsibility of players to contribute to both phases of the game was epitomised by the full-backs and wide forwards. The former were charged with supporting from deep and offering width, while the latter had to work, work and work some more off the ball. In the centre of the pitch a solid base provided by two energetic midfielders gave Ramón Fernández the platform to produce his moments of excellence from the number 10 position; twisting and turning, driving and probing, providing the ammunition for Enzo Gutíerrez to score 11 in the first half of 2012.

With only 15 goals conceded – the third best defence – they qualified for the Apertura play-offs in second place behind the Universidad de Chile juggernaut, and ahead of Universidad Católica and Colo Colo. A quite remarkable turn around under Berizzo, but even the most fanatical O’Higgins aficionado could not have primed themselves for the drama which was set to unfold.

After coming through two-legged ties against Unión La Calera and Unión Española, O’Higgins travelled to the Estadio Nacional to face La U with a final first-leg lead of 2-1. Their destiny awaited them against the all-conquering Los Azules.

The lead became 3-1 by half-time of the second-leg. Seventeen regular season games, five and a half play-off games and 57 years of wait came down to the final 45 minutes. Those 45 minutes passed as the game entered stoppage time with the aggregate score 3-2 and both teams down to 10 men. Then Guillermo Marino, draped in Universidad de Chile azul, evoked Steven Gerrard versus Olympiakos/West Ham United and thundered a shot in from the edge of the box. The clock read 92+2. Penalties followed, as did exuberant celebrations from those in dark blue. Fifty seven years of waiting had been taken away within minutes.

The fallout would continue in the second half of 2012. Their success seemed to be their burden as they entered the Copa Sudamericana, falling at the first hurdle, and they had lost Gutiérrez to La U. While they finished only three points off the last play-off place – three points separated seven teams – the defensive foibles had returned, and with some might, as they conceded 27 goals in 17 games.

But 2013 was going to be different. Berizzo was going to make sure of that, even if he had lost the creative fulcrum Fernández, who linked up with Gutiérrez in the Capital, and saw his charges falter in the first game of the season against Universidad Católica. With no play-offs a title challenge was in their mind. They responded with a pair of 2-0 wins, against Santiago Wanderers and Huachipato.

The fateful day followed. The city, the players and the country mourned for those who had not arrived back from watching their team defeat the champions. While some fans were unable to face going back to watch the team so soon after their loved one’s death, the players showed their equanimity and did what only they could to help bring a modicum of joy back to the city, they continued to play football and win. The following weekend they scored two goals in the last 10 minutes to defeat Palestino 3-2 in front of a passionate home crowd. It was the first of a run of 12 games where they suffered defeat only once, beating champions-elect Unión Española and Colo Colo, while drawing with La U.

Despite a fourth-placed finish, the defensive stubbornness had returned, while in the absence of Fernández and Gutiérrez, rather than others stepping into fill the vacuum the team as a whole grew. Juan Rodrigo Rojas moved forward to the number 10 role which allowed for the emergence of prodigious talent César Fuentes to join the experienced Braulio Leal in midfield.

As emotional wounds from the 2012 play-off defeat and the tragic accident slowly healed, the second half of 2013 was looking bright, even if La U swooped to add Paraguayan Rojas, O’Higgins’ best player in the first half of 2013, to their squad as well as number one goalkeeper Luis Marín as back-up to Jhonny Herrera. However, sticking to the 4-2-1-3 system two signings would emerge as improvements to the duo that travelled north. Coming the other way was Iker Casillas look-a-like and Chilean internationalist Paulo Garcés to fill the void between the sticks and rangy Argentine playmaker Pablo Hernández arrived from Argentinos Juniors.

Yet, due to renovations to El Teniente (above) for next year’s Copa America, which will bring the stadium up to international standards with a capacity of 14,000, the team were unable to entertain in Rancagua. Instead they had embarked on a nomadic lifestyle. Santiago would be their ‘home’ for the 2013/2014 Apertura – Colo Colo’s Estadio Monumental, Unión Española’s Estadio Santa Laura and the ramshackle Estadio La Piñtana in the south of the city.

