Yeferson Soteldo: Santos 2-1 Avai, Santos 3-0 Goias
As with last week, Soteldo’s Santos side continued to impress this week with a pair of wins over Avai and Goias. Soteldo played the first 65 minutes of the win over Avai, playing well but not standing out as much as his fellow attackers. Soteldo had a fantastic second game, scoring twice and assisting a goal against Goias.
His first goal came after a cross into the box was deflected out to the edge of the 18 yard box. Soteldo hit the ball with a beautiful volley shot and sent it rocketing into the far upper corner, marking one of his best goals since joining Santos.
The second goal was a beautiful tap in from an arching Marinho cross, with the short-of-stature Venezuelan outrunning his marker and smashing the ball home to seal the result.
Soteldo and Santos have been on a roll, with the club securing its fourth straight win, having not lost in five. Soteldo now has four goals and an assist in his last three matches, a strong output for the Venezuelan who has eight goals this season and is the club’s tied for second highest scorer with Carlos Sanchez (8), while both are behind Eduardo Sasha (12).
Romulo Otero: Atlético Mineiro 2-0 Goias, Atlético Mineiro 0-0 Cruzeiro
The Brazilian glory wasn’t just for Soteldo, as fellow Vinotinto player Romulo Otero impressed with Atlético Mineiro and helped them see out a win and a draw in the top flight.
Playing 89 minutes of the win over Goias, Otero was an active part of the attack despite not scoring or assisting. The Venezuelan completed 24 accurate passes midweek to help Atlético reach 39 points.
Facing 16th place Cruzeiro on the weekend, Otero aided his side to a 0-0 draw which saw them continue their positive form and wrap up a double match week of action without conceding a goal.
Oh and it was his birthday on the 9th, feliz cumpleanos Rómulo! The Venezuelan turns 26 this year. What better way to celebrate than all further solidifying Copa Sudamericana football for your club next season?
Mario Rondón: Cluj 1-0 Rennes, Cluj 0-0 Bucuresti
The veteran Vinotinto striker had an eventful, if somewhat imperfect, week. He played the last 20 minutes of Romanian side Cluj’s Europa League tie with Rennes. He didn’t just play, however. Rondón scored a brilliant header in the 87th minute to all but cement Cluj’s spot in the knockout rounds.
The striker did, however, get sent off in the 90th minute for a hard foul on Joris Gnagnon. Overall, it was a good show for the striker, who had a memorable Thursday and gave his club a vital 1-0 win.
Cluj are currently at the top of the table in Romania and continued their campaign with an away draw against Dinamo Bucuresti. Rondón started the game as the lead striker. While no goals came his way, the point earned helps Cluj maintain a 2 point league in the Romanian top flight.
Tomas Rincon: Torino 4-0 Brescia
El General helped Torino to a triumphant 4-0 win over Brescia, who are currently missing the injured Jhon Chancellor at the back. Rincón didn’t partake in the goals, but the resulting clean sheet was a welcome sign that Torino’s defense is stabilizing, having struggled for over a month with poor results. The club had not won a match since late September, finding solace in draws with Cagliari and Napoli in October.
Torino will need to get back on track soon to remain top contenders for the upper half of the table and this weekend’s result will be a major factor in their momentum building operation. With a tough away match against Inter coming next weekend, Rincón and company will need to stick to their best performances to pull points from the title contenders.