Colombians win competition against Ecuador's Independiente del Valle.


What makes the two young Rosario Central players Franco Cervi and Giovani Lo Celso the players they are?


An interview with Uruguayan sports journalist Nicolás Difiori ahead of Sunday's Clásico.


Taking a look at the next great Argentinian #5, the next Javier Mascherano.


Colombians win the Copa Sudamericana after penalty thriller against Huracán.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

South America’s Top Clubs – October 2015

Third month, third different team at the top of South America’s club ranking. Paraguay’s Olimpia has taken over the lead from Santa Fe, who have dropped out of the top 20 after 4 straight losses before winning against Emelec in the Copa Sudamericana last night.

Olimpia themselves nearly dropped out of the top spot on the last league matchday of the month, but came away with a 1-1 draw against Libertad.

One of the most impressive runs in the past month came from Copa Libertadores record champions Independiente who have gotten points for each of the last 15 matches that go into this ranking.

If you missed the rules for this ranking, I got you covered once more. A win in your domestic league gets you 3 points, a draw 1. Internationally, in Copa Libertadores and Sudamericana, those points get doubled to 6 and 2.







1 5 Olimpia Paraguay 41
2 - Independiente Argentina 40
3 3 LDU Quito Ecuador 40
4 7 Libertad Paraguay 40
5 4 Defensor Sporting Uruguay 40
6 8 River Plate Argentina 37
7 2 CS Emelec Ecuador 37
8 11 Colo Colo Chile 36
9 13 Sportivo Luqueño Paraguay 36
10 19 Deportivo La Guaira Venezuela 35
11 17 Club Nacional Uruguay 34
12 14 The Strongest Bolivia 34
13 20 Atlético Junior Colombia 34
14 6 Corinthians Brazil 34
15 10 Cerro Porteño Paraguay 33
16 - Melgar Peru 33
17 16 Universidad Católica Chile 33
18 - Sporting Cristal Peru 30
19 - Boca Juniors Argentina 30
20 - Deportes Tolima Colombia 30

Monday, September 21, 2015

10 in 10 – Weekend Roundup

New week, new category on Germancopa. This is a look at one top match from each South American league on the last weekend.


Last night, San Lorenzo beat Racing Club in a path-breaking game 2-1 at home. After dominating possession especially in early parts of the match, Mauro Cetto gave the hosts a 20th minute lead. The rightback was there to clean up the mess right in front of the goal after a direct freekick from Cauteruccio hit the crossbar. Racing, who had left Diego Milito on the bench until it was too late, improved their game in the second half and had some more chances. The consequence was the tying goal from Iván Pillud in the 78th minute with a wonderful strike from distance through a crowd following a corner. Emanuel Mas did not like that a lot and made a commanding run forward shortly after, which ended in the winning goal. His tap-in after another assist from Cauteruccio went by goalkeeper Saja and keeps San Lorenzo close to table toppers Boca.



Bolivia’s game between 1 and 2 went to 2 as The Strongest celebrated a 1-2 away win against Sport Boys Warnes. A horrible defensive giveaway in the fourth minute led to the guest’s opening goal from Rodrigo Ramallo. Still, the Sport Boys kept on competing and finally in the 41st got a little lucky. Alejandro Morales’ shot was deflected into the bottom right corner for the equalizer. It paid back at the start of the second half on the other side though. An own goal header from Helmut Gutiérrez proved impossible to save for goalkeeper Carlos Lampe. The Strongest have taken over the lead in Bolivia’s Apertura table with this win, one point ahead of their weekend’s opponents.


Palmeiras x Gremio

It was actually not easy to pick only one game here, but let’s go with the battle between the teams doing the chasing. Palmeiras hosted Grêmio and celebrated a 3-2 victory at Allianz Parque. A strong header from Vitor Hugo gave Palmeiras an early lead (7th) which they did not hold for too long though. Luan equalized with his 7th goal of the season after 20 minutes. Paraguayan international Lucas Barrios, this time a starter after his midweek 30 minute hattrick, paid back his coaches trust yet again. He headed home a cross in the 32nd minute after he was left pretty much wide open in the penalty area. In a game that was all about the offense, Palmeiras made it 3-1 early in the second half through Rafael Marques’ 7th league goal. Luan again, this time via penalty, could only make the scoreline a ted nicer for the visitors five minutes from the end. Grêmio stays 3rd, Palmeiras is the new 4th.


Did not see any club football action this weekend.


Lino Barcelona Cuenca

The traditional battle between Barcelona and Deportivo Cuenca ended in a 1-1 draw. The hosts were the clearly better team in front of a great crowd and had multiple chances to take (and later extent) the lead. It took them until the 52nd minute though until Ely Esterilla fired home a shot through a chaotic penalty area. After hitting the post with a freekick on top of things, they conceded the simplest and weakest way possible. A long kick from goalkeeper Ordóñez found the run of José Gutiérrez who slotted the ball into the bottom left corner (61st). Cuenca had finally arrived in the game now too and hit the post themselves shortly after. Still, all goals had gone in and it stayed 1-1 until the final whistle. Three teams now lead the league with 20 points each.