In the first dozen games of the Apertura the team struggled to pull away from the pack, which included a very confident looking Universidad Católica. They were in the upper echelons of the league but with it being a 17-game season one slip could be ruinous. Up until the end of October there were seven wins, three draws and two defeats. Six of those wins were by the single goal. It was these victories, on days where they may have not been as exhilarating as in the two previous campaigns, which suggested they did have what it took to be champions. A madurez, maturity, Berizzo would call it.

There was also a bit of luck. In September the club were handed a 3-0 win over Santiago Wanderers following the Valparaíso side having fielded six foreign players in the teams’ 2-2 in August.

Meanwhile, in October, eight months after the crash, nearky 300 family, friends and fans attended the crash site to pay their respects to those no longer here as they made their way to the game against Universidad de Concepción. A stark reminder of the tragedy that had befallen the city and the team.

After the win in Concepción and defeat at ‘home’ to Colo Colo, five games remained with the club searching for the best way they could pay tribute to the 16: a first ever top-flight title and a return to the Copa Libertadores. It was in these 450 minutes of football that a player could immortalise himself in the club’s record books and in the minds of the fans.

Throughout the league season Garcés and Aregeninte centre back Julio Barroso were formidable in keeping out the opposition. Alejandro López and Yerson Opazo were the dependable full-backs both in defence and attack. Leal was combative, while partner Fuentes strengthened his position as Chile’s most promising midfield talent with a slick passing ability, savvy reading of the game and a tenacity to complete the triumvirate of essential qualities for his role.

While a defence and structure wins you leagues, attackers and more pertinently goals win you games. That is what O’Higgins needed. That is what they got with veteran journeyman striker Pablo Calandria – 14 clubs in four countries – and el diez Pablo Hernández (right), who performed so well he won a cap for Chile, thanks to his Chilean grandmother, in a friendly defeat of Haiti earlier this year.O´Hig1

Cobresal, Cobreloa, Unión La Calera, Unión Española and Rangers. WWWWW. Twelve goals scored. Four goals conceded. Calandria netted five of his nine league goals for the Apertura in the run. Hernández three of his seven.

But it was so nearly different.

Universidad Católica, who had lost out on goal difference to Unión Española in the Torneo Transición, had held the top spot for much of the Apertura. But a defeat to Antofagasta with three games remaining opened the door for O’Higgins.

Both came into the final game of the season level on points knowing a play-off would played if they finished level on points, rather than the league being decided on goal difference. At half-time O’Higgins were top of the league as they led Rangers 2-1, while Católica were drawing 0-0 away to La Calera. But that was only an Amuse-bouche for what was about to transpire – one of the most exciting conclusions (well, kind of) to a league season you are likely to witness.

Rangers equalised to bring proceedings back to square one before a goal in both games changed the direction the title was heading. And to make it more manic both goals were scored in the 67th minute. UC were ahead at La Calera and now O’Higgins were behind at the Estadio Fiscal de Talca.

Eleven minutes later O’Higgins grabbed an equaliser but knew they had 12 minutes plus stoppage time to rescue their title hopes. They were helped by a red card. But they needed to summon every sinew of courage and energy in what had already been an emotionally and physically-draining year.

The clock ticked towards 90, los Cruzados were eager to party having not won a league title since 2010. But O’Higgins wait had of course been much longer. Then the whistle sounded. Patricio Polic had pointed to the spot. A red card brandished to Rangers goalkeeper Nicolás Perić and Calandria (below) picked up the ball and put it on the spot.

Having struggled at Católica in 2011 this was his time to set up a winner-takes-all match in three days’ time. Mistake from 12 yards? There was none. O’Higgins and Universidad Católica would meet at the Estadio Nacional.

Eight times already in the Apertura hinchas de O’Higgins had made the journey to Santiago. Sometimes there were never more than 1,000. But this time, on December 10, nearly 18,000 travelled north.

There would be no manic finale to the league season. This would be two teams partaking in a nervy and tense final. As one of the three grandes of Chilean football, Católica were expected to put an end to their run without a league title, while those representing O’Higgins had the weight of 58 years on their shoulders. It was set up to be a one-goal-game. And so it would prove.

