Tuesday , October 17 2017

Pachuca lift CONCACAF title – S. America confed lose $140mn to graft

Pachuca’s Hiriving Lozano (center), holds his trophies as his team celebrates winning the final CONCACAF Champions League soccer match, against Tigres, in Pachuca, Mexico on April 26. (Third from left, front row), is Franco Jara. (AP)

MEXICO CITY, April 27, (Agencies): A late goal from Franco Jara gave Pachuca a 1-0 win over Tigres on Wednesday and helped the Mexican side to their fifth CONCACAF Champions League title with a 2-1 aggregate victory.

With 83 minutes gone, a long-range shot slipped from the hands of Tigres goalkeeper Nahuel Guzman and Jara nipped in to side-foot the ball home from eight yards out.

Tigres’ French striker Andre-Pierre Gignac scored with less than a minute of injury time left but the goal that would have taken the game to extra-time was chalked off for offside.

The two teams tied the first leg 1-1 in Monterrey last week.

“It was tough but we deserved it, Pachuca are always going to give 100 percent to get these results,” Pachuca midfielder Jorge Hernandez told Fox Sports moments after the final whistle.

Both sides had chances to win what was a scrappy and hotly-contested game, with Gignac smacking the bar with a ferocious 30-yard drive after 33 minutes and Jara heading straight at Guzman a minute before half time.

The turning point of the game might have been the sending off of Tigres’s combative midfielder Guido Pizarro for a second bookable offence after 78 minutes.

Moments later Jara got the winner and there was no way back for a Tigres side that have been dominant domestically but unable to add an international title to their list of honours.

Pachuca’s victory marks the ninth consecutive time that a Mexican club has won the competition.

Their win at a packed Hidalgo stadium extended the club’s unbeaten home record to 31 games and meant they will represent the CONCACAF region at the World Club Cup in United Arab Emirates later this year.

Pachuca previously won the CONCACAF Champions League in 2002, 2007, 2008 and 2010 and have appeared in the World Club Cup three times previously.

The CONCACAF Champions League started in August last year and featured 24 teams from North America, Central America and the Caribbean.

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SANTIAGO: The head of South American football confederation CONMEBOL said Wednesday the body lost more than $140 million to graft under former managers indicted in a US corruption investigation.

Between 2010 and 2014 “CONMEBOL was defrauded of more than $140 million,” its president Alejandro Dominguez told AFP after unveiling the findings of an external audit at the confederation’s congress. South American football officials have been heavily implicated in the US-led investigation into corruption in world football which led to the downfall of FIFA president Sepp Blatter in 2015.

Dominguez of Paraguay was appointed to root out graft in CONMEBOL after investigations indicated officials had pocketed millions of dollars in bribes for awarding sponsorship and marketing contracts.

Three former presidents of CONMEBOL — Eugenio Figueredo of Uruguay and two Paraguayans, Nicolas Leoz and Juan Angel Napout — have been indicted in the US investigation, accused of accepting bribes.

Figueredo and Leoz are under house arrest pending investigations. They are among some 40 international officials detained in the so-called “Fifagate” scandal.

The audit released on Wednesday details “suspect operations recorded in the 2010 to 2014 period under the managements of Nicolas Leoz and Eugenio Figueredo.”

The transactions “represent institutional diversion of funds for personal gain,” the report says.

Wednesday’s CONMEBOL congress in the Chilean capital Santiago was attended by FIFA chief Gianni Infantino, who took over the organization following Blatter’s resignation.

“There have been some complicated, very difficult times (in football), but it’s all over. Now we have to concentrate on the future, we have to show we are transparent,” Infantino said.

“I must congratulate the new CONMEBOL on its new spirit and new way of working.”

After taking over as the head of CONMEBOL last year, Dominguez oversaw changes including a separation of political functions and day-to-day management and term limits for officials.

He also limited the length of contracts between CONMEBOL and its sponsors.

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