By Rex Gowar
BUENOS AIRES(Reuters) – Captain Fernando Cavenaghi scored twice as River Plate crushed Quilmes 5-0 to win their 35th Argentine league title at a delirious Monumental on Sunday.
River won the Final championship, the second of two in the season, with a five-point margin over Boca Juniors, Estudiantes and Godoy Cruz in joint second place. San Lorenzo won the season’s first title, the Inicial.
BUENOS AIRES, May 15 (Reuters) – Bolivar reached the Libertadores Cup semi-finals for the first time since 1986 with a 1-0 win over Lanus in La Paz on Thursday, setting up a last four encounter against favourites San Lorenzo with a 2-1 aggregate victory.
Uruguay’s Defensor Sporting also qualified, beating 1989 champions Atletico Nacional of Colombia 1-0 in Montevideo in the second leg of their quarter-final for a 3-0 aggregate victory and a semi-final berth against Paraguay’s Nacional.
BUENOS AIRES, May 15 (Reuters) – Argentina’s San Lorenzo drew 1-1 at Cruzeiro in the second leg of their Libertadores Cup quarter-final on Wednesday to win 2-1 on aggregate and leave Brazil without a team in the last four.
The Argentine side, down to 10 men for the last 13 minutes, struck through midfielder Ignacio Piatti before conceding a 71st minute equaliser at the Mineirao in Belo Horizonte.
BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Central defender Martin Demichelis, a Premier League winner with Manchester City in his first season in England, earned a surprise call-up on Tuesday to Argentina’s provisional 30-man World Cup squad.
However, there was no last-minute surprise place for Juventus striker Carlos Tevez, who has never been in coach Alejandro Sabella’s plans despite his fine form in Serie A. Demichelis, a veteran of the 2010 finals, had not been called up by Sabella since being dropped after a 1-1 draw at home to Bolivia in a South American qualifier in November 2011. The 33-year-old, who has 37 caps, put behind him a poor Champions League last-16 performance against Barcelona in February, when he conceded a penalty and was sent off, to secure his place in the centre of the City defence in the title run-in. Sabella, whose team have often looked unbalanced with a brilliant attack and ordinary rearguard, has noted Demichelis’s recent form as he looks to improve his defence for Argentina’s tilt at a third World Cup triumph in Brazil. Another surprise call-up is Catania midfielder Fabian Rinaudo, who won one of his four caps under Sabella in 2011, and is regarded as cover in case regular midfielders Fernando Gago or Augusto Fernandez fail to recover from injury in time to be included in the definitive squad on June 2. Right back Gabriel Mercado has earned a chance thanks to his performances for River Plate, who can lift the Argentine league title this weekend. Sabella named Gago of Boca Juniors, Fernandez of Celta Vigo and Real Madrid’s Angel Di Maria who all hope to be fit in time for the tournament in Brazil starting on June 12 in which Argentina face Iran, Bosnia and Nigeria in Group F. Di Maria is fighting to be fit for Real’s Champions League final against Atletico Madrid on May 24.
BUENOS AIRES, May 13 (Reuters) – Central defender Martin Demichelis, a Premier League winner with Manchester City in his first season in England, earned a surprise call-up on Tuesday to Argentina’s provisional 30-man World Cup squad.
However, there was no last-minute surprise place for Juventus striker Carlos Tevez, who has never been in coach Alejandro Sabella’s plans despite his fine form in Serie A.
BUENOS AIRES, May 12 (Reuters) – Despite the drizzle and slippery pitch at the Diego Armando Maradona ground, it was a perfect Sunday for River Plate who beat Argentinos Juniors 2-0 to take a two-point lead with one match to go in the Argentine Final championship on Sunday.
It was only River’s second away win of the year after the ‘superclasico’ victory over Boca Juniors eight weeks ago but it took full advantage of Gimnasia’s 2-0 defeat at Quilmes after they had started the day equal-top with River.
BUENOS AIRES, May 9 (Reuters) – Argentina World Cup veterans Juan Sebastian Veron and Gabriel Heinze will make their last league appearances in front of home fans on Sunday (2000 GMT) before retiring.
It could also be a last La Bombonera match for Boca Juniors idol Juan Roman Riquelme, who helped Argentina reach the World Cup quarter-finals in Germany in 2006, against Lanus on Sunday (2115).
BUENOS AIRES, April 29 (Reuters) – Favourites Velez Sarsfield were dumped out of the Libertadores Cup by unfancied Nacional of Paraguay, who withstood a ferocious late barrage to reach the last eight for the first time on Tuesday.
In a match full of high drama and controversial incidents, a 2-2 draw at Velez’s El Fortin (fortress) sent Nacional into the quarter-finals with a 3-2 aggregate victory following their 1-0 win in the first leg in Asuncion last week.
BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – The parallels between Alejandro Sabella and the man he hopes to emulate, 1986 World Cup-winning coach Carlos Bilardo, are enough to convince some fans that the time is ripe for Argentina’s third World Cup success.
The link is Estudiantes, the small club from La Plata who have won the South American Libertadores Cup four times, three with Bilardo as playmaker in the late 1960s and once with Sabella as their coach in 2009.
BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Lionel Messi has won every major global title bar the World Cup and Argentina are hoping he will be able to tick that last remaining box with a side considered among the favorites for the title in their biggest rival’s backyard.
If the “Fantastic Quartet” of Messi, Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria are on song, Argentina can emerge victorious in Brazil to claim a third World Cup victory.