With 34 minutes on the clock Yerson Opazo stood over a free-kick midway in the Católica half on the left-hand side. His inswinging delivery curled towards the front post, Hernández had freed himself from his marker and cushioned a left-foot volley into Cristopher Toselli’s front post. The raucuous celebrations said it all. Now all they had to do was hold on. Until 90 minutes. Then through stoppage time . . .

In the changing rooms after the match there were tears shed. But for once it was tears of joy. Eduardo Berizzo had summoned the energy to ask for quiet. The players quietened. Abumohor settled from jumping and screaming to listen. The pain of the play-off final defeat was brought up once more.

He told the players as tears slipped from his eyes: “Real men are born in adverse situations. Last year you lost an incredible final against La U and today we are champions. This is for you.”

But it was for more than just the players.

Ricardo Abuhomor, one of seven generations of Abuhomors inolved in football, had to deal with the passing of his father in September. The man who persuaded Ricardo to invest in O’Higgins.

“It was one of the most difficult moments of my life. My father left school at 16 to help his family. It was my father who encouraged us to invest in O’Higgins and the truth is that it was very wise, because this is not a business, but the satisfactions it gives you.”

And then there were the fans. The fans who had followed the club for so long. The fans who had suffered in the last year. The 16 fans who had passed in that tragic accident in February 2013 brought inspiration as well as pain.

Hernández dedicated his goal those 16 fans, while Leal took to Twitter to express his feelings: “We had 16 angels who sent us a star.”

About 20,000 fans greeted the players at the appropriately named plaza Los Héroes de Rancagua – the players appearing from the balcony of City Hall.

The success does not look like ending any time soon as they continue the spirit they have built up with progress both on and off the park. Late last year the club opened its new training ground, el Monasterio Celeste, in the town of Requínoa – 19km outside Rancagua. At a cost of six million US Dollars the modern facility is spread over 14 acres and will host nations competing in the Copa America and Under-17 World Cup, both of which are being held in Chile in 2015. There are grass pitches and synthetic pitches for the first team squad and the youth teams as well as a state-of-the-art gym and tennis courts.

Despite admiring glances and offers from elsewhere Berizzo gave his word to the club to stay until at least June 2014, working under technical director, and former Newcastle United player, Clarence Acuña. In doing so he was the first manager since to lead the club into the Copa Libertadores since 1984. But they are not there to merely make up the numbers. After two rounds of South America’s premier competition they sit top of the group having defeated Deportivo Cali and drawn with current Copa Sudamericana champions Lanús.

On the domestic front, even with the loss of Julio Barroso to runaway leaders Colo Colo, the club remain competitive, sitting third in the Clausura, and have the renovated stadium to look forward to moving into in the coming months having last played in Rancagua in February 2013 – that 3-2 win over Palestino following the tragedy.

From tragedy to triumph, the players and management of O’Higgins provided the best memory for the 16 Estrellas, bringing joy to city and club.
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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12. marts 2014 16:30
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Orión: Orión se retiró de la práctica

BUENOS AIRES -- Durante la mañana del miércoles, Carlos Bianchi programó que el plantel de Boca realice un doble turno y por ello, en la mañana, le permitió a Agustín Orión abandonar la práctica con el objetivo de no correr riesgo.

Sucede que el arquero padece una gastroenteritis que si bien no lo pondría en duda de cara al partido del domingo, si lo haría entrenar diferenciado, por lo que el objetivo del entrenador es no arriesgarlo y que descanse hasta estar al 100%.

Mientras tanto, el resto de los jugadores realizaron trabajos tácticos con pelota de manera dividida, ya que una parte se basó en tareas ofensivas y el resto en tareas defensivas.

Con respecto al próximo partido, sabido es que Emmanuel Insúa y Fernando Gago están suspendidos por acumular cinco amarillas. Por eso, en sus lugares, ingresarían Nahuel Zárate y Luciano Acosta.

