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Blooming won the Clausura championship beating Bolivar 2-1 on aggregate to lift their fifth league title of the professional era and first since the 2005 Apertura.

They won the first leg at home in Santa Cruz de la Sierra 1-0 with a first-half penalty converted by Brazilian Luiz Vieira.

Bolivar lost international defender Miguel Hoyos, sent off with a quarter of an hour left, for the return at the Hernando Siles in La Paz.

Blooming went one up in the second leg through striker Roger Suarez before another Brazilian, Bolivar’s Charles Da Silva, equalized. Both goals were scored in the first half.

But the team from the capital were unable to get the victory that would have sent the tie into a playoff in Cochabamba since goal aggregate and the away goals rule do not apply.

Blooming’s victory made up in some way for defeat in last year’s Clausura final on penalties to Aurora after the tie had gone to a third-match decider.

They qualified for the 2010 Libertadores Cup alongside Bolivar, still regarded as Apertura champions with the case against their fielding an ineligible player under appeal.

Boliva finished top of the Apertura championship, but were stripped of the title after bottom team Real Mamore protested that in their final match of the season at home to Bolivar the visitors had fielded an ineligible player.

The three points of Bolivar’s match were handed to Mamore and second-placed Real Potosi were declared champions.

Bolivar appealed and if a previous case involving The Strongest that took five years to resolve is anything to go by, Bolivar will be reinstated eventually.

Blooming won the Clausura championship without central defender Sergio Jauregui, who was suspended for a year from playing in Bolivia and also charged with assault.

He attacked Uruguayan striker Leonardo Medina off the pitch with a flying kung-fu style kick after the pair had been sent off together during the “Cruceno” derby played by the two big clubs from Santa Cruz.

The third and least important of the season’s three tournaments, the League Cup playoffs for another place in the Libertadores Cup and berths in the Copa Sudamericana, kicked off at the beginning of November with 11 teams, Nacional Potosi having been relegated at the end of the Clausura. The trophy was named after former Blooming club president Roberto Paz Limpias, founder of the professional league in 1977.

In the meantime, Bolivia’s troubled national team that finished one from bottom of the South American World Cup qualifiers were embarking on a meaningless two-match friendly tour without a fixed coach.

Bolivia, playing Bulgaria and Cyprus this month in matches involving teams out of the World Cup on FIFA’s play-off dates, failed to keep Erwin “Platini” Sanchez on for the rest of the year.

The federation tried to get Sanchez, whose contract expired with the final qualifier, a 1-0 loss to Peru in Lima on October 14, to stay on for a lower fee. After he refused, Wilstermann’s Eduardo Villegas was handed the job on an interim short-term basis while continuing to coach his club side.

Critics would have preferred Bolivia to get on with the promised reorganisation of the game’s governing bodies and running of the national team with a view to preparing properly for the 2011 Copa America in Argentina.

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