Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Copa Libertadores: Huracan, River Plate (Uruguay) Advance To Group Stage

The final week of qualifying for Copa Libertadores group-stage berths commenced with two games on Tuesday.

At Caracas, Venezuela:

Diego Mendoza scored the series-winning goal in the opening minute of second-half stoppage time as Huracan of Argentina, despite dropping a 2-1 game-two road decision to Caracas FC, still won their two-game series on away goals (aggregate score 2-2) and advanced to Group Four and will be playing alongside Uruguay's Penarol, Colombia's Atletico Nacional, and Peru's Sporting Cristal.

At Santiago, Chile:

A 0-0 game-two road stalemate with Universidad de Chile was good enough for River Plate as the Uruguayan club took their two-match series 2-0 on aggregate and advanced to Group Two, where they will be joining Club Nacional (Uruguay), Palmeiras (Brazil), and Rosario Central (Argentina).

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

AFC Champions League Qualifying: FC Tokyo, Pohang Steelers, Bunyodkor Advance To Group Stage

Qualifying for AFC Champions League group-stage berths concluded on Tuesday with eight games.

EAST ZONE:

At Pohang, South Korea:

Shim Dong-woon's hat trick (35', 64', 84') provided all the scoring in Pohang Steelers' 3-0 home whitewashing of Hanoi T&T 3-0.  The South Korean club will play in Group H alongside defending champs Guangzhou Evergrande (China), Sydney FC (Australia), and Urawa Red Diamonds (Japan).

At Adelaide, Australia:

Diego Tardeli scored the winning goal in the 39th minute as Shandong Luneng Taishan knocked off Adelaide United 2-1 on the road.  The Chinese club will play in Group F alongside Japan's Sanfrecce Hiroshima, South Korea's FC Seoul, and Thailand's Buriram United.

At Tokyo:

Hiroki Kawano scored twice (73', PK-90'+2) as FC Tokyo leveled visiting Chonburi FC of Thailand 9-0. The club from the Japanese capital will enter Group E and join Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (South Korea), Jiangsu Suning (China), and Becamex Binh Du'o'ng (Vietnam).

At Shanghai, China:

Wu Lei scored twice (45', 88') as Shanghai SIPG dominated visiting Muangthong United of Thailand 3-0.  The Chinese club will play in Group G alongside Australia's Melbourne Victory, Japan's Gamba Osaka, and South Korea's Suwon Samsung Bluewings.



WEST ZONE:

At Tashkent, Uzbekistan:

Eldor Shomurodov scored twice (2', 35') as FC Bunyodor blanked visiting Al-Shabab (United Arab Emirates) 2-0. Al-Nassr (Saudi Arabia), Zob Ahan (Iran), and Lekhwiya (Qatar) will play alongside the Uzbekistani club in Group B.

At Tehran, Iran:

Abderrazak Hamdallah (63') and Romarinho (90'+3) delivered the goals as El Jaish (Qatar) 2-0 blanked Naft Tehran 2-0 on the road.  The Qatari club will be joined in Group D by Al-Ain (UAE), Nasaf Qarshi (Uzbekistan), and Al-Ahli (Saudi Arabia).

At Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates:

After a 2-2 draw after regulation, which was followed by 30 minutes of scoreless overtime, Ali Mabkhout, Fares Juma, Sultan Saeed, Park Jong-woo, and Abdullah Mousa all converted their spot kicks as Al-Jazira won a seven-round penalty-kick shootout against visiting Al-Sadd (Qatar) 5-4.  The club from the Emirates will join Group C, playing alongside Pakhtakor (Uzbekistan), Al-Hilal (Saudi Arabia), and Tractor Sazi (Iran).

At Jeddah, Saudi Arabia:

Mukhtar Fallatah's successful penalty kick in the 45th minute lifted Al-Ittihad to a 2-1 home victory over Al Wehdat (Jordan) and a place joining Iran's Sepahan, UAE's Al-Nasr, and Uzbekistan's Lokomotiv Tashkent in Group A.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Copa Libertadores Qualifying: Series-Opening Wins For Independiente del Valle, Independiente Santa Fe

The opening week of the preliminary round to determine who will play in the group stage of the Copa Libertadores concluded on Thursday with two games.

