Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Five go two-for-two

Colón 0-1 Banfield
Boca Juniors 1-2 Racing Club
Lanús 1-2 Newell's Old Boys
Tigre 1-2 Arsenal
San Lorenzo 2-2 Godoy Cruz
Huracán 0-1 River Plate
All Boys 1-2 Vélez Sarsfield
Estudiantes 2-0 Quilmes
Olimpo 0-1 Gimnasia La Plata
Independiente 1-1 Argentinos Juniors

Five clubs remain with 100% records after two weeks of football in the Apertura. It seems that the very real threat of being embroiled in a relegation battle has finally resulted in River Plate pulling out their collective finger out and they're one of the five thanks to a second straight 1-0 win, this time over Huracán. Shifting defence into attack, River went from goalkeeper to goal in four passes and a combined total of about eight touches. Facundo Affranchino got on the end of it, almost threatening to fall over the ball before stabbing it in with the keeper nowhere. They had to hang on a bit at the end, Ariel Ortega sent off with 19 minutes to go. River's big rivals Boca couldn't improve on their opening day draw, ending up losers to Racing Club. Lucas Viatri, scorer in the first round, put Boca ahead with a lovely header, but Racing had pegged it back by half time, Claudio Yacob prodding a free-kick home from close range at the back post. Five minutes after the restart, Boca failed to clear a long range shot and it fell to Marcos Caceres lashed it in from the edge of the box and that was enough for the win.

Banfield, winners of the last Apertura, are back in the winning groove, albeit against the run of play against Colón who should have been two or three ahead by the time Cristian Garcia turned a corner in with little over ten minutes to go. You know what they say about sides who win when they're not playing well... Estudiantes also left it late to beat Quilmes. Just eight minutes were left when Estudiantes cleared downfield. The ball was held up wonderfully well and shifted to Rodrigo Brana who bust a gut to get up in support before finishing with the lightest of touches to lift the ball over the advancing keeper. Rodrigo Lopez added a penalty in stoppage time to make sure. And Vélez are the other 100% side as they beat All Boys, albeit less than convincingly. Maxi Martinez lifted a free-kick over the wall and in for the opener ten out from half time and it was two on the stroke of the 45 minute mark, Santiago Silva playing in Juan Martinez who finished from a tight angle. Fernando Sanchez headed in late on from a free-kick, but Vélez closed it out.

Mauricio Sperdutti scored and was dismissed for Newell's as they were held by Lanús, who also finished a man short. Santiago Salcedo headed in from close range to give Lanús the lead, but they were pegged back late in the first half through Sperdutti's stunning free-kick - no back-lift, bang, keeper no chance. Marcos Aguirre was sent off on the stroke of half-time for Lanús, but Sperdutti followed ten minutes after the restart when he picked up a second yellow and 1-1 it remained. San Lorenzo led then had to come from behind to claim a draw with Godoy Cruz. Cristian Tula powered in a header from ten yards out to give San Lorenzo the lead, but two goals either side of half time from David Ramirez swung the advantage back the other way. Both were lovely weighted left-foot finishes from an angle as San Lorenzo were pulled apart down their right. But Diego Rivero, via a massive deflection and the goalkeeper's fumble, squared it up with twelve minutes left.

Luciano Leguizamon got two for Arsenal as they beat Tigre, both coming early in the first half. The first was route one stuff, Leguizamo volleying in a knock down from a massive clearance while the second was raw pace followed by lightness of touch to dink it over the keeper for a stylish goal. A defensive shambles let Denis Stracqualursi prod home a less stylish goal for 2-1 twenty minutes from time, but Arsenal hung on. Champions Argentinos got their first point of the season against Independiente. They were ahead in the sixteenth minute as Gonzalo Prosperi volleyed in from the edge of the box, but Argentinos were level inside thirty seconds, Federico Mancuello profiting from a defensive mix-up. No more goals, but Nestor Ortigoza did leave Argentinos hanging on for ten minutes after his late red card. Finally, Olimpo got their first win back in the top flight, Marcelo Mosset captialising on some poor defence midway through the first half for the only goal of the game.

Argentinos go to Vélez as they look to get their title defence on track while the River revival - if it's not too early to call it that, which it probably is - continues against Independiente. Estudiantes and Banfield put their 100% records on the line against each other while Racing face San Lorenzo. All Boys welcome Boca as they seek their first point of the campaign while Tigre, in the same boat, go to Rosario to face Newell's.

Newell's Old Boys v Tigre
Banfield v Estudiantes
Quilmes v Lanús
Vélez Sarsfield v Argentinos Juniors
Godoy Cruz v Olimpo
Racing Club v San Lorenzo
Gimnasia La Plata v Colón
River Plate v Independiente
Arsenal v Huracán
All Boys v Boca Juniors

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