This week was one of the most exhilerating weeks of football in recent memory. We had key Uruguayan performances in the Champions League, the Copa Libertadores, and the Europa League. Enjoy La Celeste Blog’s Top 5 Uruguayan Highlights of the week.
#5. 2012/13 UEFA Champions League- Uruguayans in action
i) Fernando Muslera: started in the first leg between Turkey’s Galatasaray and Germany’s Schalke 04. The final result was a 1-1 drawl.
ii) Diego Lugano: El Capi was on the bench during Malaga’s 0-1 loss vs. Porto in Portugal. The good news is that he has been regularly starting for Malaga in La Liga and reportedly playing very well.
#4. Luis Suarez was heroic, but Liverpool still could not eliminate Zenit St. Petersburg
Luis Suarez yet again proved that he’s a big game player. His performance was nothing short of magnificent as he netted 2 fantastic free kicks which nearly qualified Liverpool to the Quarter Finals of the Europa League. His second goal was one of the best free kicks I have ever seen. Liverpool needed to score 4 goals, but unfortunately fell just short as the game ended 3-3. Unfortunately they fell short (drawing 3-3) and were eliminated by Zenit’s away goal. More than the result, what really stood out was Suarez’s emotionally charged attempt to drag Liverpool to victory. It was really one of the best games I have seen in a long time, and Lucho put on a performance for the ages.
#3. Peñarol defeats Emelec in a controversial affair
Peñarol are on fire at the moment. They won again in the Copa Libertadores vs. Emelec of Ecuador. There was a bit of controversy after the match, as the Ecuadorians claimed that they were food poisoned before the game. Oddly, nothing has been said of this issue since. Peñarol and the hotel aggressively denied the claim made by the Ecuadorians and this odd claim seems to have been abandoned. Despite not playing a good game, Peñarol were comfortable winners. Here is the current table:
#2. Nacional introduces Toluca to the Garra Charrua
Nacional’s victory was the stuff of legends. They defeated Toluca (a notably wealthy side that just defeated Boca Jrs in the Bombonera) 3-2 in the altitude of the Nemesio Díez Riega stadium. The entire team’s performance was heroic, but one can’t forget the contribution made by the always reliable Vicente Sanchez, who scored the two tying goals. It was very satisfying hearing the Mexican announcers, who could not hide their usual contempt for Uruguayan football, humbly accept defeat vs. one of the historical giants of South America. Nacional are currently in first place:
#1. Uruguayan League- The battle for the Clausura title begins.
Peñarol legend, Antonio Pacheco, made his long awaited and emotional return from injury on Saturday vs. Fenix. Unfortunately for the Carboneros, Peñarol faced up with Fenix’s motivated goal keeper and had to settle for a 1-1 draw despite dominating the game.
Nacional, on the other hand, were semi-surprisingly defeated by an always competitive Defensor Sporting side. U20 star Diego Laxalt scored a stunning goal that saw him chip the ball over the keeper before calmly heading it in for the winning goal. It’s difficult to tell if both teams were simply tired after their Copa Libertadores campaigns, but I believe that this undermines how competitive the Uruguayan league has become.
- Peñarol tied Fenix 1-1
- Racing defeated Bella Vista 1-0
- Progreso defeated Cerro 2-1
- River Plate defeated Juventud de las Piedras 4-0
- Danubio defeated Liverool 1-0
- Defensor Sporting defeated Nacional 1-0
2013 Clausura Table:
1. Racing – 3
2. Progreso- 3
3. Danubio- 3
4. Defensor Sp. – 3
5. Peñarol- 1
6. Fenix- 1
7. Liverpool- 0
8. Juventud de las Piedras- 0
9. Cerro- 0
10. Bella Vista- 0
11. Nacional- 0
12. Bella Vista- 0