Friday, March 21, 2008

Colo Colo Stuns Boca Juniors in Libertadores Cup

Chile´s top team defeats Argentine counterpart by 2-0

On March 20, Chile´s most popular team, Colo Colo gave an inspired performance and once again beat Boca Juniors, also the most revered team in Argentina during a match of the “Copa Libertadores” , the South American equivalent of the UEFA Champions League. Boca Juniors is last year’s champions of the event and plans to repeat in 2008 but it seems that it will not be so easy after last night’s defeat in the Chilean capital. The local police had described the match as “high risk” due to the rivalry between the two teams that goes back to 1991 when Colo Colo defeated Boca Juniors 3-1 in the semifinal of that year`s edition of the Libertadores . That match is well remembered by fans in both countries since it ended in one of the most brutal brawls in football history. Several Argentine players ended arrested after assaulting the local police, and the Boca Juniors coach suffered serious injuries after being hit with a photographic camera in the face.After defeating Boca, Colo Colo went on to win the Libertadores and became the first Chilean club to do so.
Thursday night’s match began could not have begun better for the local team since Cristobal Jorquera scored after only three minutes with a low long range shot from outside the area. Colo Colo continued attacking and were further rewarded in the 34th minute as Gustavo Bizcayzacu headed in a second goal in the 34th minute.
During the second half Boca attempted to equalize the scoreboard but time and time again their star strikers, Martin Palermo and Juan Riquelme were denied from scoring.
Colo Colo could have further increased the scoreboard in the 73rd minute but Gozalo Fierro missed the penalty that had been awarded. Now, along with Atlas of Mexico, Colo Colo is in first place of Group 3 of the Libertadores, followed by Boca Juniors and Atletico Marcaibo of Venezuela. Colo Colo will have to play the return match next Thursday in Buenos Aires against Boca Juniors, and its coach Claudio Borghi has declared it will try to get a historic victory in the Argentine capital.

Monumental Stadium,Santiago,Chile.
Crowd: 50,000
Referee: Martin Vasquez (Uruguay)
Starting Lineups:
Colo Colo (2) :C.Munoz (gk), L.Mena, J.Carrasco, R.Rojas, G.Fierro, C.Jorquera, A.Sanhueza, G.Bizcayzacu, M,Villarroel,L.Barrios, J.Salcedo,

Boca Juniors (0) : M.Caranta (gk), J.Maidana,J.Caceres,G.Paletta,C.Rodriguez, P.Ledesma, F.Vargas.S.Battaglia, J.R Riquelme, M.Palermo,R.Palacio.

Other results:
Flamengo (Brazil) 2 – Nacional (Uruguay) 0
Libertad (Paraguay) 1 – Fluminenese (Brazil) (2)
Audax (Chile) 1- Atletico Nacional (Colombia) 0

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Roma F.C Stuns Real Madrid in UEFA Champions League

Italian Club reaches quarterfinals of European football tournament

Roma F.C achieved its most important result in history after defeating Real Madrid in its own stadium, and progressing to the quarterfinals of the Champions League, a tournament it has never won. Will this be the year that Roma finally wins it? Like Real Madrid, its squad is full of South American players such as David Pizarro (Chile) , Doni, Juan, Cicinho and Taddei, all from Brazil. The match was played on March 5 at the mythical Santiago Bernabeu Stadium and as well as the before mentioned players also included two Argentines (Gabriel Heinze and Fernando Gago) and three Brazilians (Robinho, Pepe and Julio Baptista). It was Baptista that became the most dangerous player for Real Madrid as he nearly opened up the score board in the 16th minute with a free kick that was well saved by Doni. Two minutes later Alberto Aquilani replied for Roma as his long-range shot struck the right post of the goal defended by Iker Casillas.
After three minutes of the second half Baptista yet again nearly scored from a free kick but this time the ball hit the right top angle of Doni´s goalpost.
Real Madrid’s coach Berndt Schuster tried to reinforce his team’s attack trying to get the goal that would equalize the aggregate score since Roma had won the first match by 2-1. Schuster replaced Mohammed Diarra with Rayston Drenthe and Michel Salgado with Miguel Torres while Mirko Vucinic replaced Mancini in Roma F.C. Only five minutes later Vucinic would be another player that would send the ball crashing against the crossbar and back onto the pitch to be cleared by a Real madrid defender.
The match became even more difficult for Real since in the 70th minute Pepe was sent off after fouling a Roma player.
Roma began to attack and its reward came only two minutes later as Taddei headed in the ball after a cross from the left wing.
Raul raised the hopes of the Real fans as he equalized in the 74th minute. In the 75th minute Chilean midfielder David Pizarro replaced Simone Perrotta and Roma began to have even more ball possession. The final score would increase in the 92nd minute as Vucinic finishes off a Roma counterattack with a good header.

