By DAVID MOSSE
Velez Sarsfield took care of business on Sunday with a 2-0 win over Atletico Huracan, then watched on television as Lanus fell to Argentinos Juniors, handing the Clausura title to Ricardo Gareca's side with one round remaining. Velez was the best team throughout the competition and likely would have secured the trophy sooner had it not been pre-occupied with the Libertadores.
Santiago Silva and David Ramirez supplied the goals, as El Fortin overcame the sending off of defender Sebastian Dominguez in the second half. Ricky Alvarez put forth another strong performance and goes down as the revelation of the season alongside Hector Canteros and Fernando Tobio for a Velez side that played attacking soccer every step of the way under Gareca.
It is the eighth domestic triumph for the club and second under Gareca, who also guided El Fortin to the Clausura title back in 2009. The latest victory was made all the more impressive by all the injuries Velez encountered with the likes of Silva, Juan Manuel Martinez, Victor Zapata and Enano Moralez all missing crucial games, while Mexian Guillermo Franco was a virtual a non factor.
The defeat represents a major blow for Huracan, which is still hoping to avoid the drop, and needs a result next weekend against Independiente. Striker Javier Campora was quiet on Sunday and must put forth a better effort for El Globo in this critical encounter, while Velez will be busy celebrating in the home match against Racing, and looking to finish off the campaign in style.
Here's a rundown of all the weekend scores from South America's top leagues:
The suffering continues for River Plate which extended its winless streak to six games with a 1-1 draw against Estudiantes, and remains unsure of its survival heading into the last round. Manager Juan Jose Lopez fielded another ultra-defensive lineup and Los Millonarios actually took the lead early in the second half through Paulo Ferrari, but Matias Sarulyte equalized just minutes later.
Boca Juniors, meanwhile, is still hoping to secure a Copa Sudamericana spot, but Los Xeneizes were held to a 1-1 draw by Atletico Banfield on Sunday. La Bombonera was packed for Martin Palermo's final home game, and Nicolas Colazo gave Boca the lead early in the second half. Unfortunately, a mistake by goalkeeper Cristian Lucchetti allowed Ferreyra to equalize.
Olimpo 1, Newell's Old Boys 1
Atletico Colon 0, Arsenal Sarandi 1
San Lorenzo 0, Quilmes 2
CA All Boys 1, Gimnasia (La Plata) 0
Tigre 0, Independiente 0
Lanus 0, Argentinos Juniors 1
Sao Paulo continues to roll, as Paulo Cesar Carpegiani's side made it four wins in as many games with a 3-1 victory over Gremio on Saturday to remain in sole possession of first place. Casemiro, Marlos and Jean supplied the goals, while 18-year-old Lucas put forth another sensational performance, further enhancing his reputation as one of the star attractions in Brazilian soccer.
Corinthians is just two points behind Sao Paulo in second place after knocking off Fluminense 2-0 on Sunday, spoiling the long-awaited debut of manager Abel Braga with the Carioca club. Willian scored both goals and is proving to be a revelation this year, while the Corinthians' back-line completely shut down Fred. Deco limed off late in the first half with an apparent thigh injury.
Cruzeiro 1, Santos 1
Avai 2, America Minais Gerais 2
Vasco 1, Figueirense 1
Bahia 1, Atletico Mineiro 1
Internacional 2, Palmeiras 2
Atletico Goianense 4, Ceara 1
Atletico Paranaense 1, Flamengo 1
Botafogo 3, Coritiba 1
Nacional is the top team in Uruguay after overcoming Defensor Sporting 1-0 on Sunday in the annual clash between the Apertura and Clausura winners. Tabare Viudez scored the only goal of the match with a lovely free kick and Sporting finished with 10 men, as Adrian Luna was sent off. Argentinian playmaker Marcelo Gallardo came on in the second half to close out his long career.
Juan Gilberto Nunez and Edwin Rivas found the back of the net, as La Equidad came from behind to knock off Atletico Nacional 2-1 on Sunday in the first leg of the Colombian Apertura final. Carlos Renteria had given the visitors the lead early in the first half, but Los Aseguradores were the better team and deserved victory. The drama shifts to Medellin for the second leg next Saturday.
What did you think of this week's results? Impressed by the Huracan-Velez Sarsfield match? Think Sao Paulo can continue its impressive form?