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Argentina's FIRST DAY !!!!!!!!!!!

Independiente held on 66-year-old Menotti's return



By Luis Ampuero

BUENOS AIRES, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Independiente were held to a goalless draw by Quilmes as veteran Cesar Luis Menotti returned to coaching on Sunday.

The Red Devils dominated against ultra-defensive opponents but found Quilmes goalkeeper Marcelo Pontiroli in inspired form.

Federico Insua and Franco Cangele came closest to scoring for hosts Independiente as Menotti, 66, went back to the touchline for the first time since being fired as coach of Rosario Central in 2002.

Menotti, Argentina's 1978 World Cup-winning coach, has returned for a third stint at the club in an attempt to improve on their 15th-place finish in the previous championship.

The Clausura championship's opening weekend also featured former international midfielder Diego Simeone going back to play for a team in his homeland after a 15-year absence.

SIMEONE DEBUT

Simeone, who won a record 106 caps for Argentina, made his debut for Racing Club but could not stop them slumping to a 1-0 defeat by Argentinos Juniors at the Diego Armando Maradona stadium.

Paraguayan midfielder Gustavo Morinigo, in his first appearance for Argentinos, hit the winner in the 76th minute.

Title holders Newell's Old Boys kicked off with a goalless draw at Velez Sarsfield thanks mainly to goalkeeper Justo Villar.

The Paraguay international, who is emerging as one of South America's top keepers, made a brilliant first-half save from a Rolando Zarate penalty.

The two perennial favourites, Boca Juniors and River Plate, had mixed fortunes.

Boca threw away a 2-0 lead as they were held 2-2 at home by Lanus Grande Fabiani !!!!! :party: while River won 3-2 at Colon in a pulsating encounter.

Striker Ernesto Farias, making his debut after an unhappy period with Italy's Palermo, and Argentina midfielder Luis Gonzalez put River 2-0 ahead.

Colon, who have caused so many upsets that their stadium is nicknamed the Elephants' Graveyard, levelled with goals either side of halftime from Daniel Diaz and Juan Cominges.

River had the last word when Federico Dominguez scored a 59th-minute winner.
 

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Clausura 2005 / Day 2

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fecha 2
20/02/2005





Instituto - - Argentinos
Racing - - Olimpo
San Lorenzo - - Boca
Lanús - - Gimnasia
Almagro - - Independiente
Quilmes - - Vélez
Newell's - - Central
Arsenal - - Huracán(TA)
Estudiantes - - Colón
River - - Banfield
 

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Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Corinthians seek new players after rout


RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Corinthians are back in the hunt for new signings after being outclassed by Santos in their first real test following their lucrative partnership deal with a group of London-based investors.
Sunday's 3-0 defeat against the Brazilian champions in the Paulista championship was a rude awakening for a club who earlier this year proclaimed they were going to form their own team of 'Galacticos'.


'It was clear that Corinthians have got problems in midfield. That's our priority. We need reinforcements,' MSI's Iranian-born president Kia Joorabchian told reporters.

Corinthians have made three major signings since agreeing a 10-year deal with Media Sports Investments at the end of last year in a move which sent shockwaves through Brazilian soccer.

The controversial deal made the previously debt-ridden club rich overnight and they immediately splashed out a South American record of $18 million to sign Argentine prodigy Carlos Tevez from Boca Juniors.

Defender Sebastian Dominguez, captain of the Newell's Old Boys team which won last year's Argentine Apertura championship, also joined, followed by Champions League winning midfielder Carlos Alberto from Porto.

Corinthians forked out 7.0 million euros ($9.08 million) for the 20-year-old, who scored in Porto's 3-0 win over Monaco in the Champions League final.

Tevez scored three goals in his first three appearances, which were all against the unfashionable sides which make up the numbers in the regional tournament.

But against Santos, Tevez looked a lonely figure in a team which was missing Carlos Alberto because of suspension and was still without Dominguez, whose debut has been delayed by bureaucratic problems.

STUTTERING CAMPAIGN

Corinthians were forced to field the inexperienced team which stuttered through last year and Tevez hardly got a touch of the ball.

Joorabchian said that midfielder Javier Mascherano, already an Argentina regular at the age of 20, was top of his shopping list.

'Mascherano's the player,' said Joorabchian, adding MSI was prepared to fork out another $15 million to bring the player from River Plate.

