There was a bit less competitive action this midweek so this update will be shorter than previous ones, but as always, if you follow this site’s Twitter page (Hispanospherical) then you will already be aware of what the many disparate Venezuelans have been up to, but if not then here follows a summary of the highlights:
The honeymoon period of the masked gladiator Andres Túñez at Thailand’s Buriram United may be under threat as he endured his first ever defeat in a league game, having gone nine league games unbeaten since his arrival – the team itself had not lost in the league since April, making the undefeated streak 19 games overall. League leaders Buriram were defeated in a rather agonising set of circumstances that could well prove to be the pivotal moment of the season as second-placed Chonburi won with an 89th-minute winner from Sutthinan Pukhom to move up to just one point behind their opponents with nine games left to play. Take a look at the highlights – you may notice Túñez looking dejected as he receives a a slight accidental push from an opposition player amidst the goal celebrations.
More positive news on this continent with Venezuela’s other league-leading export as Salomón Rondón has been keeping up his exceptional start to the season by scoring the winner in the 74th minute for Zenit St. Petersburg in a 2-1 victory away to Ural. His goal again came from a low-ball crossed in by the indomitable Hulk, this time from the left. It was a good, solid, right-footed finish, though it is unlikely he would win any Goal of the Match competition as Danny’s opener and especially Gerson Acevedo’s equaliser for Ural were real pearls. Nevertheless, Rondón will certainly have a spring in his step as not only did he start another match in preference to national hero Aleksandr Kerzhakov but he has also now scored 4 goals in 3 league games and his overall tally comes to 5 goals in 5 games if the two Champions League qualifiers are included (and I will do his agent’s job by pointing out that he was a second-half substitute in the one game in which he did not score).
Over in Portugal in the other piece of European news of note, one development regarding the young defender Victor García appears to answer why he was not playing for Porto’s B team last weekend. Rather than an injury, it appears that he, along with 29 other players, has earned a place in Porto’s first-team squad for the season as he was presented with the number 50 shirt in a ceremony. García did not feature in the squad for last night’s 2-0 opening-day victory over Marítimo but if he manages to keep on impressing his Spanish boss Julen Lopetegui then he is certainly in with a shot of making Porto’s final Champions League squad and thus joining Rondón in that competition.
Atlético Nacional kept up their strong recent form and Venezuela’s Alejandro Guerra bears considerable responsibility for that, having arguably scored two goals in a 3-0 Cup victory against Medellin. The first goal came from his shot, which took a strong deflection off defender Andres Mosquera, with some sources crediting it as an own goal for the Medellin man and other Venezuelan publications being more generous towards Guerra. The third and final goal of the game was certainly all Guerra’s though, as a throw-in from the left somehow bobbled past several hesitant defenders and he ran onto it, dinking it over the goalkeeper with aplomb. Also, in cup action was Luis Manuel Seijas, who played the remaining 20 minutes of Santa Fe’s 1-0 victory over Millonarios; his side are comfortably top of their group. Cup football was also being played in Chile as Javier González made a return to the Ñublense line-up for the first time since the opening day of the league season to play all of his side’s 2-1 victory against Curicó Unido. Ñublense are now top of Group 8 with 7 points, 1 ahead of the team they defeated.
Last night, Juan Arango played and was responsible for setting up the first of Dario Benedetto’s double with a refined first-time volleyed-pass as Xolos de Tijuana won their first match in the league 2-1 at home to Jaguares. While this may take some heat off boss César Farías, he certainly generated some of his own in a touchline incident with his opposition number, which looked no more than ‘handbags’ but nevertheless saw both men sent to the stands for the rest of the game.
That concludes the round-up of the last few days of action but if you have any further questions about events discussed or any players that have been neglected, please leave a comment below and you can be sure to get a relatively swift response!