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5. maj 2014 09:34
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Sv: Sydamerikansk fodbold i Danmark - hvad mener I?

Ramón Díaz: "El equipo está entero y va a pelear hasta el final"

BUENOS AIRES -- El entrenador de River Plate, Ramón Díaz, aseguró tras la victoria con Racing que su equipo "está entero" y que va a pelear "hasta el final" por el título del Torneo Final, pero pidió "tranquilidad porque son momentos de mucha presión".

"El equipo está entero, pero hay que mantener la tranquilidad porque son momentos de mucha presión", dijo Díaz a la TV Pública apenas terminó el partido en el Monumental, en el que River le ganó ajustadamente a Racing Club por 3-2.

Consultado sobre los errores que cometieron y le dieron al conjunto de Avellaneda la posibilidad de empatar el partido, Díaz se lamentó porque, según señaló, debían haber "terminado mejor".

"Es una lástima porque tendríamos que haber terminado mejor", precisó el conductor riojano.

Pese al sufrimiento del final, Díaz no ocultó su felicidad porque están "de nuevo en la punta".

"Ahora hay que salir a ganar (frente a Argentinos en La Paternal) y vamos a intentar hasta el final, vamos a luchar", concluyó el entrenador.
Brasil: Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense, Botafogo (100% Carioca) Rio > Säo Paulo


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5. maj 2014 09:36
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Chichizola: "Uno sueña con afianzarse en la Primera de River"

BUENOS AIRES -- El arquero de River Plate, Leandro Chichizola, dijo hoy que "más adelante se verá" si el penal que le atajó a Sebastián Saja sobre la hora en el clásico ante el Racing Club es la pelota del campeoanto.

"Más adelante se verá, pero era importantísimo ganar hoy", sostuvo Chichizola, acerca de la atajada de su vida, la que definió el clásico que se realizó en el Monumental y la que le permitió a River darle alcance a Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata en la cima del Torneo Final, a dos fechas del desenolace.

El guardavalla surgido en las divisiones inferiores de los Millonarios, habló así en declaraciones para la Televisión Pública, apenas consumada la victoria por 3-2 ante la Academia.

Acerca del abrazo espontáneo que le tributaron sus compañeros tras la clave intervención, Chichizola, destacó: "Lo que hacen ellos por mí y yo por ellos refleja la amistad que hay en el plantel".

"Uno de chiquito sueña con afianzarse en la Primera de River", repitió Chichizola, mientras recibía la ovación de la parcialidad riverplatense.

Respecto de la decisión que tomó de arrojarse hacia la izquierda cuando quedó frente a Saja, Chichizola, confesó: "Traté de tener la mente muy fría, sentí que iba a querer asegurar y que iba a patear fuerte".

"Quedan dos finales y va a ser importantísimo ganar en la cancha de Argentinos", sintetizó el guardameta, con relación al próximo y antepenúltimo obstáculo en la carrera hacia el título en la competencia doméstica.
Brasil: Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense, Botafogo (100% Carioca) Rio > Säo Paulo


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5. maj 2014 09:42
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Så er vi også ved at være klar til slutspillet på Jamaica.

Former champion Portmore United relegated

Four times champion Portmore United were relegated from the Red Stripe Premier League for the first time after crashing 1-3 to Humble Lion at the Effortville Community Centre today. Portmore ended with 33 points, in 11th spot and joined August Town as the two teams relegated this season.

Head coach Calvin Lewis, who led Portmore United to the crown in 2012, also resigned immediately following a most dismal campaign in which they won only eight games from 33 matches.

Portmore United which started the day in 11th spot on 33 points, need to win to have the slightest of chances of avoiding relegation but crashed 1-3 to Humble Lion after taking a 20th minute lead courtesy of Stephen Williams.

But home team Humble Lion responded with three second half goals by Wolry Wolfe (63rd), Jermaine Christian (77th) and Odane Brown (82nd) that crushed Portmore United and condemned them into parish football for next season.

However, with the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) announcing major restructuring of the island´s football to a franchise system for the 2015-16 season, Portmore United might not see premier league football again.

Meanwhile Humble Lion ended seventh on 41 points and must have been sweet for the Clarendon team to drive the final nail into Portmore United´s coffin following their acrimonious split in 2003 when they were known as Hazard United and left that parish with out a representative before changing their name.

In an interesting encounter at the Anthony Spaulding Sports complex, Boy´s Town made sure they would be playing premier league football next season with a relaxed 2-1 win over Arnett Gardens.

Marvin Stewart and Victor Thompson grabbed both goals in the 43rd and 54th minutes respectively while Daveion Woodhouse replied for the home team in the 78th minute.

Boys’ Town who could have been relegated had Portmore won and they lost, actually ended in ninth spot on 38 points while Arnett slipped a spot to fourth on 52 points.

Meanwhile in form Waterhouse rattled up another win whipping Sporting Central Academy 5-0 and jumped to 65 points. The Drewsland outfit finished the preliminary round nine points clear of the second placed team but they must now be full of confidence entering the playoffs that starts next week Monday.

Jevaunie Benjamin (27th), Hughan Gray (72nd), Marvin Morgan (77th), Oshane Roberts (80th) and Kenroy Howell (90+1) netted for Waterhouse who was winning their fifth consecutive game. Sporting Central actually slipped a spot to be 10th with 38 points but well clear of the relegation zone.

Champions Harbour View warmed up for the semi-final with an effortless 4-0 mauling of relegated August Town at the UWI Bowl. Brian Brown netted twice in the 45th and 87th minute taking his tally to a league high 18 goals and have won the Golden Boots Award. Damion Harwood had opened the scoring in the 16thminute and Keith Kelly also netted in the 84th minute. The Stars of the East finished second on 56 points while August Town completed their fixtures at the bottom on 27 points.

In the battle for fifth spot, Tivoli Gardens emerged victorious following their 2-1 win over Rivoli United at Bramwell Clarke Complex in Ewarton, St Catherine. Jameel Thompson and Jeremy Robinson scored for Tivoli Gardens in the 16th and 70thminut es while Devon Hodges notched his 17th goal in the 45thminute. He finished second in the race for the Golden Boots Award. Tivoli Gardens ended with 45 points while Rivoli were sixth on 44 points.

At Stadium East field, Cavalier and Montego Bay United played to a 0-0 stalemate in a game of academic interest only. Montego Bay inched to 53 points to finish third while Cavalier ended eighth on 40 points.
Brasil: Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense, Botafogo (100% Carioca) Rio > Säo Paulo


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5. maj 2014 18:09
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San Lorenzo: mismos once ante Cruzeiro

BUENOS AIRES -- El equipo que Edgardo Bauza suele poner en los partidos de la Copa Libertadores ya sale de memoria y en el partido de ida de los cuartos de final, no será la excepción por lo que, ante Cruzeiro, San Lorenzo saldrá con la misma alineación inicial.

Con Fabricio Fontanini y Leandro Romagnoli todavía suspendidos (cumplen la última de las cuatro fechas por los incidentes en Ecuador), Carlos Valdés y Héctor Villalba continuarán ocupando un lugar en el equipo titular.

En definitiva, de no mediar inconvenientes, los once serán: Sebastián Torrico; Julio Buffarini, Carlos Valdés, Santiago Gentiletti, Emmanuel Más; Héctor Villalba, Juan Mercier, Néstor Ortigoza, Ignacio Piatti; Ángel Correa, Mauro Matos.

San Lorenzo y Cruzeiro se medirán en el Nuevo Gasómetro desde las 22 hs. del miércoles, con el arbitraje del paraguayo Antonio Arias. Cabe recordar que ambos equipos ya se enfrentaron en seis oportunidades (4 por Copa Mercosur y 2 por Copa Libertadores).
Brasil: Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense, Botafogo (100% Carioca) Rio > Säo Paulo


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5. maj 2014 18:12
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Politics and Brazilian football

Twitter Q&A sessions are invariably cringe-worthy but whomever had the brilliant idea to put Brazil president Dilma Rousseff up for one with Neymar, Ronaldo and Kaka back in January managed to make things actually worse.

Apart from Rousseff´s insistence on ignoring comments about the delays in the World Cup preparations as well as the great number of infrastructure projects that might not see the light of the day, the blandness of a conversation that included a player like Neymar, whose participation in the tournament is all but decided, irked an audience that a couple of months ago had given the president enough of an earful in the opening game of the Confederations Cup to make the FIFA supremo Sepp Blatter try and intervene.

Burned by the boos, Rousseff did not attend the final but she cannot be blamed for showing up in the first place. Apart from protocol pretty much demanding the attendance of heads of state at the more iconic moments of World Cup and Olympic Games, Brazil´s first woman president was just following a trend of political meddling in football that is almost as old as the game in the most successful country in the history of the sport. Football and politics walk hand in hand in Brazil because they were always a match made in heaven -- a union instrumental in the growth of the game in the land of Pele.

To understand that, it is necessary to go back to the last century -- more precisely to 1930, when gaucho army veteran Getulio Vargas headed a coup that seized power from the agrarian Southeastern elites. Vargas immediately sought to attract support from the working class as a form of building a power base to confront the aristocratic influence. He was a charismatic man whose messianic tone, used to address the masses, irked his opponents but seemed to address the concerns of the common people.

It didn´t long take for the new president to notice that sport could be an even easier channel for dialogue. Under Vargas, football was formally professionalised in Brazil. In his association with sport, Vargas was hardly doing anything new. The 1930s were marked by the dangerous approach between football and populist regimes around the world, with Benito Mussolini´s propagandist use of the 1934 World Cup and Italy´s title being the biggest example.

Vargas understood that in a country still divided by strong political and social divisions like Brazil in the 1930s, football could be a one of the few aggregating experiences. That football stadiums such as Sao Januario in Rio de Janeiro, a place used to host presidential ceremonies where Vargas would be make long and passionate speeches, was not a coincidence.

His meddling continued onto the pitch, too. WBrazil defeated Uruguay away for the first time and won the Rio Branco Cup in 1932, a challenge trophy the two teams contested from 1931 to 1976, the president hosted the team at the presidential Palace in Catete. The notion that the Selecao "was" Brazil became stronger and even defeats were drenched in patriotism. The team beaten by Argentina in the 1937 South American championships was received like war heroes back home -- a marching band played the national anthem twice and even a cannon salvo greeted the players.

The Vargas government, whose "provisional" tenure would only come to an end in 1945, also contributed to the confusing legal framework that ties Brazilian football to political interests.

In 1941 it ratified the presence of the state in the sports arena by granting the Brazilian Sports Confederation (CBD) -- the predecessor to the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) -- the monopoly in the organisation of football games and competitions in Brazil. The legislation forbade the creation of rival leagues and associations, and established that the CBD would get a share of gate receipts from every interstate match and every game involving the Selecao on Brazilian soil. Under Brazilian law, football clubs were also forbidden to function as companies and to this day are still defined as non-profitable organisations, operating under the rule of state federations whose presidents are often linked to strong political groups.

But it is the public passion for the game that traditionally attracts more interest. In 1950, Brazil´s preparations for the World Cup final against Uruguay in Rio were disturbed by a procession of candidates looking for photo opportunities ahead of the upcoming general election -- the irony of ironies is that Vargas, running for president as opposition, wasn´t seen near the players. Legend is that even their final meal before facing the Uruguayans was cut short for political speeches -- it didn´t help that manager Flavio Costa was eyeing a seat in the Rio council and didn´t really try to stop the Brazil headquarters from becoming a bazaar.

When Brazil won the World Cup in 1958 and 1962, visits to the presidential palace for an audience with the big boss were part of the celebrations, but nothing would compare to the approach by the Army dictatorship that ruled Brazil from 1964 to 1985.

The 1970 World Cup triumph was milked to exhaustion by the regime led by fearsome general Emilio Medici. A football fanatic who earlier in life had flirted with turning pro, he would attend games at Maracana equipped with a small transistor radio, just like a thousand other supporters -- never mind that his five-year regime was marked by widespread torture and political repression. Medici would also use his special prerogatives to call the team hotel during the tournament in Mexico.

"I remember several times chatting with him on the phone. The man liked football and wanted to have a chat sometimes. It wasn´t something ordinary, but he behaved like a real supporter, not a general," remembers Rivelino, one of the players who wouldn´t be too fazed to address the president.

Brazil would go on to win the title and the wave of euphoria helped the government party to a landslide victory in the 1970 parliamentary elections. That impressed the military enough to actually work at turning the Selecao into poster boys of the regime for Germany 1974; the ideology actually spilled into the team´s style of playing.

"Newspaper opinion pieces in 1974 invariably rambled on about the benefits of order and organisation for Brazilian football. It was quite common to find comment on how discipline would make Brazilian football invincible, uniting skill with European discipline," explains Brazilian writer and historian Marcos Guterman, whose work focuses on the use of football as propaganda by the Brazilian authorities.