'He's talented and he can control the midfield.'

Joorabchian added that his target was the Brazilian championship which starts at the end of April.

'We're still building a team and mus
 

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Referee strike adds to Peru crisis

By Monica Vargas

LIMA, Feb 18 (Reuters)

- Peruvian referees went on strike on Friday, adding to a crisis which began Thursday when a dispute over players' wages caused the start of the championship to be postponed indefinitely.

The referees said they were owed money by the Peruvian football league and were fed up with digging into their own pockets to cover their expenses.

"Throughout the whole of (the) last championship, we travelled with our own resources and it doesn't seem fair that we have to take money from our households," said Winston Reategui, a director of the referees' association.

"We're abstaining from refereeing matches until they pay the whole debt," said Reategui, adding referees were owed a total of around $20,000.

"There've been lots of promises of payment but everything has a limit."

For the time being, there are no matches to officiate in any case.

On Thursday, the league suspended the 2005 championship -- due to start on Saturday -- after the players' union complained that leading clubs Alianza Lima and Universitario had fallen behind in their payments of outstanding wages to their players.

The payments schedule was drawn up at the start of last year as an agreement to end a two-month long strike which prevented the 2003 championship from finishing.

Peruvian football has been dogged by financial problems in the last few years.

Last November, cash-strapped Estudiantes de Medicina turned up for a match against league leaders Sporting Cristal with no coach, no substitutes and no medical staff.

The players met at the stadium entrance half an hour before kickoff and the reserve goalkeeper had to play in midfield to make up the full side.

The team were unable to complete the championship, forfeited their last games and were relegated.
 

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Ladies & Gents ... In Almagro .....to the DELIGHTS of all the SAINTS in the world .....

San Lorenzo 3--Boca Jrs 0 :happy::excited:
 

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Argentine champions Newell's fail to beat 10 men

BUENOS AIRES, Feb 20 (Reuters) -

Argentine champions Newell's Old Boys were held to a goalless draw on Sunday for the second week running, this time by arch-rivals Rosario Central.

Newell's failed to break through despite having a one-man advantage for nearly an hour.

Visitors Rosario, who are coached by 76-year-old Angel Zof, had Damian Ledesma sent off for a violent tackle in the 33rd minute.

Estudiantes, who beat Colon 3-1, and River Plate, 1-0 winners over Banfield, are the only teams to have won their opening two games in the Clausura championship.

Argentina midfielder Luis Gonzalez scored an 84th-minute winner for River, who had Marcelo Gallardo sent off in the 52nd minute for fighting.

Independiente are still waiting for a victory under veteran coach Cesar Luis Menotti after drawing 2-2 at Almagro.

Menotti, Argentina's 1978 World Cup-winning coach, has returned for a third stint at the club, his first coaching job for more than two years.

Hernan Peirone notched a hat-trick as San Lorenzo thumped Boca Juniors 3-0.
 

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Suspended Peru championship to start in March

By Monica Vargas

LIMA, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Peru's suspended soccer championship will begin on March 6 after clubs agreed to reimburse players their unpaid wages, the Peruvian football league (ADFP) said on Wednesday.

"The clubs have agreed to start the championship on that date and the missed fixtures will be accommodated," ADFP spokesman Hernan Zamudio said.

Peruvian referees said they had ended the strike they began last week after the league agreed to pay them thousands of dollars in owed wages and expenses.

"Our referees will be on the pitch on March 6," said a spokesman for the referees' association.

The championship was due to start on February 19, but the players' union said that last year's winners Alianza Lima and rivals Universitario had failed to keep a promise to pay salary arrears in instalments. Referees said they were fed up with paying their own expenses to travel to matches.

Players' union general manager Fernando Revilla told Reuters that Alianza Lima have now made a $37,000 payment and aim to pay another $20,000 to cancel their debts with players.

Universitario will refinance their debt to pay $67,000 in salaries if their players approve the plan, Revilla added.

"If the clubs meet their obligations, there's no problem with beginning the tournament," he said.

Following a two-month players' strike over unpaid salaries in 2003, clubs agreed to draw up a schedule to make payments. But the players' union said Alianza Lima, Universitario and other smaller clubs failed to abide by the schedule.

