Thursday Kickoff: Atletico Mineiro wins first Copa Libertadores title; Jamaican player tests positive; and more

AtleticoMineiroCopaLibertadoresCelebrations2 (AP)

By DAN KARELL

For the first time in club history, Atletico Mineiro are South American champions.

The Brazilian club entered the second and final leg of the Copa Libertadores final against Olimpia of Paraguay down two goals, but in front of their home fans at the Estadio Mineirão, Ronaldinho and co. amounted a comeback of epic proportions. After two goals in the second half to tie the leg, the match went to penalties, which saw Mineiro win in penalty kicks, 4-3, setting off wild celebrations from the sold out crowd.

After a scoreless first half, former Manchester City forward Jô sent a low-footed shot that snuck past Olimpia goalkeeper Martin Silva for a goal in the 47th minute, giving Mineiro some more life.

Mineiro continued to attack in the second stanza, but desperate defending had saved the day time and time again for the Paraguayan club, keeping their title hopes alive. Those hopes were partially dashed in the 85th minute when Olimpia’s Julio Manzur was sent off, and just two minutes later, a looping header from Mineiro defender Leonardo Silva bounced across the line to tie the score on aggregate.

Into the penalty kick shootout following a scoreless extra time, Mineiro goalkeeper Victor stopped Olimpia’s first attempt, and after the sides traded three goals each, Silva stepped up and scored a vital penalty kick before Matias Gimenez’s spot kick clanged off the post to give Mineiro and Ronaldinho their first ever title. Ronaldinho in particular becomes just the seventh player to win both the UEFA Champions League and Copa Libertadores.

The title ends a wild run for Mineiro in the tournament’s knockout stages, where they defeated Club Tijuana of Mexico on away goals in the quarterfinals with a stoppage-time penalty kick save by Victor and defeated Newell’s Old Boys in penalty kicks, 3-2, in the semifinals, again coming back from two goals down with a goal in the 5th minute of stoppage time to send the match to extra time.

Here are some more stories to get your Thursday kicked off:

JAMAICAN PLAYER TESTS POSITIVE FOR BANNED DRUG

An unnamed player on the Jamaican National Team has reportedly tested positive for a banned substance, according to FIFA and the Jamaican Football Federation.

The test dates back to a World Cup qualifier on June 11 against Honduras, and while the player and substance were not disclosed, the player could face a lengthy ban from FIFA. Jamaica lost that match, 2-0, and are currently in last place in the CONCACAF Hexagonal round of World Cup qualifying.

Last March, FIFA suspended Peruvian midfielder Joel Sanchez from all matches he is eligible to play for two years due to a positive test after a match.

GUARDIOLA BEATS HIS OLD CLUB FOR ULI HOENESS TROPHY

Pep Guardiola didn’t have to wait very long as Bayern Munich manager to face his former club.

In the annual Uli Hoeness Cup hosted by Bayern, the German side defeated Barcelona, 2-0, in a friendly match that saw both sides use their massive allotment of substitutions to get everyone an opportunity to take the field.

The game was the first meeting between the two sides since Bayern knocked Barcelona out of the UEFA Champions League semifinals last spring, and just like the results from that two-legged tie, Bayern got off to a quick start. Phillip Lahm sent a flicked header past Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes in the 15th minute, and after both teams regulars were off the field, Mario Mandzukic scored Bayern’s second of the match from close range in the 87th minute.

Jordi Roura was the interim Barcelona manager for the match as the club await Gerardo Martino’s arrival late this week.

JESE SIGNS NEW REAL MADRID DEAL

One of the stars of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup, Spain’s Jese Rodriguez, was considering his club future after the tournament. As of Thursday though, everything has been settled.

Jese has accepted a new contract from Real Madrid for the next four years at more than €1 million per season, keeping him at the Estadio Bernabeu until 2017. After a terrific season at Real Madrid Castilla last year, where he scored 22 goals in 38 games, Jese is due a turn in the first team this season.

At the Under-20 World Cup, Jese bagged five goals in five games, despite Spain being knocked out of the tournament in the quarterfinals.

On Wednesday, a young Real Madrid side drew with Ligue 1 club Lyon, 2-2, in a friendly match in France.

QUICK KICKS

Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis has confirmed via Twitter that both Pepe Reina and Gonzalo Higuain have passed their medicals, and will be presented at the club on Monday. (REPORT)

Arsenal winger Gervinho is linked with a move to Serie A with AS Roma. (REPORT)

Interested in buying a new Neymar Barcelona jersey? It will cost you nearly $132 dollars. (REPORT)

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Kevin Gameiro has completed a transfer move to Sevilla in La Liga. (REPORT)

Norwich City have had a bid accepted for Celtic forward Gary Hooper. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Impressed with Atletico Mineiro’s Copa Libertadores victory? Surprised with Bayern’s easy victory? Do you see Jese playing with the Real Madrid first team this season?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in European Soccer, Featured, South American Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Thursday Kickoff: Atletico Mineiro wins first Copa Libertadores title; Jamaican player tests positive; and more

  1. SanFran415 says:

    Not surprising about the Jamaican player.

