Holger Matamoros lashes home a 40 yard screamer against Universidad Catolica.
The current champs from Guayaquil have made am erratic start to this year’s campaign but kept up their winning streak against newly promoted Catotlica
Damian Diaz hits a fine shot for Barcelona in the Copa Libertadores.
But extra plaudits must go to the designer of Barcelona’s new kit who managed to fit at least 5,000 advertisements onto one shirt.
On Sunday it was back to the Atahaulpa Stadium to watch the current champions : Deportivo Quito against the champions elect: Barcelona.
Although i arrived with my friend at the stadium 15 mins before the game it took at least half an hour to get into the Atahaulpa. Long lines were snaked around the ground with the police doing their disorganised best to slowly, filter the throngs throw the narrow, turnstiles. One gate was for blue and red bedecked fans of Deportivo the others for the vast amount of yellow, Barcelona” hinchas”.
Only when Barcelona had scored and the many fans became restlessness did the police and authorities begin to shepherd the fans through at a acceptable rate.
Barcelona enjoy a huge support in both in Quito and Guayaquil and are probably only matched in popularity with Liga de Quito. Although the base of support is in Ecuador’s biggest city they can count on supporters from all over the country.
In much the same way Rangers and Celtic attract fans from all over Scotland, Barcelona and Liga gather the most fans from all over Ecuador.
In recent years the Quito teams have dominated league titles with Deportivo Quito, El Nacional and Liga sharing 9 titles between them. You have to go back to 1997 for Barcelona’s last title although city rivals Emelec did win the title in 2001 and 2002.
Upon entering the stadium it was clear that the Deportivo Quito fans or “chullas” were totally outnumbered by about 4-1. The yellow and black of Barcelona covered 70 % of the stadium and with their team already 1-0 up to a Nina header they were in fine voice.
Deportivo had only the main stand to fill and numbered around 6-7,000 but as their were some spare rows of seats the police began to funnel some yellow and black fans into the Deportivo end. This did not go down well with hardcore members at the front and they immediately rushed to confront to the opposition, forcing them back into the Barcelona section. A few bottles were thrown and insults traded but in truth it was little more than handbags from very, young looking “hooligans”. The riot police and their batons and Alsatians seemed to dampen their enthusiasm.
nI such an atmosphere it’s sometimes difficult to concentrate on the match, especially when you know Deportivo are so poor in front of goal and have little chance of scoring but the game ebbed and flowed with Barcelona seemingly content to let Deportivo attack.
Luckily, again we had the benefit of enthusiastic beer vendors and police were happy to let us stand at the back and peer over the crowd.
Much has been made in the Ecuadorian media about the country’s hooligan problem but in the 20-30 matches i have attended here in Quito I have yet to see some trouble bar the throwing of plastic bottles or the odd plastic beer cup. It’s certainly no where near the levels that the UK or Europe had but i guess it doesn’t take much for things to get out of hand. The police were very aware of the threat and quick to intervene.
The only kerfuffle in the terraces today happened in the Barcelona hoards in the south stand. A yellow shirted youth (my friend was convinced it was a girl but not I) was thrown around like a rag doll and unceremoniously booted and punched through throngs of people and out of the exit. It was unclear what he had done to deserve this treatment but it must have been bad as his own brethren turned on him. The police pounced on him and escorted him away.
In the end Barcelona won two nil, thanks to; some dreadful refereeing decisions, two Deportivo red cards, some dreadful Deportivo forward play and a wonderful free kick form Michael Arroyo in the 90th minute (who in turn was strangely red-carded).
The Barcelona fans were ecstatic at the end, knowing they had all but secured their first title in 15 years while the Deportivo Quito fans solemnly shuffled out of the Atahaulpa. A feeling they have known all to well in a disastrous season.
Barcelona all but sealed the Segunda Etape title (and overall championship) with a lucky win against Deportivo Quito yesterday.
They took the lead through a Narcisso Mina header in the 13th minute then seemed happy to sit back and let Deportivo control the game. However it quickly became clear that Deportivo were not going to score especially when they lost Paredes to a second yellow and Morales to a straight red in the second half.
Deportivo were finally punished for their profligacy in front of goal when Arroyo sealed the win with a fine 30 yard free kick in 90 minutes.
Elsewhere, Emelec confirmed their involvement in next years Copa Libertadores by winning 2-1 at home against El Nacional while Olmedo cemented their relegation to Segunda B after another home loss, this time to Deportivo Cuenca.
Independiente recorded a fine win against Liga de Quito. A Daniel Angulo strike in 57 minutes was enough to grab 3 points and continue their push for a Libertadores spot. The team from Sangloqui are universally recognised as the best youngsters in Ecuador and it remains to be seen how many of their players they can retain for next season, especially with their links to Spurs and the bigger Ecuadorian teams circling
The final places are calculated over the two “etapes” or stages and as Barcelona should win both their will not be a final play-off match this year.
With two teams to be relegated to the Segunda B El Nacional, Macara or Ted de Universitario may yet join Olmedo and drop down a division. This would be particularly disastrous who are an historic giant of Ecuadorian football with a record equaling 13 championships.
With two games left to play it should be a a tight end to the bottom of the Serie A.
|3.||Indepndiente del Valle||41||17||11||13||62||+4|
|4.||Liga de Quito||41||14||18||9||60||+11|
|6.||Liga de Loja||41||15||13||13||58||+4|
|11.||Tec de Universitario
It’s fair to say there will be a few sore heads in Guayaquil in the morning.
The latest round of the Clásico del Astillero (The Shipyard Derby) was historic for all the wrong reasons for Emelec as they were on the end of a 5 – 0 hiding in the Monumental Banco Pichincha .
Damian Diaz opened the scoring in 38 minutes which was followed by a double by Narciso Mina either side of half-time (his first was fortunate in the extreme). Michael Arroyo claimed a 4th from the penalty spot before Diaz bagged his double a wrapped up an emphatic and record defeat.
Emelec also had to finish the game with 9 men after they lost Marcos Mondaini mid -way through the first half and Javier Nasutti half-way through the second: both of which were horrendous tackles and merited exclusion.
The first red card changed the game completely as Emelec had started the brighter but after going down 2 – 0 before half-time there was no way back.
The result sees Barcelona retake 1st position in Serie A while Emelec tumble down to 5th.
Ina tough night for Ecuadorian football both Barcelona and Liga de Loja were sent tumbling out of the Copa Sudamericana.
Despite recording a credible 0 – 0 draw in Brazil against giants Sao Paulo, La Garra del Oso (The Bear Claw) were eliminated by away goals after their 1 -1 home draw. It brought Loja’s historic first venture into international competition to an end but they can be proud and happy with their maiden attempt.
Also in Brazil but this time against Gremio, Barcelona were eliminated after they lost 2- 1. The result will be more disappointing considering the Guayaquil giants needed only to score one goal to progress and are currently heading the Ecuadorian Serie A.
The Ecuadorian teams had a mixed bag in the first leg ties of last weeks Copa Sudamericana but with a little luck they could all progress.
Liga de Loja had the toughest task against Brazilian giants Gremio and although they secured a credible home draw they will have their work cut out in Porto Alegre. Especially after losing the away goal. Yimmy Bermudez took the lead for Loja in the first half before a Larrea own goal restored parity 7 minutes later.
Emelec secured a fine 2-2 away draw in Chile against current Sudamericana holders Universidad de Chile and should be confident of progress for the return and although Barcelona lost to Sao Paulo they should also overcome the Brazilians in Guayaquil.
The most impressive result was Deportivo Quito’s against Tigre of Argentina. The negro azules have been truly awful domestically and until recently relegation was a realistic threat. Both teams eventually finished the game with 10 men but importantly Quito got tow goals through Lorca in 53 minutes and Vila in the 86th.
Deportivo Quito 2 – 0 Tigre
Liga de Loja 1 – 1 Sao Paulo
Barcelona 0 – 1 Gremio
Universidad de Chile 2 – 2 Emelec
Deportivo Quito rounded off the weeks international fixtures with a 2 – 1 home win against Aurora of Bolivia. Although Deportivo controlled much of the game they may yet rue the away goal conceded in the 2nd half. Checa and Lorca scored a quick double on 37 and 38 minutes to them up nicely for the 2nd half however Da Silva claimed a vital goal back for Aurora in 67 minutes. At 2 – 1 the tie is still delicately poised.
Yesterday Liga de Loja lost 0 – 1 to Nacional of Uruguay leaving them with an uphill battle in Montevideo but the Guayaquil teams fared better with Barcelona sealing a fine no-score draw away to Cobreload of Chile while Emelec went one better with a 1 – 0 win away to Olympia of Paraguay.
In other news veteran hitman Ivan Kaviedes has been arrested and detained for 4 days after being pulled over by the police and found to be several times over the limit. To make things worse he apparently resisted arrest and clouted the arresting officer.
Kaviedes, who currently plays for 3rd division Aucas,has had a successful and controversial career. Many will remember him from his spider-man mask celebration in 2006 World Cup.