The union was set up four years ago to end what it described as a feudal regime in Peruvian football where, it said, players were only paid if the directors felt like it.

In October 2003, when only four of 12 first division teams were paying wages on time, the union called a strike.

After three weeks of the stoppage, the championship was suspended but the strike only finished at the end of the year when the clubs agreed a schedule to pay off what they owed.
 

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Santos & Corinthians Notch Mid-Week Paulista Wins
2/25/2005 2:08:00 AM
Santos demolish Rio Branco as Robinho bags a hat-trick, while Corinthians net three points without Carlitos...
Santos demolish Rio Branco as Robinho bags a hat-trick

Rio Branco 1 Santos 5

Rio Branco were Wednesday’s victims as Santos steamrollered their way to within a point of leaders São Paulo. Robinho opened the night’s action in the 24th. minute after cutting through the local defense with the first display of an almost telepathic understanding between the Peixe players.

Many attribute this to the return of Ricardinho to his playmaking role in midfield, active throughout the game and showing he’s shrugged off his groin strain with an almost impeccable accuracy in his passing. The end of the first half saw Santos taking their foot off the pedal and letting the locals timidly attack.

The second half Rio Branco goal was anecdotal; Santos full back Avalos clumsily body-checking Tiaginho for a 4th. minute penalty that was slotted past Mauro to even things up. This was the cue for Santos to take off the kid gloves and bury the locals under an avalanche of goals.

The goal-scoring machine was well-oiled and the attacks seamless in both team set-plays and individual players’ performances. Lightning one-twos brought attacks that lit up the field with Basilio regaining the lead (56), then Robinho continuing in his state of grace with a 59th. minute strike.

Deivid joined the party (77) culminating a rapid interchange of passes that left the local team unsure whether to applaud or burst into tears. The last goal in the final minute gave man of the match Robinho a well-deserved hat trick as coach Oswaldo de Oliveira literally jumped for joy on the sideline.

Rio Branco were relieved to hear the final whistle blown and maintain their mid-table safety. The three points for Santos showed that one false move by São Paulo will be fatal. The tricolor will need Luizão’s lucky touch tonight in Morumbi, a game overshadowed by the sad, and sadly common, news that São Paulo striker Grafite’s mother has been kidnapped.


Corinthians net three points without Carlitos

Corinthians 3 Ponte Preta 0

An apathetic Ponte Preta rolled over to a confident Corinthians in Pacaembu stadium with Tevez absent due to an Achilles tendon strain. This was a lifeline for coach Tite after the humiliation in Santos and the frustrating draw with Paulista at the weekend. It also maintains Timão hopes of winning the Paulista as they rise to fifth in the table.

Midfielder Wendel rose above the Macaco defense to nod home the opener (27) from an inswinging corner kick. The second was on the scoreboard in the 60th. minute, a Coelho free-kick from just outside the area scraping the paint off the underside of the cross-bar and mimicking one of Beckham’s best efforts.

Although Tevez was out with an inflamed Achilles tendon, the team didn’t suffer unduly with Gil proving that he’s returning back to the 2002 championship-winning form most commentators claimed was lost forever. His efforts were rewarded with an 81st. minute goal from a flashing header that was celebrated en masse by ecstatic team-mates.

This result has been a shot in the arm for the team – a valuable win that will provide the necessary mindset to take on São Paulo in the classic Morumbi clash next game. Ponte Preta, on the other hand, show no signs of improvement and are in danger of getting bogged down in the relegation zone.


Other Results

América 2 Santo André 2
Portuguesa 2 Barbarense 2
Guarani 2 Paulista 1
Marília 4 Internacional 0
União São João 2 Mogi Mirim 2
 

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São Paulo Head Towards 2005 Title, Palmeiras Struggle To Avoid 2006 Second Division

2/26/2005

While São Paulo maintained their four-point lead at the top of the Paulista standings with a handsome victory over Portuguesa Santista, Palmeiras are in a scrap to avoid relegation following a home draw against Atlético Sorocaba. Aaron Marcus reports…
São Paulo keep their four point Paulista lead intact

São Paulo 5 Portuguesa Santista 0

A clear victory that belies the difficulties that the ‘Tricolor’ had to pin down a technically limited but tenacious Portuguesa Santista.

