Unbeaten sides taste defeat
Despite the two FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014™ qualifying fixtures, there was no domestic break in several of the top leagues in the Americas. FIFA.com rounds-up the latest action from Argentina, Brazil and Costa Rica among others.
Bad day for unbeaten sides
Boca Juniors may have only drawn 1-1 away to Argentina Juniors, but they nonetheless remained as leaders of the Apertura thanks to the chasing pack also dropping points. Four of their closest rivals surrendered their unbeaten starts, as defending champions Arsenal fell 4-0 to San Martin, Racing Club were defeated 1-0 by Belgrano and Colon lost 2-1 to San Lorenzo.
That leaves just Newell’s Old Boys as the only team yet to taste defeat, after they fought their way back from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 at River Plate and keep up the pressure on Boca. Two strikes from frontman Ignacio Scocco rescued the point for Newell’s, after Argentinean forward David Trezeguet had netted his first goal in the Primera Division to put the Millonarios ahead. Scocco, who had not played for Newell’s since 2006, is one of the leading scorers so far with four goals.
The matchday concludes on Monday, when Godoy Cruz could draw level at the top with a win against Lanus.
Brazil: Contrasting fortunes for Flu and Fla
After taking over at the league summit during the week, Fluminense cemented top spot following a 1-0 victory over Internacional. The winner came thanks to another fine move from attacking duo Wellington Nem and Fred. The former ran 50 metres with the ball before feeding his strike partner to score his 11th of the season, thus reclaiming pole position in the scoring charts. Atletico Mineiro’s 3-0 win over Palmeiras brought them no closer to the top, leaving them two points behind El Flu.
By way of contrast, arch rivals Flamengo’s downward spiral continued after losing 3-0 away to Coritiba. It was their fifth straight match without a win and they are now dangerously close to the relegation zone. Fla’s situation is quickly becoming as perilous as that of Santos, who were missing several internationals in the 0-0 draw against an equally diminished Sao Paulo side in a disappointing local derby.
Costa Rica: goals galore
The Costa Rican Apertura witnessed a goal-filled matchday, with a total of 24 strikes in the six fixtures. Saprissa recorded the highest win of the day, beating San Carlos 6-1. A brace from former international Douglas Sequeira helped them to the top of the standings on goal difference.
The Purple Monster also benefitted from rivals Alajuelense’s first loss of the campaign, a 3-0 home reverse to Herediano. Those three are all level on 18 points, with Cartagines not far behind after handing Puntarenas their third successive defeat in a 3-0 victory.
The international break allowed the Apertura in Uruguay to catch up. The standout result of the day was Nacional’s 2-0 victory over Cerro Largo, meaning they joined five other teams just two points behind the leaders Progreso and Fenix. Liverpool missed the opportunity to join them at the top after a 2-2 draw against a Danubio team still waiting for a first victory.
Only one match was played in USA’s MLS, with Seattle Sounders beating Chivas USA 2-1. Former international Eddie Johnson hit both goals for the victors, who moved to within six points of Western Conference leaders San Jose Earthquakes.
Finally to Honduras, where Olimpia and Vida caught up with league leaders Victoria in the Apertura, thanks to their respective draws with Real Sociedad (0-0) and Marathon (2-2). Victoria dropped points in a 1-0 defeat away to Real Sociedad.