South American soccer roundup
Posted: Thursday November 4, 2004 12:03PM; Updated: Thursday November 4, 2004 12:03PM
RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) -- Coach Luis Reyna slammed "inhumane" conditions after Universitario faced freezing conditions and a hailstorm in their Peruvian championship match away to Deportivo Wanka at 4,300 meters above sea level.
Nacional kicked off the second stage of the Uruguayan championship by hammering Rentistas 6-1 in their midweek match while Chinese striker Wang Yang scored twice in Plaza Colonia's 3-3 draw with Fenix.
Deportivo Wanka's decision to stage their home matches in the mining town of Cerro de Pasco, almost certainly the world's highest venue for professional football, caused further controversy after they held Universitario 2-2 on Wednesday.
"We could have won but it's inhumane to play in Pasco," fumed visiting coach Reyna after his team faced hail, rain and near-freezing temperatures as well as the suffocating altitude.
Goalkeeper Juan Flores added: "Tell (Peruvian Football Federation) president Manuel Burga and the federation to come and play in Pasco."
Wanka are based in the Andean city of Huancayo, which is at around 2,300 metres above sea level and around 200 km away, but have temporarily moved their base to Pasco in a bid to escape relegation.
The Peruvian league says the move is allowed in the rules, which permit teams to use alternative venues.
Uruguayan striker Ernesto Zapata headed Wanka in front before Juan Vargas, from a penalty, and Piero Alva gave Universitario a 2-1 halftime lead. Pablo Medina equalised for Wanka in early in the second half.
Universitario dropped to third place and stayed 10 points behind leaders Sporting Cristal in the championship's second stage.
Cristal were held 2-2 at Sport Boys while Union Huaral's 2-0 win over Deportivo San Martin lifted them to second.
Wang Yang, one of two Chinese players to join provincial club Plaza Colonia in September, scored twice in three minutes as they drew 3-3 with Fenix.
Plaza led 3-0 at halftime, Nelson Techera scoring their other goal, but Fenix grabbed a point with three goals in the last 10 minutes.
Nacional, who won the first stage of the championship last week, kicked off the second by thumping Rentistas 6-1.
Sebastian Abreu, Gonzalo Castro, Martin Liguera, Alexander Medina and Sebastian Eguren shared the goals with Fernando Savio putting through his own net.
Rentistas goalkeeper Nestor Conde made at least four excellent saves, including one from an Abreu penalty. Medina's goal took his tally in the championship to 25.
Penarol, the other half of the Big Two, needed a controversial injury-time goal from Uruguay international Cristian Rodriguez to beat Cerrito 2-1.
Furious Cerrito players claimed the referee had added on too much stoppage time before the player nicknamed the Onion headed the winner.
Cobreloa announced that they were sacking coach Fernando Diaz after their 3-2 home defeat by Universidad de Concepcion in which defender Luis Fuentes was sent off.
Colo Colo raced to a 3-0 lead in 50 minutes away to Palestino and then had to cling on to win 3-2 after goalkeeper Claudio Bravo was sent off.
Provincial club Deportivo Cuenca are the surprise leaders of the final stage of the championship after beating Aucas 2-1.
They overtook defending champions Liga de Quito, who were involved in a Copa Sudamericana tie against Brazil's Santos.
Barcelona stayed in touch, three points behind Cuenca, with a 3-1 win over Olmedo with two goals from Argentine-born striker Ariel Graziani and one from Brazilian Rodrigo Teixeira.
Cerro Porteno won their game in hand to go top of the Clausura championship, one point ahead of previous leaders Libertad.
First-half goals from Jorge Achucarro and Julio dos Santos gave them a 2-0 win over Tacuary.
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