It may only be Round Two but it is already shaping up to be another tight Torneo with the Copa Libertadores affecting many of the teams and the unpredictable nature of the Primera meaning a lot of surprising results. Quilmes gave us the first managerial casualty after their loss to Godoy Cruz and so relegation expert, Caruso Lombardi has replaced Blas Giunta. Alfredo Berti may also find his job under threat as Newell’s were thrashed by Gimnasia. Boca’s woes continued and champions, San Lorenzo got their season up and running but with Estudiantes the only side to have won both their games, there is no obvious front runner yet.
Godoy Cruz 2-0 Quilmes
Last weekend’s limp performance against Argentinos Juniors was a real cause for concern for Godoy Cruz as they showed no signs that they would fight off the threat of relegation. On Friday night in Mendoza, it was a very different Godoy Cruz as they outplayed Quilmes to a comfortable 2-0 win. Gonzalo Castellani blasted them in front after 25 minutes. A cross from the left eluded everyone allowing Castellani the time and space to control the ball and thump it past Sebastián Peratta and
five minutes later, the lead was doubled when Claudio Aquino burst through the centre of the Quilmes defence and kept his composure to put breathing space between the two sides.
Injuries and a red card after the break reduced Quilmes to 9 men and ended the match as a contest.
The win shows some signs of life for Godoy Cruz but it is a worrying start to the campaign for Quilmes. A defeat at home to Rosario Central and now this, drags them into the thick of the relegation battle.
All Boys 0-1 Estudiantes
A second 1-0 win continued Estudiantes perfect start to the Torneo Final although after having Carlos Auzqui sent off midway through the second half they were made to work for it.
A dull first half provided few talking points except perhaps the return of Juan Sebastian Veron to the Estudiantes midfield.
The decisive goal came after halftime when Nicolás Cambiasso in the All Boys goal could only parry Jonathan Schunke’s shot and Guido Carrillo was quickest to react.
Minutes later, Estudiantes were reduced to 10 men when Carlos Auzqui was sent off and so with All Boys desperate for points the pressure mounted.
Estudiantes defence held firm aided by the superb, Geronimo Rulli in goal and hung on to their slender lead. All Boys can ill afford too many home games like this if they are to avoid being sucked into the Nacional B.
Arsenal 1-3 Velez Sarsfield
Mauro Zárate and his strike partner, Lucas Pratto showed just how valuable they are to Velez in Sarandi as the deadly duo linked up to help Jose Flores’ side to their first 3 points.
Arsenal have started the season slowly, with losses in the league and the Libertadores and once again they were second best.
Zárate gave Velez the lead minutes after the interval after Pratto pulled the ball back for him to slot past Cristian Campestrini and minutes later, the same pair combined to double the lead. Pratto drove down the left and his low cross was expertly flicked by Zárate, with the outside of his boot into the net.
For the third, it was Zárate who turned provider. His cross found Jorge Correa unmarked and he rifled his shot into the bottom corner.
Arsenal then lost Damián Pérez after a rash challenge on Agustín Allione prompted Pablo Lunati to go straight for his red card and although Mariano Echeverría pulled one back late on it was another bad day for Arsenal.
Tigre 0-0 Olimpo
Olimpo’s form in Bahia Blanca is not in question and if they continue to win their home games and pick up points away then their safety will not be in doubt.
Tigre were the better side in Victoria but were frustrated by a resilient Olimpo side who are now unbeaten in 6 matches.
San Lorenzo 1-0 Racing Club
The Torneo Inicial champions, San Lorenzo started their season on Saturday night in the Nuevo Gasómetro with a clásico victory over Racing and in many ways it was reminiscent of how they won the title.
New signing, Nicolas Blandi gave El Ciclon an early lead with a wonderful, improvised volley after Matías Cahais failed to deal with a cross from the left.
The combination of Piatti and Correa threatened but Racing, with a new belief under Mostaza Merlo had their chances.
However, like in the Torneo Inicial on several occasions, Sebastián Torrico saved San Lorenzo and kept their lead intact. Superb saves from Luciano Vietto and Mauro Camoranesi ensured El Ciclon earned their first 3 points after the disappointment of the opening day loss to Olimpo and Copa Libertadores defeat.