At Sangolqui, Ecuador:

Luis Caicedo Medina scored the only goal of the match in the 28th minute as Independiente del Valle took game one of their series with Paraguay's Club Guarani 1-0.  The series will conclude next Thursday at Asuncion, Paraguay.  The winner of this series will join Group Five alongside Brazil's Atletico Mineiro, Chile's Colo-Colo, and Peru's FBC Melgar.

At Santa Cruz, Bolivia:

Carlos Ibarguen scored twice (23', 41') as Independiente Santa Fe currently defeated Oriente Petrolero 3-1 on the road in the opening contest of their two-game series.  The series will conclude on Thursday next at Bogota, Colombia.  The winner will play in Group Eight alongside Corinthians (Brazil), Cerro Porteno (Paraguay), and Cobresal (Chile).

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Copa Libertadores Qualifying: Two-Draw Wednesday

Two games were played on Wednesday as the opening week of qualification for Copa Libertadores group-stage berths continued.

At Puebla, Mexico:

Gustavo Bou (13') and Ricardo Noir (73') each scored a goal as Racing Club de Avellaneda overcame a pair of one-goal deficits and gained a series-opening 2-2 road draw with Puebla.  Matias Alustiza (2', PK-53') provided both goals for the hosts.  Next Wednesday the series will conclude at Avellaneda, Argentina, with the winner advancing to Group Three, joining Argentina's Boca Juniors, Bolivia's Club Bolivar, and Colombia's Deportivo Cali.

At  Trujillo, Peru:

Jonathan Calleri's goal in the 65th minute lifted Sao Paolo to a 1-1 road draw with Universidad Cesar Vallejo.  Alejandro Hohberg tallied for the hosts in the 19th minute.  Next Wednesday, the series will come to a climax at Sao Paolo, Brazil, with the series winner advancing to Group One, joining defending champs River Plate (Argentina), The Strongest (Bolivia), and Trujillanos FC (Venezuela).

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Copa Libertadores Preliminary Round: River Plate (The One In Uruguay) and Huracan Take Series Openers

Two games were played on Tuesday as the qualifying round for Copa Libertadores group-stage berths commenced.

At Buenos Aires:

Mariano Gonzalez scored the lone goal of the match in the 75th minute as Huracan defeated visiting Caracas FC 1-0 in the opening contest of a two-game series.  The winner of this series, which will conclude next Tuesday at Caracas, Venezuela, will advance to the group stage and will play in Group Four, alongside Penarol (Uruguay), Atletico Nacional (Colombia), and Sporting Cristal (Peru).

At Maldonado, Uruguay:

Michael Santos (PK-62') and Jhonny Herrera (OG-72') provided the scoring in River Plate's 2-0 series-opening home blanking of Universidad de Chile.  The series concludes next Tuesday at Santiago Chile.  Whoever wins this series will play in Group Two, alongside Uruguay's Club Nacional, Brazil's Palmeiras, and Argentina's Rosario Central.

AFC Champions League Qualifying: Hanoi T&T, Chonburi, Shandong Luneng, Muangthong United Advance

The second preliminary round from the East Zone for AFC Champions League group-stage berths took place on Tuesday with four games.

At Jinan, China:

Yang Xu scored twice (55', 69') as Shandong Luneng destroyed visiting Mohun Bagan (India) 6-0.  The Chinese club will travel to Australia for a contest next Tuesday against Adelaide United.  The winner will advance to the group stage and will compete in Group F alongside Sanfrecce Hiroshima (Japan), FC Seoul (South Korea), and Buriram United (Thailand).

At Hanoi, Vietnam:

Gonzalo Damian Marronkle scored the only goal of the match in the 61st minute as Hanoi T&T defeated visiting Kitchee SC of Hong Kong 1-0.  The Vietnamese club will travel to South Korea for a one-game playoff next Tuesday against Pohang Steelers.  The winner will compete in Group H alongside defending champions Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao (China), Sydney FC (Australia), and Urawa Red Diamonds (Japan)

At Chonburi, Thailand:

After a 2-2 deadlock following regulation, Korekrit Thaweekarn scored the winning goal in overtime (105'+1) as Chonburi defeated visiting Yangon United of Burma (Myanmar) 3-2.  Next Tuesday, FC Tokyo will play host to the club from Thailand for the right to compete in Group E alongside Jeonbuk Hyundia Motors (South Korea), Jiangsu Suning (China), and Becamex Binh Du'o'ng (Vietnam).