De esta manera, los once probables titulares serían: Agustín Orión; Leandro Marín, Daniel Díaz, Juan Forlín, Nahuel Zárate; Cristian Erbes, Federico Bravo, Juan Sánchez Miño; Juan Román Riquelme; Luciano Acosta, Emmanuel Gigliotti.

Boca recibirá a Argentinos Juniors desde las 18:15 hs. del domingo con arbitraje de Diego Abal. El equipo de Carlos Bianchi intentará encadenar su tercer triunfo consecutivo, algo que el Xeneize no consigue desde agosto de 2012, cuando Julio César Falcioni, aún era el entrenador.
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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12. marts 2014 16:31
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Ramón Díaz volvió a probar con Ledesma

BUENOS AIRES -- Tras una jornada de martes con tareas físicas, Ramón Díaz dio los primeros indicios futbolísticos de cara al partido que River disputará el próximo domingo ante All Boys, en Floresta.

Durante los ensayos tácticos, en los cuales se hizo hincapié en la definición, el entrenador volvió a colocar como titular a Cristian Ledesma, quien ya cumplió la fecha de suspensión por acumulación de tarjetas amarillas. Quien salió del equipo fue nuevamente Matías Kranevitter.

Mientras tanto, el ausente en los trabajos fue Leonel Vangioni, quien se retiró de la práctica por un golpe en el pie derecho. Si bien Bruno Uribarri ocupó su lugar durante el ensayo, el exvolante de Newell´s llegará en condiciones al partido ante All Boys.

De esta manera, los once para jugar en Floresta serían: Marcelo Barovero; Gabriel Mercado, Jonatan Maidana, Éder Álvarez Balanta, Leonel Vangioni; Carlos Carbonero, Cristian Ledesma, Ariel Rojas; Manuel Lanzini, Fernando Cavenaghi, Teófilo Gutiérrez.

River visitará a All Boys desde las 21:30 hs. del domingo, con el arbitraje de Carlos Maglio. Un dato a tener en cuenta es que el "Millonario" no vence a All Boys como visitante desde el Metropolitano de 1978, cuando lo venció 5-2 en el partido disputado en el estadio de Ferro.
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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12. marts 2014 17:24
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Copa Libertadores: five games on the docket today

Zamora vs. Santa Fe

Venezuela´s Zamora seeks a victory at home against Colombia´s Santa Fe. With a win Zamora would still have a chance to make it to the round of 16 out of Group 4.

Meanwhile, the team from Bogota arrived Monday in Barinas (west) with Luis Manuel Seijas and forwards Jonathan Copete and Sergio "Barranca" Herrera is ready to take the three points.

The game will be played in the "La Carolina" stadium in Barinas starting at 8:30 pm local time (01H00 GMT).

Roddy Zambrano will be the referee and Carlos Herrera and Luis Vera will be working the lines (all from Ecuador).

Probable starting lineups:

Zamora: Alexis Angulo - Hugo Soto, Jonnathan España, Carlos Javier López, Luis Ovalle - Luis Vargas, Arles Flores, Ynmer González, Pedro Ramírez - Ricardo Clarke and Juan Falcón. COACH: Noel Sanvicente.

Santa Fe: Camilo Vargas - Yulián Anchico, José Julián de la Cuesta, Francisco Meza, Ricardo Jesús Villarraga - Daniel Torres, Juan Roa, Édison Méndez, Omar Pérez - Jefferson Cuero and Darío Rodríguez. COACH: Wilson Gutierrez.

Independiente vs. Botafogo

Independiente of Ecuador will host favorites Botafogo of Brazil in Sangolquí (outside of Quito) in hopes of getting out of the basement of Group 2.

"We must win against Botafogo and the boys are very motivated for the match," said club president Franklin Tello, adding that "points at home are very important."

Botafogo will be traveling from Guayaquil to Quito, about 2850 meters above sea level, on Wednesday for the duel to be held at the General Rumiñahui stadium of Sangolquí (capacity for 7,500 spectators). The match will start at 5:45 pm local time (22H45 GMT).

The referees for the match will be Peruvians Manuel Garay (central), Raúl López and Braulio Cornejo.