But not even General Medici went to the extents of Fernando Collor de Mello. In 1990, he did more than become the first Brazilian president to attend a Selecao World Cup game abroad -- Collor actually decided to join the Selecao for a kick-about before their trip to Italy. Queue images of the president huffing and puffing on a futsal court -- torrential rain deemed the pitch a bit too dangerous for The Chief -- and a horribly staged penalty that forced goalkeeper Claudio Taffarel to move slower than a drunk turtle in order to spare Collor more blushes.

Brazil were unceremoniously dumped from the tournament in the round of 16 and four years later Collor missed the chance to actually become the first leader in 24 years to welcome a winning side -- impeached in 1992 thanks to massive embezzlement scheme that he was later cleared of, he had to cede his position to VP Itamar Franco, who nonetheless had to handle a hot potato when customs agents tried to inspect the luggage brought back from the U.S. by the world champions.

The Selecao had left Brazil with 3.4 tons of equipment and luggage only to come back with 14.4 tons on July 19. After some tense negotiations, a phone call from Ricardo Teixeira to a government minister settled the matter and players were excused from paying the bulk of import duties applicable to those who had blown the $500 tax-free limit -- left-back Branco, for example, had brought along kitchen appliances and fittings worth $18,000.

Last but not least, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Brazil´s first working-class president didn´t even try to stick to protocol when it came to football. A fervent Corinthians supporter who was reportedly instrumental in the Sao Paulo club securing a loan deal to build the stadium they will inherit after the World Cup, Lula never refrained from expressing opinions.

In 2006, he publicly asked then-Selecao manager Carlos Alberto Parreira about Ronaldo´s expanding waistline, only for the former triple World Player of The Year to make an equally less elegant reference to the president´s reported appreciation for scotch. Above all, Lula embraced Brazil´s candidacy to the 2014 World Cup. While it was true that Brazil was running unopposed thank to much horse-trading at FIFA, the financial guarantees signed by the president were crucial to push the Brazilians over the line.

Cutting to the present day, Mrs. Rousseff couldn´t be more different from her predecessors with regard to her appreciation for the game. But inside she knows that after footing a $12 billion bill, Brazilian taxpayers could punish the government in the October elections if the Selecao falls short of a sixth world title.
Brasil: Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense, Botafogo (100% Carioca) Rio > Säo Paulo


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5. maj 2014 18:18
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The problem with the Copa America Centenario

Posted by Tim Vickery

The oldest continental competition in the world, the Copa America, was first played in 1916. Four countries participated -- one of them was Chile, who have still never won it. The others were Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, who between them have gone on to accumulate nine World Cup wins.

The seeds for such triumphs were planted in the early years of the Copa America -- played almost annually until the Great Depression. The three countries (and essentially this is a tale of three cities -- Montevideo, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro, with a nod to Sao Paulo) pushed each other, learned from each other and improved together. Uruguay were quickest out of the blocks -- largely because enlightened social policies in the country meant that football spread down from the elite to the masses quicker than it did in Brazil. The top goal scorer of the first Copa was Uruguay´s Isabelino Gradin, a black striker of humble origins, and as such a wonderfully fitting symbol of his team´s triumph.

So effective was the Copa America in raising playing standards that in 1924 Uruguay arrived unheralded for the Paris Olympics and promptly wiped the floor with all comers on the way to the gold medal, sparking off a fever for the game and effectively ensuring that the World Cup would be created, so that professionals and amateurs could compete together to find out which country was best. There is plenty, then, to commemorate in two years´ time when the Copa America reaches its centenary.

This is a story that has nothing to do with the United States. But it is there that the Centenary Cup will take place, with the 10 South American teams joined by six from the CONCACAF region.

There is an air of cynicism about the whole thing, for it is far from obvious that a tournament held in the U.S. is an appropriate way for South America to register its own tradition. But it does give a cover story to the motive of CONMEBOL (the South American Confederation) getting its hands on some of those dollars!

A merger between CONMEBOL and CONCACAF would surely seem to be out of the question. CONMEBOL has only 10 members, and would be submerged by the numbers of CONCACAF.

The strength of CONMEBOL at the negotiating table has nothing to do with numbers; it is based on history -- the continent staged the first World Cup and has won it nine times -- and on the present day fact that it continues to produce some of the biggest stars of the global game. CONCACAF brings little to the table on either count. From a South American point of view, there is nothing to be gained from a formal merger -- but plenty to be gained from cherry picking the best of CONCACAF and gaining access to a massive and lucrative TV market.

This explains why Mexican clubs are invited to participate in the Copa Libertadores, South America´s equivalent of the Champions League. And many see the inclusion of clubs from the MLS as a viable objective.