Alianza Petrolera, who lead the Colombian table, have lost 2-1 away to Atlético Junior. Sadly I could not find any highlights of this game yet, so we’ll go with the short version. Still, the loss was seemingly avoidable, as Petrolera took an early 14th minute lead due to a goal from Victor Castillo. Vladimir Hernández (45th/pen) and Michael Ortega (61st) turned the game around for the guests. With his successful strike, Hernández has joined Duque and Preciado at the top with 7 goals each.



Olimpia celebrated an exciting 4-2 home victory over Sportivo Luqueño. The visitors started pretty well and had the first few chances of the contest, would eventually score the opening goal. Derlis Alegre was the target of a long through ball that sliced open Olimpia’s back four and put it through the legs of goalkeeper Centurión. Still, the hosts kept calm and hit back twice before the halftime whistle. Robert Piris (31’) and Freddy Bareiro (42’) scored, the first one after a bad punch by opposing goalkeeper Giménez, the second from a short distance after a nice low cross from the right from Salgueiro.

Right as the second half started, Luqueño was back in it again, after an own goal from Carlos Rolón. While both teams kept having chances up and down the pitch, the breaking point was the second yellow card for Sportivo player Marcelo Báez in the 70th minute, which was the right decision. Olimpia went on to win the match through a fantastic flying header from Cristian Riveros (78’) and a penalty from Pablo Zeballos in the last minute. The hosts are top of the league, but Cerro Porteño have a game in hand.


Sporting Cristal continue to dominate the league early on with the fourth win in as many games, this time a 4-0, which was never in any doubt, over Ayacucho. Twice, Cristal scored both goals in the last 15 minutes of each half. César Pereyra (32’, 7th goal in 4 games!) and Alexís Cossio (38’) as well as Carlos Lobatón (82’) and Irven Ávila (90’) were the goalscorers. Particularly the first three goals are worth a look and you can get it here.



Nacional were victorious against CA Cerro last night and now lead the Uruguayan table after week 6 of the Apertura. Admittedly, they had to wait until the very end to be sure of it. A 4-3 win in a game that went back and forth was definitely worth watching and I am glad I did. Man of the match was Iván Alonso, the experienced striker scored Nacional’s first two goals himself and assisted on the last two.

Cerro took the lead early through a Correa goal (3’), equalized before the half hour mark through Alonso via penalty. Only two minutes into the second half he scored again, this time from open play. Luis Urruti made it 2-2 again after an hour and Urruti in general was a huge danger throughout the game. He made Santiago Romero look old in particular on multiple occasions. It did not matter though, since Nacional had more in the tank. Goals from Seba Fernández (69’) and Alejandro Barbaro (74’) in quick succession put the game to bed, at least theoretically. A Richard Porta penalty seven minutes from the end put a little scare back into the home fans, but the Uruguayan record champions held on until the end.


Caracas FC have lost their home game against Aragua FC 1-2. While Caracas was the better team throughout the early parts of the game and took the lead through a tap-in from Felix Cásseres in the 13th minute, they lost their way a bit after. The second half belonged to the guests, who scored twice. A shot into the bottom left corner from Raul Vallona (51’) and a nice lob from Tulio Etchemaite two minutes after decided this battle. While Caracas could have equalized with a shot that hit the crossbar, the score remained 1-2, putting Aragua up to third in the table, equal with leaders Zamora.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Belgra No – Lanús Eliminate League Rival

The round of 16 of the Copa Sudamericana is complete after last night’s action. Exciting matchups are coming up again in the next round. Let us have a look at those and at this week’s results.


Lanús celebrate a big win over Belgrano that puts them into the round of 16 of the Copa Sudamericana. (AFP)

Lanús had no problems whatsoever with Belgrano. After a 1-1 draw in the first leg (with Belgrano’s second fastest goal in Sudamericana history), it did not take long again for the game to get going. Goalkeeper Pablo Heredia was sent off in the first minute after bringing down Sergio González inside the penalty area after a horrendous mistake of his defender. So Nicólas Aguirre stepped up and made it 1-0 early in the game, giving Lanús all the tactical advantages in the world.

They made use of it throughout the game and had the bigger share of possession. It took them until the 40th minute to double the lead when Diego Braghieri cleaned up the leftovers of a deflected freekick. The 3-0 after an hour effectively ended this tie. Belgrano midfielder Guillermo Farré was the poorest person on the pitch after he scored an own goal with no opposing player anywhere near him.

Shortly after, Jorge Vélazquez gave the guests a little hope, but it did not prevail too long. Miguel Almirón and Gonzalo Di Renzo added another two before the end to give Lanús a commanding 6-2 win on aggregate. The Argentinians get to play Uruguayan side Defensor Sporting in the upcoming round. Belgrano meanwhile need to find a way to stop the recent downward trend, that saw them fall from contender for the Argentinian league title to being eliminated awfully from the Copa Sudamericana.