Posible starting teams:

Independiente: Daniel Librado Azcona - Christian Núñez, Andrés Lamas, Luis Fernando León, Mario Pineida - Jonathan González, Mario Rizotto, Henry León, Fernando Guerrero - Junior Sornoza and Daniel Angulo. COACH: Pablo Repetto.

Botafogo: Jefferson - Edilson, Bolívar, Julio Cesar, Doria - Marcelo Mattos, Gabriel, Jorge Wagner, Lodeiro - Wallyson and Ferreyra. COACH: Eduardo Hungaro.


Nacional vs. Mineiro

Nacional of Paraguay welcomes reigning champion Atletico Mineiro of Brazil in a Group 4 match to be played in Ciudad del Este (330 km east of Asunción).

The match will be played at the Tres de Febrero stadium starting at 10:00 pm local time (01H00 GMT Thursday).

Mineiro comfortable leads the group with 6 points followed by Independiente Santa Fe (Colombia) and Nacional with 3 points. Zamora of Venezuela brings up the rear with zero points.

Nacional lost 3-1 to Independiente Santa Fe during their visit to Colombia and then recovered, barely, at home against Zamora getting a 1-0 win.

Mineiro striker Ronaldinho will be returning to Ciudad del Este where he scored his first goal for Brazil´s national team when he was 19. His goal occurred in Brazil´s 7-0 win over Venezuela in the first round of the 1999 Copa América held in Paraguay. Brazil would go on to win the tournament by defeating in the final Uruguay (3-0).

In this regard, the Brazilian idol said Ciudad del Este "was where it all started. Hopefully I can score another goal to continue writing my story," he said.

The match referees from Argentina will be Patricio Loustau, Iván Núñez and Ariel Scime.

Probable starting teams:

Nacional: Ignacio Don - Ramón Coronel, Leonardo Cáceres, Raúl Piris, David Mendoza - Marcos Melgarejo, Marcos Riveros, Derlis Orué, Silvio Torales - Julián Benítez and Fredy Bareiro. COACH: Gustavo Morínigo.

Atlético Mineiro: Víctor - Marcos Rocha, Nicolás Otamendi, Leonardo Silva, Jesús Dátolo - Pierre, Josué, Ronaldinho, Fernandinho - Jo and Diego Tardelli. COACH: Paulo Autuori.

San Lorenzo vs. Unión Española

San Lorenzo of Argentine and Chilean club Unión Española will face off in a key match for their aspirations in the Copa Libertadores in Group 2.

After two rounds the lone leader of the group is Botafogo with 4 points, followed by San Lorenzo with 3. Unión Española is third with 2 points while Ecuadorian club Independiente del Valle is last with 1 point.

The match will be played at the Nuevo Gasómetro stadium starting at 7:45 pm local time (22h45 GMT).

The match will be refereed by Uruguayan Dario Ubriaco, assisted on the lines by his countrymen Nicolás Taran and Carlos Changala.

Posible teams:

San Lorenzo: Sebastián Torrico - Julio Buffarini, Carlos Valdés, Santiago Gentiletti and Emmanuel Mas - Juan Mercier y Néstor Ortigoza - Leandro Romagnoli, Ignacio Piatti and Angel Correa - Mauro Matos or Nicolás Blandi. COACH: Edgardo Bauza.

Unión Española: Diego Sánchez - Sebastián Miranda, Jorge Ampuero, Marías Navarrete and Nicolás Berardo - Pablo Galdames, Luis Pavez - Cristián Chávez - Sebastián Jaime, Gustavo Canales and Matías Campos Toro. COACH: José Luis Sierra.


Flamengo vs. Bolívar

Brazil´s Flamengo will play at home in the World Cup stadium Maracana against last place Bolivar of Bolivia, with a new coach in the third round of Group 7 play.

"Fla" comes into the game with high spirits after beating Emelec of Ecuador 3-1 in the second round also played in the Maracana.