    More than a decade back–out of nowhere–Jamaican athletes started getting faster and stronger at an exponential rate. It’s well known that the Jamaican Federations–irrespective of sport–inform their players of where and when drug tests will happen or simply don’t have them at all.

    Even with that scenario, they’ve still managed to catch 2 of their Olympic sprinters this year including the former world record holder.

    It’s merely a matter of time–when not if–Usain Bolt is caught.

    • ld says:

      that is quite an accusation you are throwing out there. You sound so sure that you must have proof? Sour grapes? The US track and field federation covered up Carl Lewis positive tests back in the day and that cheater still has all of his medals

      • SanFran415 says:

        That is not an accusation. That is a statement of verifiable fact and has been a constant official criticism of the Jamaican drug testing system.

        And we’re not talking about US Track and Field. This is about Jamaica. It’s well known that Carl Lewis doped.

        How about Veronica Campbell-Brown? 2 time gold medal winner for Jamaica in 04 and 08 that tested positive–she was from the same parish and training school as Bolt.

        It’s fine to have some national pride, but the athletes in Jamaica didn’t just randomly mutate into an army of track stars through “hard work.”

        • Jason B says:

          Both of you shouldn’t talk about things you don’t know about. You are both making accusations based on profiling. Stay cla$$y!

        • ld says:

          So he is guilty by association?. If someone at my high schooland/or neighbourhood took drugs than I definitely must have taken them too according to your logic

        • Kelso says:

          “It’s merely a matter of time–when not if–Usain Bolt is caught.”

          How is that verifiable fact??

      • mouf says:

        he is just pointing out the reality of their situation, which is tre of most track programs around the world, it certainly seems

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        He has his medals because he appealed his 1988 suspension and won. USTF/USOC may not have reported athletes who failed tests but then had an explanation. Could be viewed as a cover up but also as not announcing reversible decisions with big impact mid-process. Personally, I think it should play out publicly, but if you feel wrongly accused, the initial finding may stain you even if you get the decision reversed. Let’s say this Jamaican fails his test but has an explanation. If you announce the result before he defends himself, that’s his new reputation…..

      • Micronesia Justin says:

        It all started with Cool Runnings

    • Sly says:

      What about in the olympics and the Diamond league who do their testing outside of Jamaica? 2 jamaican sprinters vs how many American sprinters and theres a doping scandal on the island. Really?

      One Jamaican player gets a bad test and theres a doping scandal? Kolo Toure got a bad test in the EPL is there a doping scandal in the Ivory Coast? Nope that was one issue took a diet drug. A peruvian midfielder gets a bad test well peru is a well known hotbed for such thinsg I mean Alexis Sanchez out of nowhere is a great player obviosly its drugs.

    • Sly says:

      The Argentineans and Spanish never really had a good basketball team till like 8 years ago. must be drugs. The Uraguayans only really came on the scene with this transfer period with Suarez and Cavani. Must be drugs.

      The Spanish never won anything… Whereas the Germans the Argentinians and the Italians havent won anything since… MUST BE DRUGS.

  2. Enos says:

    I just assumed the Jamacian player tested positive for ganja.

  3. Gnarls says:

    Gary Hooper to Norwich? That’s big news. He’s a solid forward.

  4. Adam M. says:

    The Barca Neymar shirt does NOT cost $132. All of their printed name shirts cost $100.95 in US dollars with free shipping if you go Barca’s English lanugage site. Never a good idea to assume that prices in Euros or other currencies will reflect the exchange rate to US dollars. Report above should be corrected.

  5. Randy says:

    You guys are so serious. I just figured some Jamaican got suspended for smoking some farm fresh ganja. RGR

  6. Travis in Miami says:

    The Uli Hoeness Trophy? Barf….

  7. William the Terror says:

    Doesn’t the Copa Libertadores have its own trophy? Why are they making the winning team lift the Stanley Cup?

  8. Travis says:

    I am sure he’ll make a post about it later but evidently FIFA is making plans to hold the 2022 World Cup in November as opposed to January like most people had guessed. Evidently the final would be on December 18th.

    • petedx says:

      What’s wrong with that, it’s not like the original bid by Qatar insisted there would be no problem with a world cup in the summer heat…oh wait. I really hope some FIFA official actually tries to do something about this whole farce.

  9. MiamiAl says:

    Galo was rocking Savassi last night! Great game! Great comeback!

  10. bryan says:

    fantastic news about Jese!!!

  11. Sal says:

    Now Ronny is ready for LA