ARGENTINA: PRIMERA DIVISION ROUND 18 REVIEW

Argentina

This article courtesy of GOLAZO ARGENTINO

A dramatic week’s action has seen Newell’s Old Boys crowned champions and Independiente finally lose their battle against relegation and descend to the Nacional B for the first time in their history. Newell’s won comfortably against Atletico Rafaela but it was results elsewhere that saw them win the title. Lanus thrashed River Plate to ensure Ramon Diaz’s side couldn’t catch Newell’s which left Lanus as the only other contender. However, on Tuesday they played the second half of their abandoned game with Estudiantes and were unable to overturn the 2 goal lead which Estudiantes had taken in the first half a week earlier and so Newell’s now can’t be caught with a game to spare. Independiente lost to San Lorenzo meaning that they join Union in the second tier and things are awfully tight for the last spot as Argentinos Juniors and San Martin both won. This is going to the wire and maybe a playoff depending on the final day!

TIGRE 0–0 BELGRANO

The first game to be played since the ruling to ban away fans was played in a manner which mirrored the lack of passion in the stands. Belgrano, having already guaranteed qualification for the Copa Sudamericana had nothing much else to play for and Tigre’s season since Copa Libertadores elimination and injury to Ruben Botta have also looked tired. So I suppose it was no surprise that this one ended in a goalless draw especially as Belgrano are the side who have failed to score in the most games.

INDEPENDIENTE 0–1 SAN LORENZO

A pretty toothless performance from Independiente once again highlighted just why they are in this situation. Devoid of many ideas it was Angel Correa’s goal on the hour mark that was the only incisive moment of the game. A fine curled finish from the edge of the area punishing poor Independiente defending and putting an end to any hopes of survival. With San Martin and Argentinos Juniors both winning at the time it didn’t matter too much and so history was made and the tears flowed.

SAN MARTIN 2–0 ESTUDIANTES

A couple of months ago San Martin appeared lifeless and now after their fourth consecutive win they are out of the drop zone with their fate in their own hands. A deserved win over Estudiantes, a side who have not conceded in their past 6 games is proof of their resurgence. Estudiantes keeper, Geronimo Rulli helped them on their way with his failure to keep out Jorge Luna’s scuffed strike from distance. Sebastian Penco made sure of the victory by adding the second 10 minutes from time and they will be feeling confident ahead of the final day shootout.

ARGENTINOS JUNIORS 1–0 COLON

Argentinos too kept their hopes alive with a tight victory over Colon. Mad manager, Caruso Lombardi was sent off early after complaining about a foul, and possibly a penalty not given. Lombardi had, earlier in the week, suggested that San Lorenzo wouldn’t be too bothered in their game with Independiente, which in itself is slightly odd given Independiente’s result mattered very little. In his absence his side went onto win through Anangono Leon’s faint header.

UNION 1–1 VELEZ SARSFIELD

Union already relegated and Velez just waiting for the season to finish so not much to get excited about. Pablo Magnin tapped in from close range to give Union the lead but Lucas Pratto headed an equalizer not long after.

ALL BOYS 0–1 RACING

A close game won by a moment of magic from two of Racing’s fine youth products. In a matter of seconds Racing went from having the ball with their own goalkeeper, his throw went to Ricardo Centurion who ran down the left before delivering an inch perfect cross for Luciano Vietto to convert beautifully with a diving header.

ATLETICO RAFAELA 0–3 NEWELL’S OLD BOYS

Newell’s eased to victory and one hand on the trophy despite seeing leading scorer, Nacho Scocco miss a first half penalty. The breakthrough came after 67 minutes when Oscar Carniello’s outstretched boot diverted a cross into his own net. This provided the impetus for Newell’s and further goals from Victor Figueroa and Maxi Urriti gave them the win and the championship (not quite at the time of the game)

BOCA JUNIORS 1–0 ARSENAL

Boca moved off the bottom of the table with a narrow 1-0 win over Arsenal in La Bombonera. Walter Erviti’s close range finish was enough to seal the win but the season could not end soon enough for Boca.

LANUS 5–1 RIVER PLATE

Lanus kept their own title hopes alive by demolishing River Plate’s. River’s inept defensive performance deserved exactly what it got. Cristian Chavez gave Lanus a fortuitous early lead as he was offside but River still need to look at the defending in the buildup to the goal. Leonal Vangioni put River level almost immediately with the goal of the weekend, picking the ball up some way out and unleashing a venomous left footed strike into the top corner. That was the end of the good news for River as Lanus raced into a 4-1 lead before the half hour mark. Goals from Guido Pizarro, Victor Ayala and Ismael Blanco, who added the fifth early in the second half, emphatically ended River’s dreams of claiming the Torneo Final.

QUILMES 0–0 GODOY CRUZ

After the weekend’s entertainment and drama, Monday’s only game offered virtually nothing, unless you are a fan of Quilmes, in which case you could celebrate the point needed to guarantee survival. Hosting Godoy Cruz, who didn’t have a great deal riding on this game either it didn’t suggest it would be classic and the two sides didn’t disappoint in that regard. One shot on target and nothing much else to note. Both sides will be in the top flight next season and will have relaxed final days.

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