Bolivar, who drew 1-1 with visiting León of Mexico, is fighting for their lives. Their new coach, Xabier Askargorta, who was the coach of Bolivia´s national team until last weekend, has not had much time to pass on his knowledge to his pupils for this match.

The match is scheduled to start at 10:00 pm local time (01H00 GMT).

The referees will be Chileans Enrique Osses, Carlos Astroza and Sergio Román.

Posible starting teams:

Flamengo: Felipe - Leo Moura, Samir, Wallace, André Santos - Muralha, Víctor Cáceres, Elano, Mugni - Éverton and Hernane. COACH: Jayme de Almeida.

Bolívar: Romel Quiñonez - Gerardo Yecerotte, Nelson Cabrera, Luis Gutiérrez, Rudy Cardozo - Damir Miranda, Walter Flores, Juan Miguel Callejón, Juan Carlos Arce - Ricardo Pedriel and William Ferreira. COACH: Xabier Azkargorta.
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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12. marts 2014 18:07
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Pablo Alvarado fue presentado en Racing: "Vamos a sacar esto adelante"

BUENOS AIRES -- El defensor Pablo Alvarado, flamante incorporación de Racing Club, fue presentado el miércoles oficialmente, dijo que tiene fe en él y en sus compañeros y aseguró que entre todos van a sacar al equipo adelante, en referencia al mal momento que atraviesa el club, último en el torneo Final.

"Tengo fe en mí y en mis compañeros. Vamos a sacar esto adelante", declaró el ex jugador de San Lorenzo en rueda de prensa, tras su primer entrenamiento con sus nuevos compañeros y bajo el mando del director técnico Reinaldo Merlo.

"Ojalá que las cosas cambien. Espero no contagiarme del mal momento del club, sino que ellos se contagien de las ganas que tengo", agregó sobre su nuevo equipo, que suma solo cuatro puntos por un triunfo (Colón 3-0), un empate (All Boys 1-1) y cinco caídas (San Lorenzo, Tigre y Lanús 1-0, Arsenal 3-1 y Boca 2-1).

Alvarado, de 28 años, llegó a Racing debido al cupo que quedó vacante por la lesión del atacante colombiano Wason Renteria (rotura de los ligamentos de la rodilla izquierda) y su vínculo con La Academia será hasta diciembre de este año, con opción a extenderlo durante seis meses más.

En la presentación del zaguero central, desarrollada en la sala de prensa del estadio `Juan Domingo Perón`, estuvieron el presidente de la institución, Víctor Blanco, y Roberto Torres, dirigente del club.

El defensor, capitán del San Lorenzo campeón en el pasado torneo Inicial, intentó restarle dramatismo al presente de Racing al reconocer que vivió "situaciones peores" en su antiguo club y, además, aseguró que quiere "ordenar la defensa", sector en la cancha que quedó sin un claro referente tras la lesión de Fernando Ortiz (osteocondritis en la rodilla izquierda).

"Quiero ordenar la defensa. Ya estuve en situaciones peores en San Lorenzo. Vengo a aportar lo mío al equipo", señaló el jugador que tras la conquista del título en el Inicial con Juan Pizzi como DT, tuvo una mala actuación en el debut del Final ante Olimpo y quedó al margen de la consideración del nuevo entrenador del Ciclón Edgardo Bauza.

El futbolista nacido en El Calafate, provincia de Santa Cruz, dejó en claro que su posición dentro del campo de juego es como "primer central", aunque se mostró abierto a adapatarse a cualquier lugar de la zona defensiva.

"Esencialmente soy primer central, pero juego donde me pidan", sostuvo el ex defensor de Belgrano de Córdoba, y, al respecto, añadió: "Vengo a dar una mano".

Por otra parte, el jugador confirmó que está "en condiciones de jugar" el próximo domingo ante Newell`s Old Boys, no obstante, reconoció que si se da su debut con la camiseta académica, será "una decisión del técnico".

"(Reinaldo) Merlo me preguntó si estaba para jugar. Si lo dispone estoy para este domingo", insistió el zaguero en referencia al cotejo del domingo a las 17.10 ante Newell`s, en Rosario, por la octava fecha del torneo Final.

