Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Boca thumped on opening day

Estudiantes 2-1 Newell's Old Boys
Independiente 2-2 Vélez Sarsfield
Olimpo 2-1 Banfield
San Lorenzo 1-1 Gimnasia
Colón 2-0 Quilmes
All Boys 0-1 Racing
Boca 1-4 Godoy Cruz
Tigre 0-0 River Plate
Lanús 3-1 Arsenal
Huracán 1-1 Argentinos Juniors

In the first of Premier Sports' live games from the Primera Divisíon, champions Estudiantes began their defence with a narrow win over Newell's in La Plata. A game of few chances was won in the first half by Los Pincharratas as Gaston Fernandez got on the end of a flowing move down the right for a 13th minute opener and, ten minutes later, a ball was lifted into the box for Gabriel Mercado who slipped it past the advancing keeper. It could have been worse for Newell's as Enzo Perez was pulled back in the box a couple of minutes from the break, but Hernandez saw his penalty saved. Newell's did get one back, Mauricio Sperdutti teeing up Juan Cobelli for a tap-in, but it came way too late - just a few seconds from the end of the 90.

On Sunday, Premier Sports viewers saw Boca Juniors ripped a new one by Godoy Cruz. An early double from Ruben Ramirez set Godoy on their way, the first a free header after the keeper let a deep cross slip through his arms. He had to work a bit harder to lose his marker for the second, but it was still a tap-in from five yards as the Boca defence was pulled this way and that. They look a shambles. It got worse for them after the break as Adrian Torres stole in round the back to half-volley in a third, but Boca got one back almost instantly as Walter Erviti was found by a neat cut-back and finished from 12 yards. It proved scant consolation in the end as Godoy went and added a fourth late on when Carlos Sanchez beat the keeper in a one-on-one as the Boca defence went AWOL once again.

Vélez came from two down to rescue a draw against Independiente, substitute Juan Manuel Martinez with the equaliser ten minutes from time. Facundo Parra headed El Rojo ahead from a corner early on and Roberto Battion sent them to the interval two up, again with a header as a deep free-kick was nodded back into the danger area by Maxi Velazquez. Vélez needed something quickly to give them a chance and it came within 65 seconds of the restart as Maxi Moralez sprang the offside trap - he was a good three yards onside - and finished one-on-one. Independiente were content to try and sit on it, but when a ball was lifted into the box, keeper Hilario Navarro came and got nowhere near it allowing Martinez to nip in and square things up. There were draws too for Tigre and River Plate - no goals despite plenty of shots flying in - and Huracán and Argentinos. Huracán led for most of the game having scored a second-minute penalty from Javier Campora, but were denied a minute from time by Nicolas Blandi who snuck round the back to prod in a dramatic equaliser. Gimnasia, in deep bother in terms of relegation, drew with San Lorenzo who led thanks to Juan Carlos Menseguez's superb shot on the turn on the quarter hour. The equaliser came midway through the send half from the penalty spot, Juan Neira converting after Guillermo Barrios was upended.

A second half double from Esteban Fuertes saw Colón past lowly Quilmes. His first, five minutes after half time, was goal of the round, a stunning 30-yard free-kick from the inside left channel into the bottom right corner. Twenty minutes later, he hit another - more central this time - over the wall and in to seal the win. Two stoppage time goals denied Arsenal a point at Lanús after Juan Pablo Caffa looked to have rescued a point for El Arse. A stooping header from Diego Valeri gave Lanús the lead ten minutes into the second half, but Caffa's brilliant free-kick looked to have levelled it up. Mauro Camoranesi hadn't been on the field long when he gave the foul away as he picked up where he left off after a miserable spell with Stuttgart. He atoned for his mistake with the killer ball for Mario Regueiro to head Lanús back ahead in the first minute of stoppages and Silvio Romero in the fifth fired in a third.

There was no Ariel Ortega for All Boys as they were completely outplayed by Racing, even if they only had Gabriel Hauche's late goal to show for it, the 24-year old twisting and turning in the box to create space and rifle the shot in off the upright. Carlos Salom's last minute strike nabbed all three points for Olimpo as they came from behind to beat Banfield who led three minutes into the second half thanks to Victor Lopez's powerful near-post header. David Vega squared it up 15 minutes later with a stunner from fully 30 yards and the Aurinegro comeback was complete as Salom followed in a shot which was parried into his path in the first minute of stoppages.

Boca are on Premier Sports next week as well, away to Racing on Monday while the other game sees All Boys pay Vélez a visit, hopefully with Ortega in tow. That one's on Sunday. Godoy are the early leaders and are at home to San Lorenzo while Estudiantes should be comfortable away to Quilmes.

Gimnasia La Plata v Olimpo
Banfield v Colón
Argentinos Juniors v Independiente
Newell's Old Boys v Lanús
Vélez Sarsfield v All Boys Delayed coverage on Premier Sports, Sunday 20 Feb, 22:30
Quilmes v Estudiantes
River Plate v Huracán
Racing Club v Boca Juniors Delayed coverage on Premier Sports, Monday 21 Feb, 00:15
Arsenal v Tigre
Godoy Cruz v San Lorenzo

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