Deportivo Quito put their domestic form behind them to record a fine home victory in the Copa Sudamericana yesterday.
Despite facing the relative might of Tigre for Argentina, the”Chullas” battled to a fine 2 – 0 success putting them in a strong position to progress to the next round. The torrential rain might of helped Deportivo but they did deserve their win courtesy of two 2nd half goals from Lorca in 53 minutes and Vila 86′.
The other Ecuadorian teams play tonight:
|Universidad de Chile||vs||Emelec|
|Liga de Loja||vs||Sao Paulo|
In Ecuador the Serie A is teetering on the edge of a referee strike and a suspension of coming games. Head of the referee’s association Alfredo Intriago, feels that the match officials have received undeserved criticism following some controversial games.
Much like Scotland’s SPL a couple of years ago the officials are prepared to withdraw their involvement scuppering any chance of top flight games.
It all got too much for the players of Pelileo SC at the weekend and they took their frustration out on the referee in dramatic fashion.
Obviously questioning some of the refs decisions the players decided to enact retribution and attacked in a shameful fashion.
Alike many football fights their wasn’t many upper-cuts or jabs but plenty of girly kicks and jumping around.
The goalkeeper, “Maravilla” Martínez (white No.23) was antagoniser in chief and surely must be looking at a life ban from football. That being said his wide left sided attack may attract the attention of the army who may give him the option of another career.
You can watch the full fight on the following link:
courtesy of http://www.teradeportes.com
Although he was a slight favourite nobody expected Ricky Burns to dispatch Kevin Mitchell so brilliantly last night.
The odds and pundits expected a 12 round decision but Burns k/o’d Mitchell in twice the 3rd round before the referee finally stepped in to the competition.
It was a faultless display by Burns and should now look across the Atlantic for bigger paydays.
Ecuador has 4 teams in the last 16 of the Copa Sudamericana for the first time.
The draw could have been kinder but with the big guns joining the competition it was to be expected.
Liga de Loja are entered unchartered territory in their first international foray and have been rewarded with a glamour tie with Brazilian giants Sa0 Paulo. Similarly Barcelona will have to overcome Gremio of Brazil.
Deportivo Quito will have to overcome Tigre of Argentina while Emelec will have to beat last year’s winners, Universidad de Chile to progress.
Prior to last nights games it was feared that Deportivo Quito and Liga de Loja would be eliminated from the competition, especially as their Serie A form has been so dreadful. In the end all 3 teams progressed and with the strong likelihood that Barcelona will overcome Cobreloa tonight, it means that Ecuador will have 4 teams in the second round for the first time.
The major surprise of the night was Liga de Loja who overcame Nacional of Uruguay 2 – 1 after losing 0 -1 at home in the first leg. It was an historic win for the La Garra del Oso (The Bear Claw) considering this is only their first foray into International competition. Their reward is a glamour tie with Sau Paulo of Brazil in the next round.
Deportivo Quito put their hideous league form behind them to claim an impressive 3 -1 win away to Aurora of Bolivia.Quito were protecting a 2 -1 win from the first leg and progressed 5 – 2 on aggregate. The game was in the heady heights of Cochabamba (2,588 meters) but didn’t faze the Chullas as they controlled the game with the aid of a Bevacqua double. Deportivo will now travel to Argentina for a next round tie against Tigre.
|Nacional||1 – 2||Liga de Loja|
|Aurora||1 – 3||Deportivo Quito|
|Emelec||0 – 0||Olympia|
The night was rounded off nicely with Emelec progressing with a 0 – 0 draw against Olympia of Paraguay after a 0 -1 away in the first leg. The Guayaquil giants now face Universidad de Chile in the next month, 2011 champions.
Although everyone is celebrating the Ecuadorian success it is proving to be a major headache fro the footballing authorities as the calendar is already behind schedule. The coming Internationa l weekend will only further complicate matters.
On Saturday I managed to get along to the Atahaulpa Stadium for a double-bill. Two matches, one after the other and all for $10.
Independiente are a small provincial team from Sangolqui, just outside Quito. Their stadium barely holds 8,000 people so they decided to move their home game against Barcelona to the Atahaulpa and its 35,000 capacity.
El Nacional also plays their home games in the national stadium so their game was pushed back earlier in order to accommodate the masses supporting Barca.
Even 3 hours before their game the Barcelona’s fans vastly outnumbered the other teams and they would continue to filter in throughout the first match.
The first game was El Nacional vs Deportivo Cuenca.
In the league table both teams were far adrift before this game in 8th and 9th position after a disappointing start to the 2nd term of the championship.
To say the first half was pedestrian was an over-statement. Both teams knocked the ball about like it was a kick about on the beach, creating half chances that were either schlaffed wide or collected by the keeper.
The teams seemed equally matched and created little chances until late in the game when two late goals changed the tempo.
The first goal was created by the Cuenca keeper, Juan Marcelo Ojeda on 75 minutes. His long ball long from his box caught the on-running Nicolás Domingo who then then crossed into the box where the ball was turned into his own net by Johan Gomez.
Juan Govea scored to level the match 10 minutes later.
Although the second match ultimately had the same score (1 – 1) the match wasgenerally more exciting and played at a faster pace.
In the first half Independiente were happy to let Barcelona attack and then pick them off on the counter. Both teams managed to knock the ball around well in midfield but their attacks broke down with over-hit crosses and miss-timed shots.
Barcelona looked the more dangerous with Narciso Mina looking particularly threatening down the left wing with his direct runs and dribbling.
Barcelona are notably more physical as a team and can bully other teams but Independiente looked equal to the Guayaquil giants and didn’t back down. The young team from Sangolqui were more than a match in midfield and really got stuck in, picking up a few yellows in the process.