Por último, Alvarado hizo mención a lo que cree que debe hacer su equipo para poder salir del fondo de la tabla de posiciones: "Tenemos que trabajar en todas las líneas para salir adelante".
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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12. marts 2014 18:08
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Racing: presentación de Pablo Alvarado

BUENOS AIRES -- A pesar de que el martes ya había realizado su primera práctica junto al plantel, Pablo Alvarado fue presentado ante los medios de prensa como nuevo refuerzo de Racing, de cara a las restantes fechas del Torneo Final.

El defensor proveniente de San Lorenzo llega ocupando el cupo que la "Academia" disponía tras la rotura de ligamentos que sufrió Wason Rentería, quien ni siquiera llegó a debutar en un partido oficial.

Tras la presentación, el plantel realizó una serie de trabajos de fuerza, de potencia y tareas aeróbicas en la Cancha Auxiliar, ya con las miras puestas en el partido del próximo domingo ante Newell´s.

Mientras tanto, la novedad de la mañana pasó por Fernando Ortiz debido a que el defensor optó por no operarse de la osteocondritis en su rodilla derecha y trabajará en kinesiología y se infiltrará para poder participar en lo que resta del campeonato.

De esta manera, si bien no está confirmada su presencia ante Newell´s, podría formar la zaga central junto a Alvarado. Además, Luis Ibañez sería probado por Merlo en los ensayos de fútbol a realizarse en los próximos días, pero ocupando un lugar en el sector izquierdo del mediocampo.

Racing visitará a Newell´s desde las 17:00 hs. del domingo, con el arbitraje de Dario Herrera. La "Academia" buscará volver a vencer a ganar en Rosario tras más de tres años, siendo el 2-0 (goles de Hauche y Lugüercio) del Torneo Apertura 2010, el último antecedente victorioso.
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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12. marts 2014 18:10
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Daniel Angelici: "Lo de Ledesma daña la imagen del club"

BUENOS AIRES -- El presidente de Boca Juniors, Daniel Angelici, aseguró el miércoles que el conflicto interno iniciado por el mediocampista Pablo Ledesma y que luego derivó en una pelea con el arquero Agustín Orion "dañó la imagen del club".

En una conferencia de prensa brindada en el mediodía del miércoles en Casa Amarilla, el máximo dirigente xeneize se refirió a la polémica por las internas que existen en el vestuario del plantel profesional y pidió que no se filtre más información de lo que sucede "puertas adentro".

"Fue una situación no deseada. Todo esto dañó la imagen del club. Hoy estoy acá para aclarar que no me borré. Doy la cara para dar por terminado el tema", puntualizó Angelici.

En tanto, presidente le reiteró al plantel que "la mejor manera que tienen de expresarse es dentro de la cancha".

"Los extrafutbolístico hay que resolverlo puertas para adentro", reforzó el dirigente, quien el martes se hizo presente al final de la práctica y habló con los jugadores en el vestuario.

"Hoy estamos concentrados en lo importante, que es lo deportivo", dijo Angelici, quien cree que Boca está cerca de la pelea, en un torneo "que se nivela para abajo".

Por otra parte, negó que haya habido barrabravas presentes, el viernes pasado en el club. "Lo leí el sábado, y no es cierto. Y eso daña la imagen del club", se desentendió el presidente de Boca, quien apuntó que fue una mala información no chequeada por el periodismo.

"Lo negamos, hablamos con los jugadores y ninguno se ha sentido apretado", aseguró y lamentó que pierdan tiempo sobre este tema en la justicia.

Ledesma, la semana pasada, había insinuado que el `1` era informante de la prensa y Orión, cuando regresó el viernes del partido amistoso que el seleccionado argentino disputó en Rumania, lo tomó a golpes de puño en el vestuario, según trascendió.
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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12. marts 2014 19:12
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Surgeon remains confident Falcao could play at World Cup

The surgeon who operated on Colombian star Radamel Falcao maintains his belief that the Monaco striker could play at this summer´s World Cup finals.

The 28-year-old front-man, one of the most feared strikers in world football, suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury in late January - which seemingly ended his hopes of making it to Brazil this summer.

