Ecuador tries to qualify from the Copa America group stage time after time, but usually fails. In 2019, they hope to do it with their leader, Enner Valencia.
On this weekend we’re off for two South American spicy derbies, and a decisive match in the African Champions League. Don't waste your time, here we go!
(All the hours are in CET local time)
Amateur (Like this guy)
What? Independiente – Racing Club (Argentine Primera División)
When? Saturday, 2110
Where? Estadio Libertadores de América, Avellanda
Why? Few hundred meters, that's the distance between the stadiums of these two teams. As one of the craziest derbies of Argentina, the Avellaneda derby will show you great football and amazing atmosphere. Racing Club is in the 4th place with 43 points, while Independiente are on 6th place with 38 points, both fighting for a Copa Libertadores place.
Key Players: Independiente will trust on Matías Pisano, a talented 23 years old player that could be the next Argentine talent in Europe. Racing Club will lay on their legend, Diego Milito, is a former Champions League winner who returned to his youth club 11 years after he left.
Always rivals: The teams’ rivalry is not ending with the football matches. The clubs have team in other sports. For example, check how it looks in futsal.
Professional (like this guy)
What? Emelec – Barcelona SC (Serie A de Ecuador)
When? Monday, 0000
Where? Estadio George Capwell, Guayaquil
Why? The immortal Ecuadorian football macth, unlike similar matches in South America, played far from the capital city. Guayaquil is ready for the match of Emelec and Barcelona SC. Emelc are on 4th place, Barcelona at 6th, but everything changes quickly, as there are only 7 points separating the 1st and the 9th place.
Key Players: Look for Miller Bolaños, Emelec's top scorer this season with 14 goals, what earned him a national team spot that he justified, with 5 goals in 8 caps. In Barcelona, the leader will be Ismael Blanco, who made long trip in Greece, Poland and Germany, and he is a player who can make the difference for his team.
That's my name: There are nice stories behind the team names. Emelec is an acronym of Empresa Eléctrica del Ecuador, a local electric company who founded the team. Barcelona's name was given as honor to the origin city of the club’s founders.
World Class (like this guy)
What? TP Mazembe – Moghreb Tétouan (CAF Champions League)
When? Saturday, 1530
Where? Stade TP Mazembe, Lubumbashi
Why? The last matchday of CAF Champions League will have a tight race for the two semifinal spots. TP Mazembe, the D.R. of Congo champions, and Moghreb Tétouan, the Moroccan champions, are both with 8 points, the same as Al-Hilal, the Sudanese champions.
Key Players: Mazembe key player is Rainford Kalaba, a Zambian midfielder who made 77 caps in his national team and played in Portugal for two years. The dominant player of Moghreb is Yassine Lakhal, local player who left the team in 2011 to Wydad Casablanca, but returned last January.
Colonial Times: Both of the teams have interesting stories from the colonial times. Moghreb Tétouan played as Atlético Tetouán in the Spanish Primera División in 1952. Mazembe's original name is Engelbert, named after a Belgian tires manufacturing company, who used to sponsor the club.