Round-up of action from South America

October 17, 2005
By Brian Homewood

RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct 17 (Reuters) - The Colombian championship went ahead as usual at the weekend after an attempted strike by the players collapsed.

Olimpia's run of five successive wins in Paraguay came to an end when they could manage only a goalless draw with Sportivo Luquena and Nacional went top in Uruguay after a controversial 1-0 win over Rentistas.

COLOMBIA - The country's first footballers' strike, which had been announced on Thursday, disintegrated after the players at various clubs backed down.

Players at 14 of the 18 first division teams had initially agreed to stop work, but, after the league said that matches would go ahead anyway with youth teams, the number quickly dropped, leading to a domino effect.

'Some teams failed to stand up, so Deportivo Cali's players decided to play as usual,' explained Cali coach Pedro Sarmiento before his team's 1-1 draw with Envigado.

The Players' Associaton had demanded the implementation of formal working contracts for all its members and wanted the clubs to pay health and pension contributions.

They also want a contribution of the money earned from the sale of television rights.

The players at leaders America were the only ones who refused to play at the weekend. The Red Devils instead fielded a youth side and lost 2-1 at Real Cartegena.

Despite the defeat, America stayed top of the Finalizacion championship with 27 points from 14 games. They are two ahead of Pereira, who lost 4-2 at Santa Fe.

PARAGUAY - Olimpia stayed top of the Clausura championship, despite losing their 100 percent record under Carlos Kiese in a goalless draw at Sportivo Luqueno.

Olimpia are one point clear of Nacional and Libertad with Cerro Porteno a further point behind. Olimpia, three-times former South American champions, had not won since April 3 until Kiese took over one month ago.

URUGUAY - Nacional overhauled Rentistas at the top of the Apertura championship by beating them 1-0 with a goal by Rodrigo Sebastian Vasquez.

Rentistas had a late equaliser disallowed when the referee ruled that the ball had not crossed the line before it was cleared by Nacional defender Ignacio Pallas.

Nacional have 16 points from eight games, one more than their arch-rivals Penarol who moved into second place with a 4-1 win over Deportivo Colonia.

CHILE - Cesar Diaz scored a hat-trick as Cobresal beat Cobreloa 3-1 in the so-called 'Mining Derby', despite having Cristian Galvez sent off before halftime.

The win kept Cobresal took of Group Three in the Clausura championship, while Cobreloa prop up the same group.

Colo Colo stayed top of Group Four with a 4-1 win over Rangers.

The Santiago derby between Universidad Catolica and Universidad de Chile, who lead Groups One and Two respectively, was postponed.

PERU - Universitario gave new coach Carlos Compagnucci a winning start as they won 2-1 away to Sport Ancash. Compagnucci replaced his fellow Argentine Jose Basualdo, who resigned earlier this month.

Sporting Cristal's 4-1 win at Cesar Vallejo took them top of the championship's second stage while Alianza Lima, the other one of the big three Lima clubs, dropped to the bottom of the table after losing 1-0 at home to Union Huaral.

ECUADOR - Army club El Nacional stayed top of the Clausura championship despite losing 3-2 at home to local rivals LDU. They are one point ahead of Deportivo Cuenca, who won 3-2 at Aucas.

BOLIVIA - Bolivar remained unbeaten in the Apertura championship after winning 1-0 at Aurora with a second half goal from striker Augusto Andavaris. The Academy lead Group B with 19 points from seven games.

Wilstermann, San Jose and Blooming share the lead in Group A with 13 points. Blooming beat San Jose 3-0 on Sunday night in a game which was interrupted for 25 minutes by a floodlight failure.