However, whilst the normal recuperation period is six months - there have been instances of players returning sooner than that, and Jose Carlos Noronha thinks that could be the case with Falcao.

Noronha is due to give Falcao another check-up in Portugal before the end of this month, and he toldL´Equipe that the striker could make the finals.

"Each case is different but he is on the right track," Noronha said.

"He has recovered very well. I still believe he could play the World Cup, there is no reason why it could not work."
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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12. marts 2014 20:56
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Independiente: convocados Parra y Velázquez

BUENOS AIRES -- Omar De Felippe e Independiente se jugarán una parada importante el próximo viernes y por eso, de cara al partido ante Banfield, fueron convocados Facundo Parra y Julián Velázquez, ausentes en los últimos partidos por lesión.

Ambos sufrieron desgarros, con algunos días de diferencia. Primero fue el defensor, quien se lesionó en la semana posterior al partido ante Boca Unidos y luego fue Parra, quien fue reemplazado en el empate ante Aldosivi.

Por ello, es más factible que Velázquez sea titular y que el delantero sea aguardado hasta último momento, pero con la cabeza puesta en preservarlo o llevarlo al banco de suplentes.

La lista de convocados completa es la siguiente:

Arqueros: Diego Rodríguez, Hilario Navarro.
Defensores: Gabriel Vallés, Cristian Tula, Julián Velázquez, Lucas Villalba, Samuel Cáceres, Alexis Zárate.
Volantes: Martín Zapata, Hernán Fredes, Marcelo Vidal, Franco Bellocq, Francisco Pizzini, Federico Mancuello, Matías Pisano, Federico Insúa, Daniel Montenegro.
Delanteros: Sebastián Penco, Facundo Parra, Cristian Menéndez.

Durante la mañana del miércoles, el plantel realizó ejercicios tácticos con pelota, haciendo hincapié en la definición. Los futbolistas convocados fueron citados para el jueves por la tarde, cuando tendrán el último entrenamiento previo al partido frente a Banfield.

Independiente visitará a Banfield desde las 21:30 hs. del viernes, con el arbitraje de Germán Delfino. Un dato a tener en cuenta es que el "Rojo" no gana en el estadio de Banfield desde el Torneo Clausura 2010, cuando se fue victorioso por 3 a 1, con los goles de Andrés Silvera, Leandro Gracián y Leonel Núñez.
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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12. marts 2014 21:39
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Turu Flores: "El árbitro inclinó la cancha para The Strongest"

BUENOS AIRES -- El entrenador de Vélez Sarsfield, José Turu Flores, afirmó que el árbitro chileno Julio Bascuñán y sus colaboradores "inclinaron la cancha para The Strongest", de Bolivia, que batió por 2-0 a su equipo el martes por la tercera fecha del grupo 1 de la Copa Libertadores.
"El penal sancionado en favor de los bolivianos fue inexistente y mal cobrado. Tras el 1-0, el árbitro y sus colaboradores inclinaron la cancha para The Strongest. Después de eso, bajamos el ritmo", se quejó Flores.

Pablo Escobar, de tiro penal, abrió el marcador los 10 minutos del segundo tiempo y aumentó a los 31m. para el equipo boliviano, que alcanzó así a Vélez Sarsfield en el liderzago de la zona con seis unidades.

El partido se disputó en el estadio Hernando Siles, ubicado a más de 3.600 metros sobre el nivel del mar, con el chileno Julio Bascuñán como árbitro.

El entrenador del equipo de Liniers, a pesar del revés, reconoció la buena labor de sus dirigidos porque Vélez jugó con un equipo alernativo.

"Los jugadores dejaron todo. Estoy muy conforme. Lo teníamos controlado hasta el penal", destacó Flores, que además reconoció que The Strongest "es muy buen equipo, difícil y rápido".

"El partido de vuelta (se jugará en Liniers el martes próximo) será complicado. No creo que cambiemos la forma que habitualmente tenemos a la hora de jugar, por más que estén los titulares", adelantó Flores.
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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