The barely 7,500 fans dotting Morumbi’s terraces were audibly unhappy with São Paulo’s first half performance as their team threw a series of chances away, looking shaken by the recent kidnapping – and rescue – of team-mate Grafite’s mother.

In apparent sympathy with the lullaby rhythm of the first half the stadium lights went off. This blackout lasted for twenty minutes; enough time for coach Leão to give his side a pep-talk. This seemed to hit the ‘on’ button as the team sobered up, giving the ball a more fluid treatment that allowed Cicinho to push up the right wing to put the first on the scoreboard.

The second half saw three goals in 12 minutes of the synchronicity so glaringly absent in the first half. Everything fell into place as midfielder Renan put the finishing touch to a team move, Diego Tardelli dribbled from midfield past three defenders and hammered in the third whilst Luizão kept his record for scoring on his first team debuts with a snappy volley.

A 42nd. minute penalty converted by Tardelli – overtaking Robinho as Paulista top scorer – rounded things off. If the first half had sown doubts in the ability of the Tricolor to not buckle under Santos’ renewed pressure, the second half dissipated those doubts and gave the team a boost as they prepare to receive rivals Corinthians in this weekend’s derby.

In the post-match press conference Emerson Leão made reference to the recently solved kidnapping, highlighting the sense of insecurity felt by the players in general; “Brazil is a wonderful, beautiful country…etc., but the state of security here leaves a lot to be desired.” After the incidents involving Robinho’s mother as well as the alleged family kidnapping that had Ronaldo jetting back from Madrid there is a collective psychosis building among footballers.


Palmeiras feeling uncomfortable second division Déjà vu

Palmeiras 2 Atlético Sorocaba 2

A poor result at home to a clear candidate for relegation has set off the alarm bells in the Parque Antartica as the first stadium protests against new President Della Monica are heard.

Boos and whistles in the face of poor team performances are becoming a feature of Palmeiras’ home games in the 2005 Paulista. The team shows no signs of gelling into a competitive unit with childish mistakes peppering their appearances and provoking a certain sinking feeling both in fans and the table.

Despite coach Candinho’s tinkering with the starting line-up – Andre Cunha as wing back, Marcel and Adriano Chuva bolstering the attack – the only visible difference was that some new mistakes were committed to add to the existing problems. Palmeiras’ Ricardinho (not to be confused with the Santos player) headed in a first goal only to see the tables turned as the visitors took their pick of the abundant chinks in the ‘Verdão’ armour to score an equaliser before half-time.

The second half saw local discontent slide down to downright depression when Luciano Henrique put the ball past Marcos. It took the sending off of Sorocaba keeper Velloso (ex-Palmeiras) to give the locals an edge. As the vistors had used their three substitutions, striker Eder donned the No.1 jersey and gloves, but was unable to stop Omar toe-punting an extra-time equaliser. The point won feels more like two lost as Palmeiras is now only four points above relegation.

Many observers see clear parallels with the 2002 team which sent the team spinning down to the second division for a year in purgatory. World Cup winning goalkeeper Marcos – one of the few to escape the jeers – joined those pointing out the risk; “The Paulista is short and if we don’t raise our game soon we could fall again”. As to the result he admitted “Given the way we played the draw is a good result”. Luckily only 2,400 spectators had to endure the game in the flesh.


Other Results (Thursday 24th. February 2005)

São Caetano 2 Ituano 0
 

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Saturday Results:

Colón de Santa Fe 0 - 2 Arsenal de Sarandí
Instituto de Córdoba 0 - 1 Racing Club
 

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Primera División de Argentina: Posiciones

