Five-goal Caracas claim Venezuela title

BUENOS AIRES - Caracas FC won the Venezuelan championship for a record 10th time after thrashing Deportivo Italia 5-0 in the second leg of the final on Sunday

In Colombia, Cucuta coach Jorge Luis Pinto was forced to watch his team from the offices of a sports institute as he began an unprecedented 10-match stadium ban after being sent off a week earlier.

VENEZUELA

Caracas FC won the 2008/09 championship in emphatic style, demolishing local rivals Deportivo Italia 5-0 to win the two-leg final 6-1 on aggregate.

The club, which only turned professional in 1984, has won 10 Venezuelan titles, including six in the last nine seasons. It was their fifth under Noel Sanvicente, one of the longest-serving coaches in South America.

Franklin Lucena and Rafael Castellin scored in a four-minute spell early in the game to put Caracas on their way and Alejandro Guerra added a third in the 26th minute with the help of a mistake by Italia goalkeeper Alan Liebeskind.

Jose Manuel Rey missed a penalty for Caracas early in the second half but Zamir Valoyes scored shortly afterwards and Rey then atoned by scoring the fifth in the 77th minute.

COLOMBIA

Cucuta were held 1-1 at home by Atletico Junior as coach Jorge Luis Pinto began his unprecedented stadium ban by watching the game from a nearby sports institute.

Pinto watched the game on television, although the signal went down during the first half adding to his frustration.

According to Colombian media, Pinto gave his pre-match team talk to his players with the help a closed circuit television system which was set up in their dressing-room. A camera filmed him and relayed the pictures to the players.

The coach, banned for insulting and threatening the fourth official after being sent off last week, again criticised the referee, saying Cucuta were turned down a penalty and that Atletico Junior's goal should have been disallowed for a foul.

The result took Cucuta top of semi-final Group B in the Apertura championship with five points from three games, ahead of Envigado on goal difference.

Sixteen-year-old goalkeeper Johan Wallens made an outstanding debut for Deportivo Cali as he helped them to a goalless draw at Envigado.

Deportes Tolima, 3-1 winners over Once Caldas, lead Group A.

PARAGUAY

Libertad's chances of winning a fifth successive title took a severe knock as they where thrashed 4-0 at Guarani in front of only 624 supporters.

Federico Santander gave Guarani a halftime lead, Miguel Paniagua added two more in the second half and Jonathan Fabbro completed the rout.

With five games remaining, Libertad dropped four points behind leaders Cerro Porteno in the Apertura championship.

Cerro won 1-0 at first division newcomers Rubio Nu despite a straight red card for Miguel Torren in the 16th minute. Celso Ortiz scored the winner with a 25-metre shot just before halftime.