Thursday, 17 December 2009

Nervy Banfield seal first ever title

Argentinos Juniors 5-1 Huracán
Lanús 0-0 Independiente
Boca Juniors 2-0 Banfield
Newell's Old Boys 0-2 San Lorenzo
Racing Club 0-2 Chacarita Juniors
Tigre 0-2 River Plate
Vélez Sársfield 1-2 Rosario Central
Atlético Tucumán 1-0 Gimnasia La Plata
Godoy Cruz 0-0 Arsenal

Going into the final round of matches in the 2009 Apertura season, it stacked up like this: it was Banfield's to lose. If they won, they were champions for the first time in their history. If they drew, Newell's had to win in order to force a play-off between the two sides. Given what was at stake, the matches involving Banfield and Newell's kicked off at the same time on Sunday, Banfield at Boca and Newell's at home to San Lorenzo. Newell's got a lifeline early on when Kily Gonzalez missed a penalty and news got better still for them a couple of minutes later when Martín Palermo did better than Kily from 12 yards putting Boca ahead. But then it all went wrong for the Rosario-based side as Fabian Bordagaray put San Lorenzo ahead. As time ticked on, it looked more and more likely that Banfield were going to hang on, but Palermo's second on the hour meant they were sweating on the result from Rosario. Their nerves were eased when Bordagaray put his second away 23 minutes from the end and both games petered out into 2-0 defeats for the two title contenders. That was just the second defeat for Banfield in the nineteen-match season and they run out worthy winners.

Tigre finished bottom following their fifteenth defeat of the season which ends a miserable Apertura for them. Rogerio Funes put River Plate ahead on the stroke of half-time and Diego Buonanotte made the game safe early in the second half. Huracán's transformation from contenders to strugglers was completed by a 5-1 thumping by Argentinos Juniors. An Nestor Ortigoza's penalty set Argentinos on their way, but the star was Gabriel Hauche with a hat-trick. Gimnasia end in 18th after a topsy-turvy season, beaten by Atlético Tucumán, Emmanuel Gigliotti with the vital goal. Godoy and Arsenal drew 0-0 while Racing, perhaps in celebratory mood after pulling themselves away from trouble and went down 2-0 to nine-man Chacarita. Gustavo Alustiza and Daniel Pereira were both sent off, but Facundo Parra and German Cano had already done enough to win the game.

Colón finish third having already completed their season in the previous round of fixtures, while a point for Independiente's draw with Lanús was enough to secure fourth. Vélez went down to Rosario Central, allowing Independiente to climb above them. Emilio Zaleya and Gonzalo Castillejos put Central into a comfort zone and even had to give Vélez their consolation, Hernan Galindez putting through his own net late on.

And that's your lot for now. We'll pick up coverage when the Clausura season gets going next year.

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