Elsewhere, Libertad has followed Lanús into the next round and will face the Brazilians from Chapecoense after a 1-0 win over Universidad Católica (4-2 aggregate). The guests from Chile ended the game with only 9 men, after both Guillermo Maripán and Marco Medel were sent off in the last ten minutes. It did not change much about the result anymore though, as the decisive goal was already scored in the 17th minute by Rodrigo López.

Emelec were extremely lucky to make it to the next round. Juventud not only missed a penalty during the game, also several other chances were wasted or survived with pure luck by the Ecuadorians. Since the first game ended 0-0 as well, this affair went to penalties right after the 90 minutes ended. The Uruguayans missed one too many. One of them by goalkeeper Carini, who interestingly enough took the very first one.

A surprise win was celebrated by Deportes Tolima, who decided the Colombian duel in Barranquilla against Atlético Junior for themselves. After losing the first leg at home, not much was expected from them anymore, they knew better and won the second leg 2-0. First half goals from Jonatan Estrada and Didier Delgado were enough to sneak into the next round after all. One reason for that? A saved penalty by goalkeeper Joel Silva on Vladimir Hernández.


Independiente striker Albertengo celebrates with teammate Vera after his goal. (

A late goal from Lucas Albertengo (87th) sent Independiente into the next round after beating Arsenal de Sarandí 2-1 on aggregate. After their recent run of good form, the Argentinians might be a possible favourite for the whole competition itself. First though, they will have to deal with Olimpia that eliminated Águilas Pereira with a 1-2 away win. Striker Ariel Núñez scored his fifth goal of the Sudamericana and is the top scorer after two rounds.

Club Nacional are out despite winning the second leg against Santa Fe 1-0 with a goal from Santiago Romero. The unlucky 0-2 loss at home which I described in detail in the first leg was too much to come back from eventually. The Colombians now face Emelec in a game between (theoretically at least) two of the top teams.

LDU Quito, the team that collected the most points throughout South America (look out for the next TOP ranking!), won late but comfortably against Nacional Asunción. An 86th minute penalty from Juan Cavallero gave them a 1-0 victory on the night, 2-0 on aggregate. They now face the struggling defending champions River Plate, who only enter the competition in the upcoming round.

The only Uruguayan team left, Defensor Sporting, looked good at least in their away win at Peruvian side Universitario. Facundo Castro should score the only goal of the match already five minutes in. Since they won their home leg 3-0 as well, they now get to face Lanús as previously mentioned.

Huracán beat Tigre again, this time 1-0 (6-2 aggregate), Federico Mancinelli scored the winner an hour into the game. The Argentinians battle Brazil’s Recife in the next round.

Finally, Sportivo Luqueño smacked Deportivo La Guaira 4-0 (5-1 on aggregate). While the Paraguayan teams look really strong, La Guaira was the last Venezuelan team to wave goodbye.

Here is the overview of the round of 16 matchups:

LDU Quito – River Plate

Chapecoense – Libertad

Sportivo Luqueño – Deportes Tolima

Brasília – Atlético Paranaense

Defensor Sporting – Lanús

Huracán – Sport Recife

Santa Fe – Emelec

Olimpia – Independiente

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Boca vs San Lorenzo – Fight For Argentina’s Crown

It comes down to this: With six match weeks left in the Argentinian football season, Boca Juniors have retaken the lead in the table the past weekend thanks to a 1-0 Superclásico win over River. Two points is the advantage, but not over rivals River Plate. Instead, San Lorenzo are the only other team with a serious title chance at this point, despite losing their own derby to Huracán. On the bright side, both teams don’t feature in the Copa Sudamericana, so the whole focus is on the league (and the Copa Argentina).


On their way to the title? San Lorenzo’s Mauro Matos, who’s team is trailing Boca by 2 points.

Last 6 – The finish:

The finish provides quite a few of the same tasks for Boca and San Lorenzo, with three home and three away games each.

The easier finish to the season without a doubt belongs to San Lorenzo, as they face Olimpo (21th), Temperley (16th) and Atlético Rafaela (27th) in the last three.

On the other side, Boca’s next three games will be the ones to collect 9 points for themselves. Argentinos Juniors (17th), Banfield (7th) and Crucero del Norte (30th and last) are the opponents. Banfield proves to be an exciting and maybe title decisive challenge right here. They have not lost the last 7 games and have young striker starlet Gio Simeone among their ranks. The son of the Atlético Madrid coach has scored five times in nine appearances for Banfield already.

The rest of the program is the same opponent-wise. Racing Club (4th), Tigre (8th) and Rosario Central (3rd) in that order for both of them, first for San Lorenzo. On top, they have the advantage of playing two of these games at home, while Boca will be away to Racing and Central. The outcome of these top matchups is extremely hard to predict, even though both teams should be able to beat Tigre.

If I had to guess today, I would pick San Lorenzo to win the title, simply because of their easier finish, and not having to face an extra top ten team in those three games. It might well come down to goal difference in week 38. If that’s not an exciting finish, then what is?