At Nonthaburi, Thailand:

After 180 scoreless minutes, Cleiton Silva, Peerapat Notchaiya, and Sarach Yooyen all converted their spot kicks as Muangthong United took the penalty-kick 3-0 at Malaysia's Johor Dural Ta'Zim's expense.  For the club from Thailand, it's a trip to China for next Tuesday's playoff against Shanghai SIPG.  The winner will advance to Group G and will be joined in that group by Australia's Melbourne Victory, Japan's Gamba Osaka, and South Korea's Suwon Samsung Bluewings.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

AFC Champions League Qualifying: Mohun Bagan Advances To Second Preliminary Round

At Kolkata (Calcutta), India:

Cornell Glen scored what proved to be the winning goal in the 42nd minute this past Wednesday as Mohun Bagan took out visiting Tampines Rovers from Singapore 3-1 to win their East Zone one-game preliminary playoff as qualifying for AFC Champions League group-stage berths commenced.

Next up for the Indian club, a trip to Jinan, China, and a one-game second preliminary-round playoff this coming Tuesday with Shandong Luneng Taishan.  The winner will next battle Adelaide United in Australia the following Tuesday with the winner to the group stage, with the right to compete with Sanfrecce Hiroshima (Japan), FC Seoul (South Korea), and Buriram United (Thailand) in Group F, with play starting on February 23.

OFC Champions League: Vailima Kiwi Advance To Group Stage

Two games were contested at CIFA Academy Field in Matavera, Cook Islands on Saturday as the preliminary round for an available OFC Champions League group-stage berth concluded.

In the opener, Campbell Best (44', 57', 59') and Josh Karika (74', 88', 90'+5) each produced a hat trick as Tupapa Maraerenga destroyed Utulei Youth 9-1 to keep their flickering hopes of advancing to the group stage alive-----for the time being.

In the nightcap, Jamie Mason (25' , 68', 90'+4) and Sam Blackburn (31', 64', 90') each delivered a hat trick as Vailima Kiwi clinched the preliminary group and advanced to the group stage with a 7-1 annihilation of Veitongo FC.

Final Preliminary Group Standings:

1. Vailima Kiwi (GP: 3; GD: +11; PTS: 9)
2. Tupapa Maraerenga (GP: 3; GD: +14; PTS: 6)
3. Utulei Youth (GP: 3; GD: -11; PTS: 3)
4. Veitongo FC (GP: 3; GD: -14; PTS: 0)

Vailima Kiwi, by winning the Preliminary Group, advanced to the OFC Champions League's group stage and will compete in Group C alongside Nadi FC of Fiji, AS Magenta from New Caledonia, and French Polynesia's-----actually Tahiti's----AS Tefana.

Friday, January 29, 2016

OFC Champions League Qualifying: Kiwi On Cusp Of Advancing To Group Stage

The preliminary round for OFC Champions League group-stage qualifying continued on Thursday with two games, both played at CIFA Academy Field in Matavera, Cook Islands.

In the opener, Kaleopa Siligi scored the winning goal in the 84th minute as Utulei Youth kept their slim hopes of winning the Preliminary Group with a 3-2 win over Veitonga, eliminating the Tongan club from contention.

In the nightcap, Tomas Mosquera scored the winning goal in the 65th minute to carry Vailima Kiwi FC to a 2-1 victory over Tupapa Maraerenga.  The club from Samoa can lock up a group-stage berth with a Saturday draw against eliminated Veitonga.

Preliminary Group Standings:

1.    Vailima Kiwi FC (GP: 2; GD: +5; PTS: 6)
2.    Tupapa Maraerenga (GP: 2; GD: +6; PTS: 3)
3.    Utulei Youth (GP: 2; GD: -3; PTS: 6)
4. z-Veitonga FC (GP: 2; GD: -8; PTS: 0)

z-Eliminated