South America: Brawl adds to Peru chaos
RIO DE JANEIRO, March 19 (Reuters) - Peru's championship descended into farce at the weekend as one match ended in a huge brawl while Sport Ancash's game was called off after a tribunal ruled they should have been relegated last year.
Universidad de Chile's match at O'Higgins was called off after a plague of termites attacked the stands at the stadium in Rancagua.
PERU - Melgar came from behind to beat Cienciano 3-2 away with a controversial last-minute penalty, sparking a huge brawl after which two home players were sent off and a ball boy whacked a ball at one of the linesmen.
Cienciano, playing their last match under Julio Cesar Uribe before he takes charge of the Peru national team, raced to a 2-0 halftime lead with goals by Javier Salazar and Rodrigo Saraz.
However, Israel Zuniga and Jesus Arismendi scored to bring Melgar level within 18 minutes of the re-start while Saraz was sent off.
Hilden Salas then won the game by converting a controversial 89th minute penalty awarded for handball which Cienciano claimed was accidental.
At the final whistle, a livid Uribe led the protests as the Cienciano team surrounded the referee who needed protection from riot police.
Juan Carlos Bazalar and Nicolas Pisano were sent off in the confusion as Cienciano finished with eight players.
The win took Melgar top of the championship's first stage although the tournament faces an uncertain future after the decision involving Ancash, whose game with Sport Boys was postponed.
Last week, the Peruvian football federation's disciplinary tribunal ruled that Ancash had fielded an ineligible player during the 2006 championship and docked them four points.
This decision condemned Ancash to relegation and meant that Jose Galvez would take their place.
However, Ancash, who have threatened to take the case to FIFA, have already played seven games in the 2007 championship, leaving the league with an awkward dilemma.
CHILE - Colo Colo, who won their first eight games in the Apertura championship, were held 2-2 at home by Lota Schwager after conceding a late equaliser.
The Chieftains twice led with goals by striker Humberto Suazo and Colombian midfielder Giovanni Hernandez but newly-promoted Lota Schwager replied through Alejandro Figueroa and Juan Salcedo, the latter with four minutes to play.
Colo Colo stayed top with 25 points from nine games, four ahead of Cobreloa who beat Deportes Concepcion 3-0.
Universidad de Chile's match at O'Higgins was called off after a plague of termites attacked the stands at the stadium in Rancagua. Two previous Universidad de Chile matches were postponed because of safety problems at the respective venues.
URUGUAY - Danubio were knocked off the top of the Clausura tournament when they lost their unbeaten record at Miramar Misiones.
Miramar, coached by Beethoven Javier, took control with two goals in the first 11 minutes from striker Rodrigo Lopez. Pablo Lima replied for Danubio in the 21st minute.
Penarol took advantage by beating River Plate 3-1 to go top in their place. Julio Mozzo and Silvio Mendes put Penarol 2-0 ahead in 10 minutes and Juan Manuel Ortiz added the third in the 88th.
In between, former Juventus defender Paolo Montero put through his own goal as he tried to clear Henry Gimenez's cross. The 35-year-old later limped off injured.
COLOMBIA - Leaders Deportivo Cali were held 2-2 by their local rivals America, who twice came from behind in front of a rare 42,000 full house at the Pascal Guerrero stadium.
Armando Carillo and Paolo Daniel Frangipane scored for Deportivo while Manuel Galarcio and Brayan Angulo replied for the Red Devils.
Cali stayed one point ahead of defending champions Cucuta, who were held 1-1 by Atletico Nacional.
Millonarios, the country's most successful team, beat Deportivo Pasto 1-0 for their first win of the Apertura championship. Gerardo Bedoya scored in the first minute.
ECUADOR - Provincial club Olmedo stayed top of the championship's first stage by hammering Barcelona 4-1. Jorge Torales, Lenin de Jesus and Luis Caicedo shared three goals for the Riobamba team while Barcelona's Mario Lastra put through his own goal for the fourth.
PARAGUAY - Three-times South American champions Olimpia broke their duck in the 2007 season with a 3-1 win over Guarani.
Cristian Ledesma scored twice in the first half and Jose Amarilla added a third in the 78th minute as they won for the first time at the fifth attempt.
Humble Tacuary stayed top despite losing 3-1 to 12 de Octubre.
BOLIVIA - Champions Wilstermann beat Bolivar 1-0 with a late goal from Ricardo Pedriel after a goalmouth scramble while La Paz FC went top of the Apertura championship with a 3-0 win over Destroyers.