Posiciones - 28 de febrero de 2005
Pos. Equipo Jug. Gan. Emp. Per. GF GC Dif. Pts.
Clausura Fechas
1 Lanús 3 2 1 0 6 2 4 7
2 Estudiantes La Plata 3 2 1 0 4 1 3 7
3 River Plate 3 2 1 0 7 5 2 7
4 Rosario Central 3 2 1 0 3 1 2 7
5 Racing Club 3 2 0 1 3 1 2 6
6 Gimnasia La Plata 3 2 0 1 5 5 0 6
7 Newell's Old Boys 3 1 2 0 2 0 2 5
8 Arsenal de Sarandí 3 1 1 1 4 3 1 4
9 Quilmes 3 1 1 1 2 1 1 4
10 Argentinos Juniors 3 1 1 1 6 6 0 4
11 Boca Juniors 3 1 1 1 5 6 -1 4
12 Instituto de Córdoba 2 1 0 1 3 3 0 3
13 Olimpo de Bahía Blanca 3 1 0 2 4 5 -1 3
14 San Lorenzo 3 1 0 2 4 6 -2 3
15 Independiente 3 0 2 1 2 3 -1 2
16 Almagro 3 0 2 1 3 4 -1 2
17 Vélez Sarsfield 3 0 2 1 0 2 -2 2
18 Banfield 2 0 1 1 0 1 -1 1
19 Huracán de Tres Arroyos 3 0 1 2 1 4 -3 1
20 Colón de Santa Fe 3 0 0 3 3 8 -5 0
 

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Monday, February 28, 2005

Palermo double eases Boca malaise


BUENOS AIRES, Feb 27 (Reuters) - A brace of headed goals by Martin Palermo helped Boca Juniors to a 3-1 home victory over Olimpo, and the club's first win in this season's Clausura championship.
The combative striker, whose nickname is El Loco, wrong-footed Olimpo goalkeeper Julio Cesar Gaona on both occasions, scoring with power and precision in the 36th and 52nd minutes.


Diego Galvan had offered the visitors hope with a headed equaliser in the 38th minute but the revival faltered when Palermo restored the lead.

After Olimpico striker Maximiliano Estevez was dismissed for a second bookable offence in the second half, Boca midfielder Neri Cardozo slotted in a third Boca goal.

The win lifts Boca Juniors to 11th place in the Clausura table and provides a psychological boost ahead of Wednesday's Libertadores Cup clash with Peru's Sporting Cristal.

River Plate marksman, Chilean Marcelo Salas, celebrated his return from injury by scoring twice in his team's 3-3 draw with Argentinos Juniors.

Salas collected his first goal, on 17 minutes after receiving a fine pass from Colombian midfielder Jairo Patino.

The second was vintage Salas, as the former international pounced on a moment of hesitation in the Argentinos' defence and unleashed a stinging left-footed shot that left goalkeepre Marcos Gutierrez stranded.

Striker Ernesto Farias scored River Plate's third goal on 56 minutes.

Argentinos Juniors deserved their point after taking the lead on eight minutes with a goal by Leandro Fleitas.

Paraguayan midfielder Gustavo Morinigo pulled the home team level after the second Salas strike and a second-half own goal by River Plate defender gave them a share of the points.

The draw puts River Plate level on seven points with three other teams at the top of the Clausura table.

Lanus collected a narrow 1-0 home win over Independiente, who are yet to find their form since the appointment of coach Cesar Luis Menotti.

Rosario Central beat Quilmes by the same margin, while Estudiantes could only manage a goalless draw with struggling Banfield.

Champions Newell's Old Boys collected a 2-0 win over Huracan-Tres Arroyos, with goals by midfielder Ariel Zapata and striker Juan Esnaider.
 

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Leading sides advance in Brazilian cup


RIO DE JANEIRO, March 3 (Reuters) - Popular Brazilian sides Vasco, Fluminense and Gremio advanced to the second round of the Copa Brasil on Wednesday, in a knockout competition drawing teams from the remotest corners of the vast nation.
Romario was again absent as Vasco ended Uniao Rondonopolis's cup hopes with a 2-0 home victory that gave an aggregate score of 4-2. The veteran striker, who was excused the 11-hour plane and coach trip to the drawn first leg, was ruled unfit to play.


Third-choice striker Marco Brito stepped in to score Vasco's goals in the 17th and 64th minutes.

By contrast, recent signing Allan Delon struggled to reproduce the free scoring form he enjoyed in past spells with Vitoria, and his uncertain touch drew a negative response from the home fans.

Brito almost earned a third goal for his side when he was tripped in the area but Delon blazed his spot kick over the bar.

Around 20,000 Gremio fans forgot the indignity of their current diet of second division football and urged the two-time Libertadores Cup winners to a narrow 1-0 win over Bahia.

Gremio dominated most of the play but were guilty of poor finishing.

However, the signs of a brighter future were there and the club that groomed FIFA footballer of the year Ronaldinho may have unearthed a new revelation in the shape of 16-year-old Anderson, who was behind most of their attacking moves.