Starting Lineups:

Real Madrid (1) : Iker Casillas (gk),M.Salgado, G.Heinze, F.Gago, Cannavaro, Pepe, M.Diarra, Guti, J.Baptista, Robinho.

Roma F.C. (2) : Doni (gk), Mexes, M.Tonetto, Juan, De Rossi, Cicinho, Taddei, S.Perrotta, A.Aquilani, Totti, Mancini,

Other results: Chelsea 3 - Olimpiakos 0
Porto 1- Schalke 0 (Schalke advances after penalties)

Venezuela Ready for War Against U.S - Colombia Pact

During an interview given in mid 2007, a member of the Venezuelan Central Command, General Alberto Muller, explained part of his country’s defense strategy in case of an invasion by the United States that may be carried out through neighboring Colombia. “The only way we can repel a U.S invasion is by a full scale guerilla war on our home ground. Like in Iraq, we will need to create a citizens army to fight the Yankee invaders,” said Muller. After the recent incursion by the Colombian Army into Ecuadorian territory on March 2, the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez made a gesture of solidarity with Ecuador and closed all border posts with Colombia, sent ten battalions to patrol the area and expelled that country’s ambassador from Caracas, the Venezuelan capital. At present Venezuela’s regular army has a total of 80,000 soldiers, but for the past three years a total of 2 million volunteers have been receiving military instruction in order to prepare for an invasion that is more certain than ever. Like in Iraq, George Bush may try to reach two objectives at the same time: eliminate a hostile political adversary such as Chavez and most important, take control of Venezuela’s rich oil fields to avoid further deterioration of the American economy. After all, Venezuela is not as far away as Iraq and the U.S armed forces have been collaborating with the Colombian army for nearly fifty years. In 1964, the United States Army declared that it had trained and equipped a force of approximately 5,000 Colombian soldiers in order to wipe out a smaller contingent of left wing rebels that had formed an autonomous region in the jungle called “The Republic of Marquetalia”. However this operation failed and the rebels went on to form the “Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)”, that according to the Colombian Army may have up to 30,000 members, and will surely team up with Venezuela in case of a U.S-Colombian invasion.
As follows is a summary of the present state of these two South American Armed Forces that it includes their most advanced weaponry:
1) Colombia: (country population: 38 million)
Due to “Plan Colombia” approved by President Bill Clinton in 1999, this country receives US$7 billion in military aid each year that includes weapons and training in U.S Army bases.
Army: 145,000 soldiers armed mostly with standard issue M -16 rifles and ammunition and have all other U.S weapons available.
Military Police: 105,000 soldiers.
Equipment: An undisclosed number of Blackhawk combat helicopters (capacity of 25 passengers).
27 UH60L multipurpose helicopters.
200 Brazilian EE Cascavel armored cars
Air Force:
20 Israeli Kfir combat jets frequently used to bomb rebel bases in the jungle.
Dozens of Embraer A-27 Tucano light combat aircraft.
Navy :
Submarines: 4
Destroyers : 3
Frigates : 12
Patrol Boats : 12
Supply Ships : 2

