MONTEVIDEO - The big Uruguayan derby had
colour and constant loud chanting from two passionate sets of
fans but Nacional and Penarol failed to deliver on the pitch in
a 0-0 draw.
Also at the weekend, Cucuta became the last qualifiers for
the eight-team title play-off in the Colombian Clausura
All eyes were on former Uruguay coach Juan Ramon Carrasco
when he came to his dugout for his first "clasico" as Nacional's
trainer on Sunday.
Long before then, the Centenario stadium had been filled
almost to capacity by a 58,000 crowd that produced an atmosphere
worthy of one of the world's big derbies between two sides who
between them have been crowned South American champions eight
There were fireworks, coloured smoke and ticker tape
welcomes for both teams when they came out.
Banners in the visiting black and yellow Penarol sector of
the stadium read "We forgive you your envy" and "Poor are those
who don't feel it (the passion)".
Nacional, the home side on this occasion at the national
stadium, occupied three quarters of the tribunes with their red,
blue and white colours. One of their banners said: "There is no
loony-bin big enough for such craziness".
Carrasco was unable, though, to celebrate a victory as
Penarol got the 0-0 draw that suited the champions. He remains
unbeaten after four matches with Nacional but dropped his first
"It wasn't nice because there was one team (Nacional) that
always wanted it and another that didn't propose (playing) and
cut (our moves)," he told reporters.
"I think that if your goalkeeper doesn't make any saves,
there's not much else you can read into it."
The result left Penarol in joint second place, two points
behind leaders Defensor Sporting. Nacional are two points
Cucuta won 2-0 away to Real Cartagena on the Caribbean coast
and snatched the eighth and last berth in the Clausura title
Popular big teams America and Millonarios failed to make the
Tolima and Once Caldas finished as joint leaders of the
overall qualifying standings and will each head a four-team
semi-final group, while Independiente Santa Fe, Atletico
Nacional, Quindio, Atletico Huila, Cucuta and La Equidad were
going into Monday's draw to decide which teams join them.
Champions Colo Colo were upset 1-0 at home by
relegation-threatened Santiago Morning, their third match
without a win, and were caught at the top of the standings by
Catolica, who beat Huachipato 2-0 at home, meet third-placed
Universidad de Chile in a key clash next weekend. "La U" beat
San Luis 3-0 with two goals by Uruguayan striker Carlos Bueno
and sealed their relegation.
With three matches to go, Colo Colo y Catolica have 65
points, Universidad de Chile 61 and Audax Italiano 59 after
their 5-2 win over Palestino kept them mathematically in the
hunt for their first title since 1957.
Libertad beat second-placed Cerro Porteno 2-0 with two goals
from striker Manuel Maciel to open a four-point lead with three
matches to go in the Clausura. They have 43, Porteno 39 and
third-placed champions Guarani 34 after an upset 4-0 defeat by
relegation-threatened 3 de Febrero.
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