S.America Roundup: Suarez quits Atletico Nacional

BUENOS AIRES - Former Ecuador coach Luis Fernandez Suarez quit Atletico Nacional after they lost again in the Colombian championship on Sunday while club president Victor Marulanda offered to stand down.

Alianza Lima scored twice in the last five minutes to beat Sporting Cristal 2-1 in a Peruvian derby which featured 10 minutes of stoppage time after play was halted following a brawl between members of the two benches.


Former South American champions Atletico Nacional, one of Colombia's most popular clubs, remained rooted to the bottom of the Apertura championship after losing 2-1 at home to Deportivo Cali.

Coach Suarez, who led Ecuador to the last 16 at the 2006 World Cup, quit after the match and lashed out at his team.

"There's one player in this group who I would stand up for but I would get rid of the rest," Suarez told reporters after his team finished with nine men.

"The club deserves respect and ... out of dignity we (Suarez and his staff) have offered our resignations to the president."

Marulanda said he also intended to leave.

"I'm a failure," said the president. "I don't have a team which convinces anyone. I will speak to the directors about continuing."

Atletico, who have seven points from 12 games, have won once since Suarez took over in January.

Sergio Herrera gave Cali the lead in the 28th minute and Atletico had Jairo Palomino and Jose Amaya dismissed either side of halftime, the latter two minutes after coming on as a substitute.

Humberto Mendoza levelled with an 82nd-minute penalty after a handling offence by Jamell Ramos, who was also sent off.

However, Pablo Battalla snatched the winner for Cali three minutes from time.

Deportes Tolima, who nearly pulled out of the championship because of financial trouble at the start of the year, beat Santa Fe 2-0 to stay top.

Santa Fe, whose coach Hernan Dario Gomez quit last Sunday before changing his mind, are 11th.


Alianza Lima pulled off a dramatic win over Sporting Cristal which left losing coach Juan Carlos Oblitas fuming over the referee.

Cristal took an 11th-minute lead through Renzo Sheput and were cruising until Wilmer Aguirre and Juan Gonzalez Vigil replied in the 85th and 86th minutes.

A brawl then erupted on the touchline. Ten minutes of stoppage time was added on at the end for the fighting, injuries and time wasting.

Peruvian media said Alianza's team doctor went to pick up the ball and was punched by a Cristal player, leading to a melee in which players and officials punched and insulted each other.

No action was taken by referee Victor Hugo Rivera.

Former World Cup forward Oblitas said Alianza defender Leandro Fleitas should have been sent off before halftime for hacking down Junior Aliberti.

"That was a red card, here or in China, but Victor Hugo has one style of refereeing for the (Libertadores) Cup and another for here," said the Cristal coach.