There are two problems here.

One is geographical: We are dealing with different hemispheres. Buenos Aires and Mexico City are further apart than London and Mumbai. Add the travelling time to, say, Toronto, and absurd demands are being made on the players.

The other problem is political: The best, most powerful and most prestigious areas of CONCACAF may well enjoy being sucked into CONMEBOL competitions, with all the tradition and exposure to high-level opposition this entails. But this is most likely to happen at the expense of the weaker CONCACAF areas that would be left on the outs. There are even teams in the region unable to compete in the CONCACAF Champions League because they simply cannot afford the travelling expenses. Dealing with this problem -- strengthening its own premier club competition -- should surely be the priority of CONCACAF, which should feel a certain alarm at the prospect of its strongest areas being enticed down south.

Perhaps the long-term future lies in some kind of quick tournament featuring the top teams from the Libertadores and the CONCACAF Champions League. In the cluttered organisation of contemporary football, however, this runs into problems of calendar -- which could be exactly the kind of challenge faced by the 2016 Centenary Cup.

After the establishment of the Copa America in 1916, the next most significant moment in the history of South America´s national teams came 80 years later, in 1996, when the current marathon format of World Cup qualification came into being. Prior to that there were huge gaps -- often of years -- between competitive matches. Since 1996, though, the continent´s teams have had the kind of calendar that European national teams take for granted, with regular competitive games, bringing guaranteed income and the possibility to retain a coach and build a team.

The consequences have been startling. Not too long ago, the likes of Ecuador and Venezuela were footballing equivalents of Luxembourg. Now the former are preparing for their third World Cup, and the latter keep getting closer to making their debut in the competition. South America showed its contemporary strength in depth in the last World Cup, when all five representatives gave a solid showing. Uruguay, fifth in the continent in qualifying, reached the semifinals. Paraguay pushed eventual champions Spain all the way in the quarterfinal.

But another effect of the extension of the World Cup qualifiers was that the Copa America was downgraded. The versions of 1997, 2001 and 2004 were especially weak, full of under-strength sides. The Copa has since found its place; it is now held every four years, and it starts off a new cycle. The next one will take place in Chile next year, where teams will be playing their first competitive matches since the World Cup -- indeed, for those teams that did not make it to Brazil, they will be playing their first competitive matches since last October. All of the sides will go to Chile hoping to emerge from the tournament whipped into shape for the next set of World Cup qualifiers, which kick off shortly afterward.

The problem for the 2016 Centenary Cup is that it comes in the middle of this qualifying process. The top players will have played the 2014 World Cup and the 2015 Copa America. They will be in need of a rest, saving themselves not only for their club sides, but also for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

The strong suspicion, then, is that the 2016 Centenary Cup will be full of experimental sides, which is perhaps what the competition deserves. But marking 100 years since one of the most important moments in the game´s history certainly merits something better.
Brasil: Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense, Botafogo (100% Carioca) Rio > Säo Paulo


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5. maj 2014 18:27
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Vidal considering knee surgery

Arturo Vidal is considering surgery on a knee injury, although the procedure is not expected to impact on his FIFA World Cup hopes.

The Chile international has been carrying the problem in recent weeks and with Juventus having little to play for after sealing the Scudetto and being knocked out of the UEFA Europa League, it is thought the midfielder wants to address the issue before heading out to Brazil with his international team-mates.

"The news is true," Chile´s national doctor Giovanni Carcuro is quoted as saying by CalcioNews24. "The way things have unfolded has not been as good as we anticipated.

"On Tuesday his condition will be assessed once more, then we will make a final decision on what course of action to take.

"The problem is complex as it´s a strong aggravation to his knee. It is a meniscal injury. Because of this we cannot make a decision lightly. We have to manage the situation well.

"His recovery has not been positive and the fact he played for 70 minutes the other day has not helped.

"The World Cup? I am not sure he will be at 100 per cent for the first match, but he is not at risk of missing the tournament.

"We need to see how the situation develops after the operation.
Brasil: Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense, Botafogo (100% Carioca) Rio > Säo Paulo


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5. maj 2014 18:34
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Cruzeiro midfielder Nilton on Inter Milan shopping list

Cruzeiro midfielder Nilton has moved closer to a move to Europe with Italian giants Inter Milan for a fee reported to be in the region of €5.5 million, according to press releases in the Brazilan media.

Nilton, 27, has only spent one season at the reigning national champions, but is said to have impressed suitably to warrant a big money transfer.

He is set to earn over €50,000 per week on a four-year contract at the Nerazzuri and will join compatriot Hernanes, who moved to Milan from Lazio in January for over €20 million.

Yet to be capped for Brazil, Nilton´s stock would rise with a move to Europe and international honours would potentially follow suit.
Brasil: Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense, Botafogo (100% Carioca) Rio > Säo Paulo


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5. maj 2014 18:37
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Olimpia Wins 28th Honduran Title on Penalties

The second leg of the Honduran Cup Final played out in Tegucigalpa this Sunday. In the longest final ever played in Honduras, Olimpia were crowned champions for the 28th time by winning the penalty shoot out 4-2 following a scoreless draw in regulation.

Marathon´s attempt to end a four year trophy drought thus continued. Their last final was also against Olimpia, in Paulo de Sula.

Olimpia only required four of the five rounds of penalties to win the tie=breaking shoot out. Omar Guerra got things started converting the first penalty for Olimpia, who scored all four shots that they took. Luis Maldonado tied the shoot out at 1-1, but his teammates Sergio Bica and Mauricio Sabillon both missed; Bica slammed his shot into the cross bar, while Sabillon had his shot saved in the decisive shot that gave Olimpia their 28th league title.

Following the match as Olimpia players celebrated and disillusioned Marathon players walked away to the locker rooms, Marathon defender Luis Maldonado - who converted the first penalty for his team - got into a fist fight with a fan.

The fan had jumped the rails at the stadium and provoked the Uruguayan defender who reacted violently. Teammates and members of security separated the player and fan which avoided things to escalate.

WATCH THE INCIDENT HERE. Via Diario Diez of Honduras.

http://www.diez.hn/futbo…-aficionado

Many players of both squads will be expecting call ups from the Honduran National Team to participate in this summer´s FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

https://www.youtube.com/…2WMU9QnzveM

https://www.youtube.com/…-tKYr2mj49E

Brasil: Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense, Botafogo (100% Carioca) Rio > Säo Paulo


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5. maj 2014 18:40
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Tale of Two Teams: A Brave Pachuca that Believed and a Timid Pumas Team

Pumas were supposed to be the team with the confidence. They entered the return leg on what should have been a huge confidence boost from a Javier Cortes last second away goal. They were playing in front of their loyal and loud fans that believed in Pumas, even when they were the bottom team in the 2013 Apertura.

This game was supposed to be, from a Pumas perspective, a game in which Pumas would take advantage of a young, inexperienced Pachuca side that rode the ridiculously-hot form of striker Enner Valencia and battered a Queretaro side that had only recently started to receive most of its paychecks to the playoffs. Enner Valencia was supposed to be dealing with an injury before the match. Pumas were supposed to get captain Dario Veron and striker Martin Bravo back.

Neither event happened, and Pumas played timidly, as if they played to not lose, rather than to win. Veron, who missed the match because of a hamstring injury, told Record, "We had the lead, but we played with a little fear and that [proved to be] difficult for us."

Pachuca did not fear anything regards to the health of Enner Valencia, and Enrique Meza, as he has done all season, continued to believe in his young, talented side. He did not openly blast the team´s poor performance when they lost (or said they ´deserved the win´) but rather had them keep believing that the return leg in Mexico City was theirs.

Pachuca´s belief was there as it pressured a tentative Pumas team trying to string together passes to feel out the game, and pressured Pumas players into giving the ball away. It also had to be there when Hirving Lozano, Valencia, Dieter Villalpando, and others ran at Pumas defenders or took their shot. As Enrique Meza explained in his post-game presser, "it was a mission we all accomplished" (for the team), and talked about how the team needed to help Enner Valencia get his goals.

Santos Laguna, the most free-scoring side in the 2014 Clausura regular season, is Pachuca´s next challenge. The bravery they showed away to Pumas will need to be there if they have any shot at their first final since 2009. "Santos is a great team, a dangerous team that has huge quality and we must respect it, [especially] in that it also ended in a better position than us, " Meza explained. But that quote was only offered in the context that Meza really believes his side has the belief to take down Santos Laguna. After all, they just pounded another good higher seeded team Sunday evening on that team´s own ground.
Brasil: Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminense, Botafogo (100% Carioca) Rio > Säo Paulo


Indigente Cheto - "Uruguay Rusia Egipto Arabia Saudita. Tenemos mas chances de un atentado que de quedar eliminados"

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