2) Venezuela (country population 26 million)
Since Hugo Chavez became President in 1998, Venezuela has spent billions of dollars to renew its military equipment, mostly with Russian assault rifles, fighter jets and helicopters.
Army :
80.000 soldiers.
Civilian reserve force: 2 million.
100,000 Kalashnikov AK-103 and AK-104 assault rifles were bought in 2007 at a cost of US$54 million.
40 Russian MI-17 combat helicopters
Air Force :
50 Russian MIG-29 SMT jet fighters
30 Russian Sukhoi Flanker jet fighters.
Flanker: Max Speed 1320 miles per hour. Maximum Range 1864 miles (3000 kilometers)

15 Brazilian Super Tucano light combat aircraft
6 Spanish C-295 transport aircraft
Early Warning radar systems for Air Space control.
4 Spanish Frigates (2007)
6 Italian Lupo frigates (1979)

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Killing of FARC Leader Causes Colombia-Ecuador Tension

Hugo Chavez Warns of possible war in region

The Colombian Army announced on March 1 that during an attack on a rebel base near the southern border with Ecuador, its forces had killed Raul Reyes, the vice-commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The aerial attack carried out by Air Force jets armed with cluster bombs began approximately half an hour after midnight in a jungle area near the Putumayo River. According to President Alvaro Uribe of Colombia, informants gave the exact coordinates of where Raul Reyes and his escort had camped 1800 meters within Ecuadorian territory.

photo of Raul Reyes dead by

“I take full responsibility for this action and also thank those informants that with the valuable information given have contributed to rid Colombia of bloodthirsty terrorists. We will pay their rewards immediately.” said Uribe during a televised press conference.
After being informed that Reyes was dead, Uribe phoned his Ecuadorian counterpart Rafael Correa that later expressed his indignation with the way the Colombian Army had acted inside his country’s territory. While President Uribe declared that his troops did not violate Ecuadorian territory, President Correa ordered Ecuador’s embassy in Bogota to be closed and that the Ambassador leaves Colombia.
“There was no combat, the FARC guerrillas were massacred as they were sleeping, we found 16 corpses. Colombian army soldiers entered our territory illegally and took away the bodies of Reyes,Julian Conrado and other rebels,” said Correa to TV reporters.

Photo of Julian Conrado by

The President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez also ordered his Ambassador to return from Colombia and increased tension in the area by sending Venezuelan troops to the border with that country and sent a stern warning to Alvaro Uribe.
“Until when will Uribe continue with his madness? All that man wants is to continue with the war. Listen to me Mr. Uribe, if you try to do something like that in Venezuelan territory, you will create a causus bellis, in other words, a cause for war,” said Chavez in a televised press conference.
For the past year Chavez has continuously criticized Uribe whom he describes as “ a pawn of U.S imperialism, that carries out all the orders given to him by George Bush”. After Israel, Colombia is the world’s second highest recipient of U.S military aid with an estimated total of US$7 billion per year. During 2006 and 2007, the Venezuelan government headed by Chavez acquired Russian military equipment that included Mig fighter planes, combat helicopters and thousands of AK-47 assault rifles at a total estimated cost of between US$2 to US$3 billion.
Raul Reyes was an extremely important element for FARC since he was in charge of carrying out all international and peace negotiations. According to the Colombian Army, Reyes may even have been the current leader of the Colombian rebels since there are some unconfirmed rumors that Manuel Marulanda a.k.a “Tirofijo” (The Sureshot in Spanish),the man that founded FARC in 1964 may have died some years ago. Raul Reyes had been a member of FARC for the past thirty years after beginning his political career as a trade union representative while working at the Colombian branch of Nestle, the famous Swiss multinational company. In the past ten years he had become even more important to Marulanda since Reyes had married his daughter. FARC has not yet announced who will be the successor of Raul Reyes, but there are many candidates in its Central Command that is formed by some twenty individuals.