Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Boca off the mark

Huracán 1-1 Newell's Old Boys
Lanús 0-0 Banfield
Tigre 3-0 Quilmes
Colón 1-3 Godoy Cruz
San Lorenzo 3-1 All Boys
Independiente 1-2 Arsenal
Argentinos Juniors 0-0 River Plate
Boca Juniors 2-1 Vélez Sarsfield
Olimpo 1-0 Racing Club

The season of contrasting fortunes for the big hitters in Argentine football continues. While a goalless draw with champions Argentinos was enough for River Plate to go top of the table - partly due to the inaction of Estudiantes thanks to Recopa Sudamericana duties - Boca were celebrating their first win of the season. The result also helped River go top, an irony presumably not lost on the Bombonera faithful. Sebastian Battaglia got the first ten minutes from half time, a nice header from a free-kick as he was falling away, but still managing to get enough purchase on it. Lucas Viatri doubled the advantage just after the hour, again from a free-kick which Vélez failed to deal with. All Vélez could manage was Santiago Silva's now customary goal, a powerful header with five minutes to go.

Banfield were held to a 0-0 draw by Lanús and that's allowed Arsenal to sneak up from nowhere to land in second place after four rounds following their third straight win. Independiente were the victims this time, but only after a goalless first half. On the hour, a cross was stood up to the back post for Sergio Sena to climb over the defence to head in from close range. The second was all about Gonzalo Choy who weaved his way to the byeline and fired in from a seemingly impossible angle. Think Maicon at the World Cup, but narrower. Leonel Galeano pulled one back for Independiente in the last minute, but it was too little and too late. Godoy Cruz make strides after an indifferent start to the campaign, moving up to fourth after a bad tempered win over Colón who were in front after half an hour through Damian Diaz who sprinted right through the heart of the defence and finished in style. However, they'd be down to nine men a couple of minutes into the second period as first Cristian Ledesma and then Mauro Bellone picked up second bookings and went for the early bath. Jorge Curbelo did his best to even things up, his second caution leaving Godoy with ten, but with the numerical advantage, three goals in six minutes swung the game. A deep cross found Jairo Castillo who climbed highest to head in the equaliser. A routine cross wasn't dealt with by Colón a couple of minutes later which allowed David Ramirez to poach one and Rodrigo Salinas sealed it with a lovely, curling effort from the edge of the box another five minutes later.

Quilmes are struggling and were easily brushed aside by Tigre. Mariano Echeverria had Tigre in front inside ten minutes, but the game wasn't really settled until ten from the end when Diego Morales's weaving run and finish doubled the lead and Denis Stracqualursi added a third moments later, a fierce drive from a tight-ish angle. All Boys couldn't build on last week's win and finished with nine players as they went down to San Lorenzo. They were already behind when the first one went, Juan Menseguéz with a nice angled finish moments before Fernando Sanchez saw yellow for the second time and was dismissed. Guillermo Pereyra headed in under no pressure moments later, but Mauro Matos pulled one back for All Boys from the penalty spot a couple of minutes after that. Any thoughts of a comeback were undone ten from time when Carlos Soto picked up his second yellow to become the second sending off and Cristian Tula wrapped it up with another free header. Racing also finished with nine as they lost to Olimpo. Just the one goal and that coming when it was eleven v eleven, some slipshod marking allowing Nestor Bareiro to score from 12 yards out. Racing's attempts to get back in the game were scuppered by Matias Cahias's second yellow and, in the last minute, a straight red for Patricio Toranzo. Newell's were held by Huracán who were ahead on 20 minutes through Rolando Zarate as the offside trap was sprung wide open. Mauricio Sperdutti equalised five minutes after the break, a cross pinballing around the box off defenders before it fell to Sperdutti's feet and he needed no second invitation to finish from six yards.

Still no Estudiantes this weekend coming as they prepare for their return leg against LDU Quito in the Recopa Sudamericana (Estudiantes trail 2-1 after the first leg). Top game sees River Plate away to Vélez Sarsfield, 1st v 3rd. Arsenal's surge up the table continues with a home game against struggling Argentinos and Boca have it all on to make it two wins in a row - they welcome San Lorenzo to the Bombonera. Bottom side Independiente take on a Newell's side entrenched in mid-table.

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

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