Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Colón ship six in a week as Independiente go top

Rosario Central 2-3 Arsenal
Vélez Sársfield 4-4 Boca Juniors
Racing Club 1-1 Huracán
Estudiantes 0-1 Argentinos Juniors
Godoy Cruz 2-1 Lanús
Tigre 0-1 Independiente
Chacarita Juniors 0-1 Gimnasia La Plata
Atlético Tucumán 1-1 Newell's Old Boys
River Plate 1-0 San Lorenzo
Banfield 3-1 Colón

League leaders Colón went down hard in the midweek round, Ruben Ramirez scoring twice for Apertura champions Banfield, the second bringing an abrupt end to a late fightback from Colón, Esteban Fuertes on target late on to set nerves jangling. That was the only game to end with a more than one goal in it, but if that sounds dull, then think again. Boca blew a two-goal lead and Vélez led twice in a crazy game at the José Amalfitani. Victor Zapata put Vélez ahead early on, but ten minutes into the second half Boca led 3-1 after Fabian Monzón, Martín Palermo and Osvaldo Gaitán gave them breathing space. Santiago Silva pulled one back five minutes later and Juan Martinez brought it level before Silva's second gave Vélez the lead a second time with eight minutes remaining. Gary Medel snatched a point late on for Boca.

Godoy Cruz went top with a 2-1 win over Lanús, Carlos Sanchez with the winner quarter of an hour from time, and Independiente were right on their heels, Nestor Silvera with the only goal against Tigre. Estudiantes were surprisingly beaten at home by Argentinos, Jose Calderon's first half strike the difference while Newell's were held, Juan Pereyra with a stoppage time equaliser for Tucumán after Mauricio Sperdutti had looked like giving Newell's the win.

Down at the bottom, Arsenal did themselves a favour as they came back from an early deficit to beat Rosario. Milton Caraglio put Rosario in front just ten minutes in, but Arsenal were back level seven minutes later through Javier Yacuzzi and five more minutes had elapsed when they hit the front through Ivan Obolo. Sergio Sena made it three on the hour and good job he did as Luciano Figueroa set up a tense finish with Rosario's second ten minutes from time. Eduardo Dominguez rescued a point for Huracán in the last minute against Racing, Hernan Encina popped up with a late winner for Gimnasia against Chacarita while River Plate climbed away from the bottom with Facundo Affranchino's solitary strike.

Boca Juniors 1-2 Racing Club
Lanús 0-0 Estudiantes
Huracán 2-3 Tigre
Newell's Old Boys 2-1 Godoy Cruz
Argentinos Juniors 1-0 Vélez Sársfield
Independiente 2-0 River Plate
Atlético Tucumán 0-0 Banfield
San Lorenzo 3-1 Chacarita Juniors
Gimnasia La Plata 1-1 Rosario Central
Arsenal 3-0 Colón

And so to the weekend where Colón again conceded three, Obolo bagging two of Arsenal's goals and Cristián Alvarez making it three in stoppage time. Godoy Cruz also lost despite Jairo Castillo putting them in front with a free-kick after Rolando Schiavi was sent off. Nicolas Olmedo followed him Schiavi up the tunnel moments later and Joaquin Boghossian converted a penalty. Boghossian's second early in the second period won it for Newell's. Banfield also dropped points, held to a goalless draw by Tucumán, which allowed Independiente to sneak to the top of the table after their second win of the week. Goals in each half from Dario Gandín and Nestor Silvera did it for them.

Marco Torsiglieri got a comedy own goal five minutes from the end to give Argentinos a win over Vélez and there was another one in La Plata where Gimnasia were the beneficiaries of Nahuel Valentini's blunder on 23 minutes. Rosario did get themselves out of trouble thanks to Gervasio Nunez's equaliser on the hour. San Lorenzo finally got to winning ways, Bernardo Romero with two as they eased past Chacarita. Romero's second and Sebastien Valdez's strike came within the space of three second half minutes broke the resistance. Estudiantes were held to a goalless draw by Lanús and finished with ten men, Raul Iberbia sent off in stoppage time.

Racing came from behind to beat Boca after Oscar Gaitán put the Buenos Aries giants in front. They led for just three minutes, Brian Lluy equalising, and Gabriel Hauche's strike on the stroke of half-time proved decisive. Tigre were pegged back twice before eventually winning against Huracán. Paulo Goltz put through his own net to give Tigre the lead, but Eduardo Dominguez pulled it back quarter of an hour later. Carlos Luna restored the lead second before the break, but it was all square ten minutes after the restart thanks to Gaston Esmerado. Claudio Perez put Tigre ahead for a third time halfway through the second half and, this time, they held on.

This weekend:

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

Top spot seems to be cursed at the moment, so expect Independiente to lose this weekend. Banfield will have it all on to see off battling Arsenal, the big improvers over the last week or two while Estudiantes v Newell's is a crunch game already with the loser in danger of being dropped out of the title chase.

Wednesday night also sees Argentinos Juniors and Newell's try to complete their abandoned game which will - if it gets completed - see everyone on the same number of games played and make that table look a little more balanced.

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