Another Gremio youngster, the 19-year-old Samuel, blasted home the 78th-minute winner just minutes after missing an open goal from close range.

Fluminense were unimpressive in beating lowly Campinense and the 3-1 scoreline flattered the Rio de Janeiro team.

The club from Campina Grande, Paraiba, had earned a surprise 1-0 victory in the first leg and Fluminense's anxiety was reflected in their untidy play.

Nimble winger Felipe was on hand to provide a much-needed element of calm and class, and he orchestrated the best attacking moves.

The result will probably save the job of Fluminense coach Abel for the time being.

Estrela do Norte turned up at Atletico Mineiro's imposing Mineirao stadium with an impressive squad list that included Pele, Cafu and Rincon.

However, the players in question were not blessed with the ability of their namesakes and the tiny club from Espirito Santo state were trounced 6-0.

Fortaleza overcame Coruripe 3-1 after trailing to a goal by Edson Baiano.

Goals by Ronaldo Angelim, Laercio and Aru Paysandu gave the club from Ceara state a 4-2 win on aggregate.

Fortaleza's next opponents will be Paysandu, who made sure of their passage with a 3-1 win over Uniao Cacoalense.
 

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Argentine coach Daniel Passarella gestures during a news conference at the Corinthians soccer club headquarters in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Thursday, March 3, 2005. Passarella finalized contract negotiations with three-time national champion Corinthians to become the club's new head coach.
 

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Farias guides River Plate to victory


BUENOS AIRES, Mar 6 (Reuters) - Ernesto Farias scored twice as River Plate eased to a 3-1 home win over Instituto on Sunday, putting the Buenos Aires side level on points with leaders Rosario Central in the Clausura championship.
Instituto's hopes of a first win against River in 18 years received a boost when striker Daniel Jimenez finished a rapid counter-attacking move to give the visitors a ninth-minute lead.


However, the home side's reply was not long in coming and Farias clinically converted a pin-point pass by Rubens Sambueza on 20 minutes.

Eleven minutes later, Farias produced another unstoppable shot, struck on the turn from the edge of the penalty area.

Instituto's chances faded further when defender Hernan Pages was dismissed for a dangerous challenge on Oscar Ahumada shortly before the interval.

Gaston Fernandez scored River's third in the 82nd minute.

In other action, Racing Club's Uruguayan striker Marcelo Guerrero gave his team a 1-0 victory over a poor Boca Juniors side.

Racing dominated the first half against a Boca team that has struggled to find any consistent form this year.

Guerrero's goal came from a cross by Lisandro Lopez on 28 minutes.

Racing were then forced to defend their lead after team captain Diego Simeone was sent off early in the second half for a second bookable offence.

The home side ended the game with nine men as striker Martin Cardetti was also shown a red card for dissent.

The result lifts Racing Club into third place on nine points, one behind the leading duo.

Rosario sent an ominous message to their rivals with an emphatic 4-1 win at Almagro, highlighted by a Pablo Vitti hat-trick.
 

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Corinthians hit six past Sao Jorge

Gareth Chetwynd

RIO DE JANEIRO, March 6 (Reuters) - Corinthians trounced Uniao Sao Jorge 6-1 in the Paulista championship at the weekend, providing a morale-boosting victory ahead of new coach Daniel Passarella's arrival at the club on Monday.
The prospect of a change in management seemed to concentrate the minds of an expensively-assembled group of players who have struggled to maintain any sort of consistency this season.


Displaying a cohesion and a sense of purpose lacking from recent performances, Corinthians overran their modest opponents, with Carlos Tevez and Coelho bagging two goals each.

Corinthians were forced to play their home game against Uniao Sao Jorge in the town of Mogi Miri as punishment for a coin-throwing incident in a recent game against Santos.

However, the large contingent of travelling fans and an attacking policy made a mockery of the disadvantage.

Roger's runs from midfield provided Corinthians with much-needed fluency, while Coelho's raids down the right flank constantly troubled Uniao.

Tevez opened the floodgates by driving a home a loose ball from a Coelho corner and the Argentine international scored a second goal before coming off with cramp.

Coelho also scored one his two goals before the break and Roger added another to give Corinthians a 4-0 lead at the interval.

Second half goals by Coelho and Fabricio consolidated the victory.

