South America Round-up: Solano scores twice

BUENOS AIRES - Nolberto Solano celebrated his return to Peru by scoring twice for Universitario in a 2-1 win at Alianza Atletico on Sunday.

Libertad began their attempt to win a fifth consecutive Paraguayan title by demolishing 3 de Febrero 8-0 and Nacional won the first stage of the Uruguayan championship, which had twice been suspended because of security problems.

PERU

Former Newcastle United, Aston Villa and West Ham midfielder Nolberto Solano gave Universitario a winning start as the 2009 championship kicked off amid controversy over ineligible players.

Jonathan Rodriguez gave Alianza Atletico a 55th minute lead but Solano levelled two minutes later and scored the winner from a penalty in the 64th minute.

Solano also scored on his debut for Universitario last Wednesday, when they lost 2-1 away to Libertad of Paraguay in the Libertadores Cup.

Solano's signing for Universitario was a major coup and raised eyebrows as the club were plagued by financial problems last year.

Defending champions Deportivo San Marin drew 1-1 with Cesar Vallejo, although Peruvian media said they could lose the points for fielding four foreign players when the permitted maximum is three.

However, one match official was quoted as saying that the limit had been increased at the meeting of the clubs last week.

Media reports also said that CNI fielded a suspended player during their 0-0 draw with Sporting Cristal and Cienciano did the same in their 2-1 win over Melgar.

PARAGUAY

Libertad kicked off the defence of their crown in style with an 8-0 win over 3 de Febrero.

Juan Samudio, Peruvian Luis Ramirez and Colombian Vladimir Marin scored twice each while Omar Pouso and Victor Cacaeres shared the other goals.

URUGUAY

Ten-man Nacional won the first stage of the 2008/09 championship, beating Danubio 2-1 in a playoff after the sides had finished level on points.

Sergio Rodriguez gave Danubio a 36th minute lead but Nacional fought back despite having Adrian Romero sent off at the start of the second half.

Alvaro Fernandez turned in Nicolas Lodeiro's pass to equalise on the hour and Santiago Garcia latched onto another Lodeiro pass to score the winner in the 77th minute. Danubio had Ignacio Amarilla sent off in the last minute.

The tournament was suspended for two weeks last November after around 200 fans fought on the pitch following a match between Danubio and Nacional.

It was halted again on the eve of the final round of matches in December because of security fears at Danubio's stadium, where they were due to play Penarol.

The final round of games were eventually played last week.

BOLIVIA

Blooming's Brazilian striker Luis Carlos Vieira scored a hat-trick but his effort was in vain as his team lost 5-3 at home to La Paz FC.

Titleholers Aurora beat Wilstermann 3-0 in a derby between the two teams from Cochabamba while Universitario de Sucre striker Luis Sillero scored but was later sent off for a second bookable offence in the 1-0 win over Bolivar.

CHILE

Union Espanola kept up their 100 percent record in the Apertura championship by winning 3-1 at Cobresal with second-half goals from Braulio Leal, Gustavo Canales and Fernando Cordero. Union have nine points from three games.

Universidad de Chile, playing their first match, came from behind to beat Cobreloa 4-1 while titleholders Colo Colo beat Universidad de Concepcion 2-0.

COLOMBIA

Titleholders America won their second straight game of the season by overcoming troubled Atletico Nacional 2-0 away.

Adrian Ramos and Victor Cortes scored in each half for America while Atletico had Andres Orozco sent off after 34 minutes.

The match was played behind closed doors at the Atanasio Girardot because of crowd trouble on the last day of last season.

ECUADOR

Barcelona remained winless in three matches under former Real Madrid coach Benito Floro after losing 2-1 to Espoli.

Pablo Palacios gave Barcelona the lead from a penalty but Fabio Renato equalised before halftime and Santiago Morales grabbed the winner two minutes into injury-time.

Defending champions Deportivo Quito notched their first win by beating Olmedo 2-1 with a second-half winner from Luis Saritama.