Thursday, October 7, 2010

Fireworks In The Stands And On The Field

I thought that Newell's Old Boys home leg against San José de Oruro would be easy, but this easy? All I was really hoping for was a good 3-0 win so that La Lepra would have a comfortable lead going into the second leg of this Copa Sudamericana match up, which will be played in Bolivia, at an elevation of some 3700 meters (that's 12,159 feet.) To contrast that, Rosario is at 31 meters (102 ft.)

The stands were packed for this match, and the pre-game fireworks (provided by individual fans, as far as I could tell) were a sight. This type of activity does worry me at bit, but I have yet to hear of any injuries caused by such. Newell's then proceeded to light up the field with fireworks of there own, setting a team record 6-0 victory in a continental competition. Now if that isn't enough of a lead going into the second leg, well... I suppose Sensini could choose to by pass even the reserves and send out one of Newell's youth sides.

Adding to the awe that I have for this performance, there was also a goal that was called back for being offsides, and Mauricio Sperdutti had a clear opportunity to score, with only keeper Eloy Padilla to beat, miss the far post by about the diameter of the ball. Then there was the performance from team captain, Rolando Schiavi. El Flaco has scored from penalties, and headers for the vast majority of the goals he has scored in his long and illustrious career. Last night, however, he scored two goals with his feet, and the second was as beautiful a volley as I have ever seen. Not bad for a guy playing at an age when many players have long sense retired (37.) He almost notched a third, as well, but the cross from Sperdutti was just a bit too far in front of a sliding Schiavi to be considered a real chance.

Not to be out done, playmaker Mauro Fórmica also scored two goals, one in each half. He also shanked an attempt at a volley of his own that meet his shin rather than his foot, and had a shot stopped by Padilla which saw Diego Mateo pick up the rebound and crush it into the side netting... there is a reason that he stays back on freekicks and corners.

Sandwiched between Schiavi and Fórmica second goals a man stepped up whom I have previously stated was only good for drawing foul (which he still did plenty of in this match.) Yes, Marcelo Estigarribia, the man who's last name I'll never pronounce correctly, had a chance to score and mad no mistake. Still not enough for me not to want Leonel Vangioni back in the line up, but at least I can now saw that the Paraguayan can do more than fall down.

While the commentators seemed split between El Gato and El Flaco Schiavi for man of the match, I'm throwing Mauricio Sperdutti into the mix as a third candidate. While he didn't score himself, he did everything but. He was the man who delivered the ball to Schiavi for both of goals scored by the veteran defender, the first from a corner, the second from a freekick. And, oh yes, there was that one other freekick that Sperdutti took that found Schiavi for a header that Padilla managed to fend off... OK, there is one thing I wish he would stop doing, and that's try and come back to help out the defensive... I think I've mentioned that a time or two before.

Rounding out the scoring was the first goal from a young man with a bright future, Daniel Salvatierra. He came on midway through the second half for Iván Borghello, and proceeded to give the Bolivian sides defense fits. When he scored the final goal of the match during injury time it may as well have been the final nail in the Copa Sudamericana coffin for San José. 6-0 is a bit of a mountain to climb, even at altitude.

Up next we are back to Apertura action as Quilmes visit Rosario on Saturday. This should be another easy match, as Los Cerveceros (The Brewers) have yet to win a match after nine played. Kick off is scheduled for 8:30 PM local time.

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