The second half (Segunda Etapa) of the Ecuadorian Serie A kicked off at the weekend with more than a couple of surprises.
Many of the teams have invested in new players and none more so than Deportivo Quito who brought in: Argentine midfielder Sebastian Rusculleda and Chilean forward, Gonzalo Lorca from Santiago Wanderers, Uruguayan defender Mauro Villa and new goalkeeper Alexi Lemos.
Deportivo are looking to retain their overall title (Bicampeneato) from last year. Last term they finished in a disappointing 7th position despite a late surge of form. On Friday they got off to a horrible start by going down 2-1 away to lowly Macara. The result was even more surprising considering they thrashed Macara 3-0 in the Atahaulpa only last week. Los Azulgrana (The Blue and Dark Reds) were caught napping after the break and conceded twice in the early stages of the 2nd half through Ledesma and Martinez. Although Luis Romero grabbed one back in 81 minutes, Macara held on for a fine opening day win.
Liga de Loja managed to pip Independiente at the post last weekend to claim 2nd place and a historic Copa Sudamericana place but the Los negriazules (The black-and-blues) got their revenge on Saturday with a fine 2 – 0 win at home in Sangloqui. A Daniel Samaniego double in the first half secured the win and gave Independiente top spot.
Macara 2 – 1 Deportivo Quito
Manta FC 1 – 2 Liga de Quito
Independiente Jose Teran 2 – 1 Liga of Loja
Olmedo 1 – 2 Barcelona
El Nacional 2 – 2 Universidad Technico
Emelec 1 – 0 Deportivo Cuenca
In the weekends other games Liga de Quito did well to come back in the 2nd half and secure a 2 -1 away to Manta. The Liga fans had hoped to see new Paraguayan signing Eduardo Echeverria but he was not match fit, nevertheless they were treated to spirited if not convincing performance. After going behind to a Carlos Garcés in 36 minutes they finally rallied late in the game to overturn the deficit.
Similarly Barcelona struggled to overcome Olmedo and had to raise their game after conceding in 36 minutes courtesy of Sergio Souza. Barcelona’s striking duo of Ladines and Arrinton finally overcame Olmedo to claim the full 3 points.
In the remaining games Emelec won 1-0 at home to Deportivo Cuenca while El Nacional drew 2-2 against Universidad Technico.
Deportivo Quito 3 – 0 Macará
Técnico Universitario 1 – 2 El Nacional
Liga de Quito 2 – 0 Manta F.C.
Deportivo Cuenca 1 – 0 Barcelona
Emelec 5 – 0 Olmedo
Liga de Loja 0 – 0 Independiente
The first stage or “etape” of the Ecuadorian Serie A was wrapped up on Sunday with Barcelona claiming top spot. In a dramatic last weekend the Guayaquil giants actually lost away to Deportivo Cuenca 1 – 0 however won the first stage of the Championship due to a superior goal difference.
Liga de Loja finished with the same points total but with an inferior goal difference of 11 and had to settle for the runner-up spot. Considering they were only promoted last year and have fraction of the bigger teams resources Loja can be mightily pleases with their position despite the last day heartbreak (especially as they gained Copa Sudamericana qualification).
The real last day losers were Independiente Jose Teran who were pipped both for the title and a Sudamericana place. The provincial team from Sangloqui had led the table for the majority of the “etape” but were leapfrogged by Barcelona, Loja and Emelec after Sunday’s games.
Again despite finishing the league equal with Emelec they were bumped to 4rth as a result of an inferior goal-difference. This wasn’t helped by Emelec thumping Olmedo, 5 – 0.
The league now moves into the 2nd stage which will be the same format as before. At the end of this term the two stage winners will play-off for the total championship.
The 1st stage has been fairly disastrous for the Quito teams with Liga de Quito, Deportivo Quito and El Nacional finishing 6th, 7th and 8th respectively. Deportivo have already made moves in the transfer market in order to retain their championship and Liga have also brought in new faces but Nacional have still to invest.
As stage winners Barcelona qualify for both the Copa Libertadores (which has recently finished for this year) and the Copa Sudamericana . Liga de Loja and Emelec qualify for the Copa Sudamericana along with Deportivo Quito who qualify as the winners of last season’s second stage(starting at the end of July).
Draw for Copa Sudamericana
Barcelona vs Deportivo Tachira (Venezuela)
Liga de Loja vs Monagas (Venezuela)
Emelec vs Universidad de San Marin (Peru)
Deportivo Quito vs Leon de Huanuco (Peru)