This article courtesy of GOLAZO ARGENTINO
With current champions, Newell’s Old Boys given an extra week to prepare following their Libertadores exploits, the first round of the Torneo Inicial was a match short but that didn’t prevent plenty of talking points and upsets. Primera Division new boys, Gimnasia stunned giants, River Plate and Rosario Central looked right at home in their opening round victory. Elsewhere, Lanus and San Lorenzo both got off to winning starts as they hope to put together title challenges and it was the new number 9 signings at these clubs that grabbed the headlines.
GODOY CRUZ 3–1 ARGENTINOS JUNIORS
In the earlier kickoff in Mendoza, Godoy Cruz ran out 3-1 winners over Argentinos Juniors. Striker Mauro Obolo’s (pictured above) second half brace earned them the victory and despite being only the first game of the season could be significant in the relegation battle. Caruso Lombardi’s side look like they will once again be right in the thick of it.
ARSENAL 1-1 ESTUDIANTES
In Sarandi, Arsenal hosted the return of Juan Veron and his Estudiantes side. Some debatable refereeing decisions will be the talking points but in the end the draw was probably a fair result. Duvan Zapata put Estudiantes ahead early on and it wasn’t until the 90th minute that Arsenal were able to draw level, courtesy of Julio Furch’s converted penalty.
ALL BOYS 1-1 ATLETICO RAFAELA
Mauro Matos headed All Boys in front in the first half, taking advantage of some rather suspect goalkeeping from Esteban Conde in the Rafaela goal. That looked like it was going to be the difference until the 87th minute when Diego Vera took a touch on the edge of the box before rifling his half volley into the corner, in the process depriving new All Boys manager, Julio Cesar Falcioni a debut victory.
TIGRE 1-2 VELEZ SARSFIELD
Velez were unable to field new signing, Mauro Zarate as his paperwork with the AFA was still not completed but they found a different match winner in the form of Lucas Pratto. A pretty even affair, both sides had missed some glorious chances in the first half came to life after 53 minutes when Pratto scored the goal of the weekend so far. His curling shot from outside the box was too much for Javier Garcia, in the Tigre goal.
However, the lead didn’t last long as less than 10 minutes later Tigre were awarded a fairly contentious penalty. A slight shove by Velez defender, Juan Sabia prompted new signing, Jose Sand to collapse in a heap. Velez were outraged resulting in Manager, Ricardo Gareca to be sent to the stands but it mattered little as Gaston Diaz fired Tigre level.
Tigre then probably had the better chances to win it but their failure to do so was punished in injury time. Ramiro Caseres was adjudged to have been tripped as he chased a ball over the top and Pratto stepped up to ensure the victory.
COLON 1-1 RACING
Racing are somewhat of a bogey-team for Colon, having been beaten the previous 3 occasions the sides have met in Santa Fe, and it looked as though the hoodoo would continue when Bruno Zuculini’s diving header put Racing ahead after just 2 minutes. However, Colon were not discouraged and were level after 25 minutes when Jacobo Mansilla rose at the back post to nod him a deep cross from the right.
The game stayed that way as neither side looked to have the quality to deserve the victory. Racing’s young side will need to improve if they have genuine title aspirations and they will be concerned to have seen striker, Luciano Vietto limp off with an ankle injury in the second half.
LANUS 3-0 BELGRANO
Lanus, started the season in much the same way they did the Torneo Final with a thumping 3-0 win over Belgrano. No sign of missing any of the window departures, it was new arrival, Santiago Silva who did the damage, scoring twice before Carlos Izquierdoz added the third. Silva’s first, a poachers effort following a goalkeeping blunder on the stroke of half time was followed by a wonderful, curling effort from outside the box. Carlos Izquierdoz made sure of the victory with a header from a corner with 20 minutes left to play.
SAN LORENZO 2-1 OLIMPO
San Lorenzo’s title challenge and Martin Cauteruccio’s career at the club got off to a great start when on 15 minutes he steered the ball into the net following a corner that was never really cleared. However, newcomers, Olimpo were not overawed and were level via a corner of their own, Nahuel Benitez eventually scoring after some goal line defending. It looked as though they might hold on to the point but with 2 minutes remaining Cauterruccio got his second of the game and ensure the 3 points.
GIMNASIA 1-0 RIVER PLATE
Newly promoted, Gimnasia La Plata took advantage of an under strength River Plateside to steal a famous 1-0 victory and get their return to the Primera off to the best possible start. For River, who undoubtedly have title aspirations, this is a blow but perhaps not hugely surprising given they were without a recognised striker and were forced to start with youngster, Giovanni Simeoni, up front alone. A close game with several missed opportunities was eventually won when Jonatan Maidana was penalized and Lucas Licht rolled the resulting penalty past Marcelo Barovero.
ROSARIO CENTRAL 2-0 QUILMES
Another of the newly promoted sides also got off to a winning start, as Rosario Central defeated Quilmes by 2 goals to nil with new signing (from River) Carlos Luna scoring both goals. Luna’s opener was a fine solo effort as he brought down a long ball before running to the edge of the box and rifled the ball into the corner. The second and decisive goal with 10 minutes remaining was a more straight forward headed finish from a free kick.
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