For Racing, there were still positives but after last weekend’s easy win, the result serves as a timely reality check.
Colon 1-0 Argentinos Juniors
After 15 matches without a win and 9 hours without a goal, Colon were due a break and even though their relegation fears are still very much real, they were able to celebrate a win over relegation rivals, Argentinos Juniors.
Gabriel Graziani scored the only goal of the game when he chased a ball over the top and managed to beat Pablo Migliore to it and head into the unguarded net.
The promising sign of fight will bring some hope to Colon but for Argentinos it is a step back following their opening day win over Godoy Cruz. Claudio Borghi still has plenty of work to do.
Gimnasia La Plata 3-0 Newell’s Old Boys
Newell’s did not get off to a good start in La Plata after Gabriel Heinze was adjudged to have been a little too physical in defending a corner and after only 7 minutes Erik Correa had an opportunity from the penalty spot. His effort was saved superbly by Nahuel Guzman but the rebound was volleyed in by Gastón Díaz.
Newell’s continued to pass the ball but with no real cutting edge and so it was no real surprise that they fell further behind after the break. A set piece bobbled around the six yard box and eventually Juan Carlos Blengio bundled in the second.
With Newell’s pushing forward it made them vulnerable on the break and with 10 minutes remaining a move down the right found Facundo Pereyra in the centre and he slid the ball past Guzman.
Gimnasia have lost their last 8 meetings with Newell’s and so the result is a massive boost but there is now a huge amount of pressure on Alfredo Berti. Newell’s have not won a league match in 10 and their inability to score goals is now a real problem. The game away to Belgrano on Thursday could be decisive if Berti is to remain the man in charge.
Lanus 0-3 Atletico Rafaela
Guillermo Barros Schelotto made it quite clear where his priorities lie with his team selection for Sunday’s clash with Rafaela. With several first team players rested, Lanus were severely punished by an effective Rafaela side, led by centre forward, Diego Vera.
Uruguayan, Vera is always a threat in the air and it was his powerful header from a corner that gave La Crema the lead midway through the first half.
Just before half time, the head of Vera struck again. A superb looping header from the edge of the box eluded the grasp of Agustín Marchesín to give Rafaela a commanding lead.
Lanus had some opportunities to find a way back after the break but were eventually killed off on the break when Vera squared the ball to Cristian Canuhé for a simple tap in.
Rosario Central 1-1 River Plate
River Plate’s lack of goals in the Torneo Inicial cost them dearly but yesterday in Rosario it took just 3 minutes for Manuel Lanzini to give them the lead. The talented number 10 had one of his better games and after some nice link up play between Fernando Cavenaghi and Teó Gutiérrez, Lanzini produced an accomplished finish.
Former River striker, Carlos Luna headed Central level after 28 minutes in what was an entertaining first 45 minutes.
After the break both sides appeared to accept the draw and there was little action of note (other than a pitch invading dog defecating on the pitch) but for both sides it is a positive start to the Torneo.
Boca Juniors 2-3 Belgrano
Having failed to pick up a win even during pre-season this is proving to be a bit of a crisis for Boca Juniors and Sunday night’s terrible second half performance did little to ease any fears. With almost daily reports and doubts over the fitness of Juan Roman Riquelme, the number 10′s return could not come soon enough for Carlos Bianchi.
A bright first half yesterday in la Bombonera should have yielded more than the solitary goal Boca managed. A wonderfully worked set piece after just 7 minutes allowed Juan Forlín a first goal back at Boca but the mistake was not adding to this during a period of dominance.
After the break, Boca were a different side and it took just a minute for Emiliano Rigoni to fire Belgrano level. From this moment on, Boca were on the ropes and a Luciano Lollo penalty followed by a late César Pereyra goal meant Belgrano would be leaving with all the points.
A stunning Luciano Acosta volley pulled one back in injury time but it was too late for Boca. With a difficult away trip to Rafaela on Thursday things could get worse before they get any better for Carlos Bianchi.
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