Captain of Argentina's 1978 World Cup-winning team, Passarella was named new coach of Corinthians after a run of poor results cost his predecessor Tite his job.

The vicotry lifts Corinthians into fifth place in the Paulista table on 19 points, 10 behind leaders Sao Paulo.

SANTOS SLIP

Sao Paulo remained undefeated at the top of the standings with a 2-2 draw at Paulista, while Santos slipped to third place after going down 3-1 at Palmeiras.

Sao Paulo seemed satisfied with a point against a Paulista team that have won 11 of their last 12 home games.

Luizao and Josue scored for the league leaders, while Leo and Cristian replied to preserve Paulista's unbeaten home record stretching back eight months.

Goalkeeper Marcos was the hero of Palmeiras's unexpected victory over Santos, producing a string of fine saves to keep his side in front.

Midfielder Pedrinho made the other decisive contribution, scoring twice after coming on as a second half substitute and helping confirm the improvement in Palmeiras's form since the arrival of Candinho as coach.

The victory, however, was marred by some ugly pre-match violence between different factions of Palmeiras fans.

Mogi Mirim moved into second place, four points behind Sao Paulo, by virtue of a 4-1 home victory over Sorocoba.

In the Rio de Janeiro state championship, Volta Redonda's 1-0 defeat at Madureira allowed Botafogo to move top of Group A by virtue of a 2-2 draw with Flamengo.

Group B leaders Fluminense coasted to a 3-0 victory at Portuguesa.
 

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Corinthians lose to lowly Cianorte in Copa Brasil :eek:

By Gareth Chetwynd

RIO DE JANEIRO, Mar 10 (Reuters) -

New Corinthians coach Daniel Passarella suffered a shock on Wednesday when his side were thrashed 3-0 in the Copa Brasil at Cianorte, a little-known club standing sixth in the Parana state championship.

Cianorte played a canny counter-attacking game to storm into a 3-0 first half lead in the first leg encounter in Maringa, humiliating the captain of Argentina's 1978 World Cup-winning side in his first game in charge of the big-spending team.

Financed by the London-based MSI group, Corinthians have assembled the most expensive squad ever seen in the Brazilian championship, with signings like $18 million Carlos Tevez from Boca Juniors and $9 million striker Carlos Alberto from Porto.

Passarella, who took over from previous coach Tite after a poor run of results, had warned his team to respect their lowly opponents but players of the calibre of Tevez were mere bystanders as Cianorte romped away with the victory.

Neither Passarella nor Tevez had ever heard of Cianorte striker Marcio before the match but his first half double made a mockery of the respective price tags.

The striker diverted a shot by team mate Daniel for an opportunistic first goal and then scored with a spectacular bicycle kick after 36 minutes.

GLARING ERROR

Corinthian's goalkeeper Fabio Costa had earlier been guilty of a glaring error that allowed central defender Edson Santos to head Cianorte's opening goal after eight minutes.

Corinthians at times struggled to touch the ball and suffered the ignominy of a round of "oles" ringing around the compact Maringa stadium.

To add insult to injury, Corinthians captain Anderson was sent off for a dangerous tackle in the second half and will miss next week's second leg.

Cianorte is 80 km from Maringa, and the town's football club was only founded in 2002. They qualified for the Copa Brasil after reaching the semi-finals of the Parana state championship last year.

Corinthians, meanwhile, are in danger of losing touch with the leaders in the Sao Paulo state championship.

"Perhaps they did not take us as seriously as they should have done," said Cianorte coach Caio Junior.

Elsewhere, Fluminense beat Esportivo 2-1 in the Rio de Janeiro club's first match since winger Felipe received a six-month ban for punching an opponent in the previous round. Right-sided midfielder Gabriel scored the Fluminense goals.

Paraiba club Treze caused another upset by beating visiting Sao Caetano 2-1 in Campina Grande.