In the end Independiente took the lead through Daniel Samaniego, in the 76th minute but again of Bryan de la Torre got the equaliser 10 minutes later.
To be honest I caught neither goal as the heat became unbearable and after over 4 hours in the Equatorial sun I had escape.
Olmedo are their surprise leader of the table after 10 games. Ciclón Andino (Andean Cyclone) hails from Rio Bamba and is the oldest club team in Ecuador. Despite this they have only won the current championship once in 2000 but have represented Ecuador 4 times in the Copa Libertadores. Their recent win against Deportivo Quito means they lead the table on goal difference but are still in relegation trouble as their cumulative points (over two terms) sees them in 2nd bottom overall.
Deportivo Quito is still floundering at the bottom and in the midst of a real crisis. Unless they can turn around their dreadful form relegation shall also be threat.
Round 10 results.
Liga de Loja 6 – 0 Técnico Universitario
Olmedo 2 – 0 Deportivo Quito
Macará 4 – 2 Manta F.C.
El Nacional 1 – 1 Deportivo Cuenca
Emelec 2 – 2 Liga de Quito
Independiente 1 – 1 Barcelona
There is a genuine strength to the Serie A this season with all teams taking surprising places. Usually the Guayaquil giants: Emelec and Barcelona would dominate along with Liga de Quito. This year however the smaller teams have stepped up to the plate and made genuine challenges to the status quo.
Like many football mad Scots kids of the eighties I was Liverpool fan and Kenny Dalglish was my favourite player.
Dalglish was a genuine super-star, a truly world class player the likes of which Scotland has never seen since. In addition to this Liverpool had Alan Hansen, Steve Nicol, Greame Souness and even John Wark and Gary Gillespie giving the team a sturdy Scottish spine.
As a result I was a Liverpool fanatic. I had the shirts, school-bags, towels, cups and glasses, footballs and full bed-spread.
I can remember watching the BBC with my folks as the dreadful events of Hillsborough filtered through. It was hard to comprehend as a 13 year old that so many fans had died after simply going to a football match.
Last weeks independent report confirmed what all the fans of Liverpool and other clubs already knew: the authorities and the police were to blame and together with the odious Margaret Thatcher and her Conservative government they had tried to cover-up their culpability.
The extent of the cover-up will eventually come out and the families of the 96 will finally get some sort of justice 23 years too late.
Ricky Hatton recently announced his intention to return to the ring after a break of 3 years.
Since his official retirement last year Hatton has concentrated on promoting his own bouts but it now seems he misses the action within the ring.
On Friday he confirmed his return saying:
“It’s more than a comeback; I’m fighting to redeem myself. I want British boxing to be proud of me again”.
It was a strange statement from the former WBA and IBF light-welterweight and WBA welterweight champion as he is probably the most popular British boxer of all time and very few fans feel he has disappointed them.
In his last two fights he was well beaten by Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, the latter courtesy of a stunning knock out. It seemed as if he had found his level, a great boxer but not an all-time great.
There was neither shame nor embarrassment in being beaten by the best two boxers on the planet.
But Hatton feels he has to redeem himself and repair his legacy. My only fear is he may destroy his health and career in the process
For many Hatton is regarded as one of the lads: A working class hero who loves a pie and a pint and never takes himself too seriously. Unfortunately this may be his final undoing as outside of the ring he doesn’t behave like an athlete and does his body no favours in preparation for bouts.
In my opinion Ricky has little to gain but a lot more to lose. Despite his pretensions he will not be a World Champion again and will find it difficult against even continental champions. I’d love to see him return to his best alike his fight against Kosta Tszyu but those days are long gone.
The top echelon fighters around his proposed weight are Pacquiao, Mayweather, Marquez and Bradley. All are and were higher level fighters than Ricky and would beat him easily.
A Battle of Britain contest with Amir Khan or Kell Brook would attract the ppv figures but I doubt it would be much of a fight. He might knock Khan out with his glass chin but Brook would annihilate him.
Ricky will return against an, as yet unnamed opponent on 24 November at the Manchester Arena. Hopefully he finds out early what we all know that his time has come and gone.
On Saturday I was afforded the rare chance to take in two Serie A games in one afternoon, in the same stadium.
Although it was an early start: 10.45, AFNA (the state football authority) offered both matches for $10 or around £6.20. An amazing price considering you can’t even get a pie and a couple of cokes for £6.20 in the majority of the stadiums back home.
In the SPL you pay around £20-24 for a match day ticket and the standard of football is way below the Ecuadorian Serie A.
The IFFHS (International Federation of Football History and Statistics) recently rated Ecuador’s Serie A at 14th in world, while Scotland’s top tier at 25th. So it seems the Scottish supporters are paying 5 times the price for an inferior product.
In my opinion, Ecuador’s professional players have far more technique and skill than their Scottish counterparts as a result the entertainment is more pleasing to the eye.
Of course the safety standards of Scottish and English stadiums are far better but this still doesn’t account for such a huge difference in price. And remember Ecuador’s currency is the American dollar and the cost of living is not hugely different to the UK.
Plainly speaking we are ripped off in Scotland.
The Hillsborough 96 victims and families are vindicated, surely justice should follow.
Andy Murray wins his first major, hopefully the first of many.
Sergio Martinez is severely rocked in the last round of his fight against Chavez Jnr.
Scotland are on the verge of falling out of World Cup qualification contention after 2 games.
Ricky Hatton announces his comeback from retirement.
Anton Ferdinand refuses to shake the hands of John Terry and Ashley Cole before QPR and Chelsea game.