São Paulo pulling away in Brazil and more South America soccer news

(Photo by Lucas Uebel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Lucas Uebel/Getty Images) /

A surprise loss by Flamengo opened the door for São Paulo to pull further ahead in Brazil. Here is that story and more soccer news from South America.

There is a wide disparity in the progress of domestic seasons around South America. Argentina is just two matches into its new season. Chile, right next door, is the furthest along after completing 20 matchdays. Right behind is Brazil, which just wrapped up its 19th matchday this weekend. Peru is the only other country whose soccer league has played more than a dozen matches so far this year.

Keeping that bit of progress in mind, let’s look at a couple of key stories that evolved out of this week’s action throughout South America.

São Paulo up by three points in Campeonato Brasileiro Série A

As Brazil wrapped up the first half of the Série A season, it looked like it was going to remain a tight battle at the top of the table. São Paulo entered the weekend only one point ahead of Flamengo. With both clubs playing weaker opponents, it seemed like the gap would remain one point.

São Paulo did their job, picking off Chapecoense 2-0 on Sunday. The leaders got an early goal from Shaylon, a late strike from Hudson Rodrigues dos Santos, and another clean sheet for goalkeeper Sidão. It was a relatively clinical display against relegation-threatened Chapecoense, for whom the reality of relegation cannot be staved off by the inspiring tale of even getting a roster reassembled in the wake of the team’s 2015 plane crash.

Flamengo, on the other hand, couldn’t hold up their end of the bargain. Playing another relegation-threatened side, Atlético Paranaense, the powerhouse club was favored heavily. Instead, a 12-minute stretch in the second 10 minutes of the match gave Atlético a 3-0 lead they would not relinquish. The loss inexplicably dropped Flamengo from second to third at the midpoint of the season.

Leaping over Flamengo is Internacional, which won their 19th match 1-0 over Paraná. It looked like the match was headed to a nil-nil draw until the 96th minute. Then Fernando Camilo Farias broke the deadlock for Internacional, giving the hosts a late winner in Porto Alegre and allowing them to take advantage of Flamengo’s slip.

Nacional still perfect in Uruguay Primera División action…

Staying perfect in domestic action is never easy for any club, no matter the country or the league in question. Even getting five matches into the season is an admirable effort, as Nacional has pulled off so far in Uruguay.

Leandro Barcia scored the only goal for Nacional at home against Progreso. The 1-0 victory moved the Montevideo powerhouse five points clear on the young campaign. Their 15 points from 15 possible puts them ahead of Peñarol and Progreso, each of whom are tied with 10 points apiece.

Seven different field players have scored so far for Nacional as the team finds key goalpoaching depth. Nacional also benefitted from an own goal along the way. Their 11 total goals through five matches lead the Primera División in Uruguay, and four goals conceded put them among the best defenses in the country.

… and several other clubs are still perfect in Argentina and Colombia

On the other side of the Río de la Plata from Uruguay, the club that currently boasts the top record prior to Tuesday matches is not one of the many metropolitan clubs in Greater Buenos Aires but instead a club from the interior. Rosario Central is unbeaten and unscored upon heading into late August.

Depending on how Monday matches will go over the second matchday, we will see Rosario Central joined by at least one club. Unión and San Martín Tucumán play one another, in the first match for the Tucumán club this year. Boca Juniors also looks poised to remain perfect, as they take on Estudiantes away from La Bombonera.

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In Colombia, as in Uruguay, they have played five matchdays so far this year. And much like in Uruguay, only one club remains unblemished in Colombian soccer. Pending the result of Monday’s match against Envigado, La Equidad has four wins out of their first four matches this season. La Equidad has not given up a single goal en route to its current perfect record.