ARGENTINA: PRIMERA DIVISION ROUND 16 REVIEW

Argentina

This article courtesy of GOLAZO ARGENTINO

A dramatic weekend’s action in the Primera Division has seen the title race appear over and now very much back on in the space of a day and maybe the end for Independiente, as all the results conspired (perhaps literally) against them. Controversially Racing lost to Quilmes on Friday night to the delight of their own fans, sparking rumours that Racing threw the game to ensure their local rivals will be relegated, and then Argentinos Juniors surprised everyone by defeating title chasing, River Plate. With 3 games to go Independiente’s survival looks impossible but after this result it also appeared as though the title would be heading to Rosario. However, Newell’s then lost in Floresta against All Boys and so their lead remains just 3 points with 3 to play. Round 17 is huge…Independiente travel to River and the stakes couldn’t be greater in what is a huge clasico in Buenos Aires regardless.

QUILMES  1-0  RACING
The controversial fixture between Quilmes and Racing ended in the result that the whole of Argentina was expecting. Two sides united in their goal: Quilmes to fight against the alledged foul play of the AFA, who they claim want to save Independiente and relegate them, and Racing to see their fierce local rivals banished to the B for the first time in their history. Coach, Luis Zubeldia was forced to answer questions and insist upon the integrity of his side but last night’s 1-0 defeat will do little to hush the conspiracy theorists.  Martin Cauteruccio’s early strike was enough to win the game and while everyone involved has protested innocence, there will remain doubts over the game.

INDEPENDIENTE  0-0  ESTUDIANTES
Time is running out for Independiente and yesterday’s home game with Estudiantes was a great opportunity to win and heap more pressure on Argentinos Juniors. However, neither side really did much to warrant victory, Independiente captain, Rolfi Montenegro coming closest with a stunning 35-yard piledriver that came back off the bar. Estudiantes, under Mauricio Pellegrino are now 6 unbeaten but this may be a game that Independiente will look back on as an opportunity lost.

GODOY CRUZ  3-0  ARSENAL
Arsenal travelled to Mendoza to face Godoy Cruz who once again, impressively swept aside their visitors to join San Lorenzo a point behind Lanus. Nicolas Sanchez put them in front in the first minute and they never really looked back. An unfortunate own goal by Diego Braghieri and a well taken Facundo Castillon effort put them game beyond doubt.

ATLETICO RAFAELA  0-0  SAN LORENZO
In the final game of Saturday’s action, San Lorenzo failed to make up ground on the leaders as they played out a dull 0-0 with Atletico Rafaela in Santa Fe.

UNION  1-0  COLON
Already relegated and in an empty stadium (on the instruction of the local authorities) Union’s fans were unable to witness the derby triumph and a first home win in 19 games. Colon were probably the better side but fell behind to a 52nd minute penalty converted by Damian Lizio and never recovered perhaps aided by the fact they had two players sent off.

LANUS  0-0  BELGRANO
A pretty dull game which sees Lanus draw yet another game 0-0. The change in the fortunes of the Lanus side that looked untouchable after 6 games is remarkable and now the fans have started to let their feelings known towards boss, Guillermo Schelotto.

BOCA JUNIORS  1-1  VELEZ SARSFIELD
Both of these sides have seen their Copa Libertodores campaigns ended at the hands of Newell’s Old Boys and undoubtedly the strain of competing in both has caused a season to forget. Boca were good value for their draw and deservedly drew level after falling behind to Insua’s curling free kick. Nicolas Blandi headed home after 34 minutes but the main talking points were the red card given to Sanchez Miño and the red card not given to Fabian Cubero for off the ball elbows.

ARGENTINOS JUNIORS  2-0  RIVER PLATE
This shock result could well have decided the torneo at both ends of the table and next weekend everything could be decided. Argentinos Juniors’ two goal win not only lifted them away from Independiente and the final relegation place but also gifted Newell’s Old Boys the opportunity to go 6 points clear with 3 games to play. Julio Barraza avoided his marker with 10 minutes to go to put Argentinos in front and with minutes remaining an error from Gonzalez Pirez allowed Rodrigo Gomez to make certain. The result means that if Newell’s defeat All Boys and go 6 points clear a win next weekend and River failing to win means they would win the league. At the other end, if Argentinos and Quilmes both win and Independiente lose they will be relegated for the first time in their history. And just to make matters even more interesting, River host Independiente in one of the Buenos Aires clasico’s!

TIGRE  1-3  SAN MARTIN
With this win San Martin jumped ahead of Independiente and kept their slim hopes of survival alive and should they do so the recent goals of Claudio Riaño will be the reason. When Riaño scores San Martin win, in the past 6 games he has scored 6 and this has led to 4 wins which has given San Martin a fighting chance. His opening goal yesterday was a wonderfully composed finish and set up the victory as 10 minutes later Gaston Caprari (pictured above) doubled the lead. Lucas Janson pulled a goal back for Tigre just before half time but Riaño made sure after he got on the end of a long ball after 65 minutes and again lifted the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper.

ALL BOYS  2-1  NEWELL’S OLD BOYS
This game in Floresta could be one which Newell’s look ruefully back on if they do not end up as the Torneo Final champions in a few weeks. A win would have left them a point away from the title but instead All Boys have given River Plate a second life. Jonathan Ferrari gave All Boys the lead managing to hook a ball into the net with an overhead kick for his second goal of the season. Coincidentally the first also coming against Newell’s in the earlier Torneo Inicial. Maxi Coronel made it two on the hour mark with a looping header but Newell’s will again look at their own defensive failings with their efforts to deal with a free kick. Milton Casco did manage to snatch a goal back with over 10 minutes remaining but Newell’s could not find a way back.

TOP OF THE TABLE

Newell’s

32

16

10

2

4

32

20

Lanús

29

16

7

8

1

19

9

River Plate

29

16

8

5

3

22

15

San Lorenzo

27

16

7

6

3

22

13

Godoy Cruz Mza.

27

16

7

6

3

22

14

Arsenal

26

16

7

5

4

20

19

BOTTOM OF RELEGATION TABLE

Team

Avg

Pts

P

St. Releg

10/11

11/12

12/13

At. Rafaela

1.260

92

73

3

0/0

50/38

42/35

Quilmes

1.229

43

35

5

0/0

0/0

43/35

Argentinos Jrs.

1.198

133

111

9

54/38

49/38

30/35

San Martín (SJ)

1.164

85

73

(8)

0/0

48/38

37/35

Independiente

1.153

128

111

(8)

43/38

47/38

38/35

Unión (Sta.Fe)

1.000

73

73

Releg.

0/0

50/38

23/35

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