Solano tastes Peruvian title success

BUENOS AIRES - Former Newcastle United and Aston Villa midfielder Nolberto Solano led Universitario to victory in the Peruvian league championship at the weekend.

Nacional were crowned champions of Paraguay's Clausura and Deportivo Tachira won Venezuela's Apertura.


Solano scored the only goal as Universitario beat arch-rivals Alianza Lima 1-0 in the second leg of the league championship for a 2-0 aggregate victory.

Solano converted a 10th-minute penalty at Lima's Monumental stadium after the "U"'s Mexican midfielder Rodolfo Espinoza had been brought down.

Alianza were left a man short near the end when, with all their substitutes used, Argentine defender Leandro Fleitas was injured in a collision with Universitario's Carlos Galvan.


Nacional lifted their seventh league title and first since 1963 after a 0-0 draw at home against Olimpia, Paraguay's most successful club, on Sunday.

Libertad, who were neck and neck with Nacional going into the final day of the Clausura championship, lost 1-0 away to Tacuary to finish a point behind the champions.

Nacional and Libertad, maximum points winners over the years' two championships, join Apertura winners Cerro Porteno in the 2010 Libertadores Cup.


Deportivo Tachira took advantage of defeats for last season's champions Caracas FC and Deportivo Italia to leapfrog into top place and lift the 2009/10 Apertura crown.

Tachira, leaders by one point over Caracas going into the final day, beat Centro Italo 1-0 with a first-half goal from Javier Villafraz.

Caracas went down 2-0 at Anzoategui and Deportivo Italia were upset 1-0 at home by Deportivo Lara, who finished fourth.

Venezuela defender Jose Manuel Rey is returning to Caracas FC after a six-month loan spell at Colo Colo, whom he helped win the Chilean Clausura title, local media reported.

Monagas forward Heatklif Castillo finished as the tournament's top scorer with 12 goals.


Atletico Huila qualified to meet Independiente Medellin in the final of the Clausura championship by finishing top of Group B when they beat Santa Fe 4-1 with two goals by striker Ivan Velasquez.

Huila took 11 points from their six matches in the group. Atletico Nacional, who beat Deportes Tolima 4-3 with a hat-trick by Giovanni Moreno, finished second a point behind.

Medellin, the only unbeaten team of the eight involved in the group phase, finished five points clear in Group A after a 2-2 draw with Deportivo Pereira.


Real Potosi won a preliminary-round berth in next year's Libertadores Cup when they came from 3-1 down to beat Bolivar 4-3 and win a playoff tournament.

Bolivar, as Apertura champions, and Blooming, as Clausura title winners, had already qualified for the group stage of South America's senior club competition. Bolivar have been drawn in the same group as holders Estudiantes of Argentina.


Nacional celebrated the Apertura title they clinched in mid-week with a game to spare by crushing Cerrito 5-2 with two goals from 20-year-old Uruguay midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro.