Regardless of an Argentine workforce profitable all of it final 12 months, the nations six groups are struggling in 2019.
Tim Vickery’s Notes From South America: Argentine Groups Struggling In Copa Libertadores
Half approach by the group stage of the Copa Libertadores, the tables make uneasy studying for Argentina’s six representatives.
4 of them – together with reigning champions River Plate – are presently outdoors the qualifying locations. Boca Juniors are simply in, on purpose distinction, as a result of Toilima of Colombia astonishingly let a two purpose lead slip at house to Jorge Wilstermann of Bolivia. The one Argentine facet who might be happy at their progress are San Lorenzo, who simply completed the home league in 23rd place. Within the Libertadores, although, they’re sitting fairly; but to concede a purpose in three video games, they’ve recorded two of the measly complete of three wins that the Argentine sides have managed in 18 matches.
Distinction that with the file of the three Paraguayan groups; seven wins, two attracts, no defeats, with 15 objectives scored and three conceded.
Libertad and Cerro Porteno have gained all three of their matches – Cruzeiro of Brazil are the one different facet with a 100% file. And home league leaders Olimpia opened up with two attracts earlier than profitable Three-Zero away to Sporting Cristal on Thursday to make sure that all three Paraguayans are prime of their teams.
A placing function of this success is the significance of a bunch of veterans from Paraguay’s 2010 World Cup marketing campaign, the place they reached the quarter last for the primary time and gave Spain probably the hardest knock out match they skilled of their run of event triumphs. Certainly, had Paraguay’s centre ahead Oscar Cardozo not missed a penalty, Spain would possibly nonetheless be trying to find their first World Cup win.
Cardozo continues to be going sturdy – though harm pressured him out of Thursday’s comfy victory at house to Rosario Central of Argentina. Earlier within the competitors, nevertheless, Cardozo managed to attain a purpose from his personal half of the sphere.
His Libertad team-mates embody centre again Paulo Da Silva, now 39 and nonetheless organising the defence. Off the bench on Thursday got here midfielder Cristian Riveros, like Da Silva a former Sunderland participant, and winger Edgar Benitez, who had the supersub function with the 2010 nationwide workforce.
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Cerro Porteno’s profitable purpose a house to Nacional of Uruguay got here from 34 12 months previous Victor Caceres, the holding midfielder of the 2010 facet. Their earlier victory got here with two objectives from 35 12 months previous striker Nelson Haedo Valdez, one other South Africa World Cup veteran.
And Olimpia’s defence is co-ordinated by Antolin Alcaraz, now 36, who was on glorious kind in Thursday’s win over Sporting Cristal. The opening purpose got here from a sometimes emphatic header by Roque Santa Cruz, again on the membership the place he first made his identify as a lanky teenager all of 21 years in the past.
Now 37, this might be his final probability to make an actual impression on the Libertadores. He has by no means performed within the knock out phases. In 1999 Olimpia fell within the group part, after which he was offered to Bayern Munich. He spent over a decade and a half wandering spherical Germany, England and Spain, with a quick spell in Mexico, earlier than returning house in 2016. It was too late for that 12 months’s Libertadores, and Olimpia did not make it by the qualifying rounds in each 2017 and 2018.
However in 2019 he, and many extra of the Paraguayan dad’s military, needs to be current and proper when the knock out motion will get underway within the 60th model of the Copa Libertadores.
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