The Copa Brasil is a nationwide knockout competition involving teams from the remotest parts of the vast nation.
 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Arg results from Sunday:

River Plate 1 - 0 Racing Club
Colón de Santa Fe 2 - 1 Quilmes
Huracán de Tres Arroyos 1 - 1 Almagro
Instituto de Córdoba 0 - 3 Estudiantes La Plata
Gimnasia La Plata 0 - 1 Boca Juniors
 

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Corinthians win, referee attacks fan


RIO DE JANEIRO, March 13 (Reuters) - Carlos Tevez helped fellow Argentine Daniel Passarella land his first win as Corinthians coach on Sunday, scoring twice as South America's most expensive team beat Santo Andre 3-2 in Brazil's Paulista championship.
In a Minas Gerais state championship match, referee Luiz Carlos Silva lashed out and attacked a fan who invaded the pitch during the derby between America-Belo Horizonte and Atletico Mineiro.


An explosive encounter also produced three sendings-off, nine yellow cards and a brawl during which Atletico goalkeeper Danrlei said he was attacked by a policeman.

Passarella, the latest big-name acquistion since Corinthians signed their controversial multi-million dollar partnership deal with London-based Media Sports Investment last year, lost on his debut when his side went down 3-0 to third division Cianorte in the Copa Brasil on Wednesday.

This time Corinthians went ahead when Bobo, making his professional debut, tapped in a Fernando cross after 15 minutes.

Six minutes later Tevez, an $18 million signing from Boca Juniors in December, broke from the halfway line and homed in on goal before firing past goalkeeper Julio.

Striker Tevez added the third goal early in the second half, his seventh of the tournament.

Passarella's team had to survive a late fright when Ramalho and Leandrinho netted in the last five minutes for Santo Andre.

Corinthians, who have 22 points from 12 games, climbed to fourth in the Paulista championship, one of the regional tournaments which kick off the season.

They are 10 points adrift of leaders Sao Paulo, who beat Rio Branco-Americana 1-0 and have only dropped four points in 12 outings.

The America-Atletico Mineiro match was played in a tense atmosphere, with three red cards shown in the second half.

Andre Luis of Mineiro and Wellington Paulo of America were sent off after an ugly clash and Mineiro forward Euller was given his marching orders for persistent dissent.

The game boiled over in injury time when a shirtless fan invaded the pitch and attacked referee Silva, who fought back.

Police came on to the field to arrest the invader and a free-for-all followed involving nearly all the players on the pitch.

Danrlei, who has a long history of disciplinary problems, told reporters that he ran to the centre circle to try and calm the situation when he was hit by a policeman.

America won 1-0.
 

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Unbeaten River :howler: Plate win derby, go top


BUENOS AIRES, March 13 (Reuters) - River Plate beat derby rivals Racing Club 1-0 on Sunday to go top of the Argentine Clausura championship in place of Rosario Central, who were held 3-3 at home by Lanus.
Central, coached by 76-year-old Angel Zof, twice led but the visitors were lifted by a hat-trick from striker Claudio Graf.


River, who have 82 wins in the derby series against Racing's 34, continued their historic dominance thanks to a goal by Argentina midfielder Luis Gonzalez immediately after halftime.

Gonzalez latched on to an incisive pass from former Racing midfielder Gaston Fernandez and smashed a first-time shot under the arms of goalkeeper Cristian Luchetti.

Unbeaten River lead the table with 13 points from five games, two more than second-placed Central.

Central received the perfect start when Emiliano Papa scored after two minutes, only for Graf to open his account in the 20th.

Graf put Lanus in front early in the second half and also snatched a 72nd-minute equaliser after Marco Ruben and a Paulo Ferrari penalty had put the home side 3-2 ahead.

Champions Newell's Old Boys went fourth with a 1-0 triumph at Banfield, despite another lacklustre performance from experienced forward Ariel Ortega.

Fernando Belluschi finished off a quick counter-attack with a superb left-foot drive in the 18th minute for unbeaten Newell´s.

Independiente, 13th in the table with six points, continued their indifferent form under Argentina´s 1978 World Cup-winning coach Cesar Luis Menotti when they were held 1-1 at home by Olimpo.

Sebastian Carrizo gave the Red Devils a 25th-minute lead with a swerving 25-metre drive but Olimpo always looked more dangerous and Uruguay striker Alvaro Mello grabbed a deserved equaliser midway through the second half.

Rolando Zarate, who netted for Argentina in their 1-1 friendly draw with Mexico in Los Angeles last Wednesday, was on target again, scoring from a free kick as Velez Sarsfield won 2-0 to hand San Lorenzo their fourth defeat in five matches.

Leandro Gracian had put Velez ahead after two minutes.
 
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