South American Dispatch: The Best Of The Weekend

From Colombia to Chile the biggest matches from across South America, including Venezuela...
BOLIVIA

Real Potosi
suffered a tough defeat and lost outright possession of the Clausura top spot, after falling 4-2 in La Paz away to The Strongest. Argentine Pablo Vazquez hit twice for the home team who ran out comfortable winners. The win comes as a relief at the end of a tough week in which the 'Tigre' were docked three points for playing too many non-Bolivian players in a previous match.

Potosi were joined in first place by Aurora, who performed superbly in downing Blooming 1-0 on the road in La Paz. The Cochabamba side squeaked through thanks to a strike from defender Ignacio Garcia, and go level with Potosi at the top with 17 points from 10 games.

CHILE

Universidad de Chile
stay top of the league despite not playing this weekend, as leadership contenders Universidad Catolica missed the chance to overtake their Santiago rivals and go first. 'Los Cruzados' were held to a 2-2 draw away to Universidad de Concepcion on Sunday. Goals from Claudio and Pedro Munoz appeared to be sending Juan Antonio Pizzi's team to an unlikely defeat, before playmaker Milovan Mirosevic secured a point with a late penalty.

Elsewhere Audax Italiano continued their excellent recent run of form to go fifth, a 2-1 home victory over La Serena extending a streak of eight wins in 10 unbeaten games. Strikers Mauro Olivi and Sebastian Pinto both scored for the La Florida side to leave them eight points off the summit. They face a tough challenge to maintain their run next week however when they visit Catolica.

COLOMBIA

In El Clasico Capitalino, Santa Fe took the bragging rights, dispatching bitter rivals Millonarios 2-0 at home and consolidating a healthy lead at the top of the Finalizacion table. Santa Fe were the better team throughout, but had to wait until late on to secure victory. Luis Seijas came off the bench to open the scoring with 15 minutes to play. Omar Perez then put the game beyond doubt with a last-minute penalty to send the crowd into raptures. Domestic giants Millonarios have endured a torrid start to the season, and with eight games played lie third from bottom with just one victory.

While Santa Fe were celebrating their early rivals faltered to extend the gap at the summit. Atletico Huila needed a late comeback to draw 2-2 at home with Atletico Nacional, while Deportivo Tolima were reduced to ten men as they they fell 1-0 to America de Cali. Huila lie five points behind the early pace-setters with 17, while Tolima remain on 16.

PARAGUAY

It is as you were over in Paraguay, as Asuncion big-hitters Cerro Porteno and Libertad both came out on top to continue their early dominance of the Clausura season. Cerro left it until late to defeat Apertura champions Guarani, a last minute effort from youngster Rodrigo Burgos enough to confirm a 2-1 home win. Libertad meanwhile were thankful for Jose Nunez's 75th minute strike as they stole all three points against Sol de America.

Elsewhere in Paraguay Luis Cubilla's Olimpia side finally rediscovered their top form, as they thrashed Tacuary 4-1 away from home to go fourth in the league. Derlis Orue came off the bench to score two second half efforts for the 'Decano'. Juan Ferreyra also found himself amongst the goals to improve his season record to an impressive seven strikes in eight games.

URUGUAY

With Apertura action resuming after last week's suspension in honour of deceased Nacional player Diego Rodriguez, Danubio continued occupying first place with a narrow win over Fenix. Anderzon Gonzaga's second half penalty ensured a 1-0 victory for the championship leaders, who have picked up an impressive 10 points from their first four encounters.

Elsewhere Nacional picked up an important victory over Bella Vista, the first win of the season, but the joy was tempered however by the injury suffered by ex-River legend Marcelo Gallardo. The Argentine tore a ligament in his right knee and was carried off in his Urugayan debut, and at 34 years old it is doubtful that he will return to full playing duties.

VENEZUELA

Deportivo Tachira
maintained their hold on the top of the Apertura with an impressive 4-1 dismissal of Atletico Venezuela. The result was never in doubt as the 'Aurinegro' stormed to victory, and the San Cristobal club stay unbeaten in league football with five wins from the first six clashes.

The other early pace-setters Real Espor kept hot on the heels of Tachira with a 3-0 home victory over Aragua, maintaining a perfect 100% record and 15 points from five games. Angel Meider Chouro again found himself on the scoresheet for the Caracas outfit, and has so far harvested an impressive six goals from the opening five games.

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