Barcelona come to town

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 on the brink of Championship

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.

Cumulative Standings
Team P W D L Pts GD
1. Barcelona
41 21 13 7 76 +37
2. Emelec
40 21 7 12 70 +20
3. Indepndiente del Valle
41 17 11 13 62 +4
4. Liga de Quito
41 14 18 9 60 +11
5. Deportivo Cuenca   41 17 8 16 59 -5
6. Liga de Loja
41 15 13 13 58 +4
7. Deportivo Quito  


40 13 14 13 53 +8
8. Manta FC


41 14 11 16 53 +2
9. El Nacional


41 12 13 16 49 -13
10. Macara


41 13 7 21 46 -18
11. Tec de Universitario


41 11 13 17 46 -19
12. Olmedo  


41 9 8 24 35 -31

Historic win for Barcelona against their biggest rivals



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.

Barcelona and Liga de Loja eliminated

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.


Ecuadorian teams hopeful in the Sudamericana

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