Monday, March 7, 2016

From Superclásico to 9-goal spectacle

Argentina's Primera División had fans across the globe on their toes the past weekend. It was time for the Superclásico between River and Boca. Not only that, Unión and Racing celebrated a nine goal game in Santa Fe. Here is the roundup.

River in control, but without the winner. (Photo:
Let's start with the big one, shall we? Yesterday evening, River hosted Boca in the Monumental for the 241st official Superclásico. For the 77th time, a game between the two famous clubs ended in a draw, this time around goalless. It really did not have to get that far though, as River Plate wasted a ton of opportunities in both halves and deserved to win this game. 

Especially Driussi and Mora were very active in the first half and produced constant danger on both flanks without an end product. The ball simply had other plans today. Not Alario, not Ponzio, not Mora, noone managed to push it across the goalline. Boca, with Guillermo Schelotto in his first league game as coach, were disappointing for most of the 90 minutes. 

Striker star Carlos Tévez was invisible minus a couple of shots from distance and at the end of the day, the visitors can thank goalkeeper Orión for the point against their archrivals. On the other side, River's defense did surprisingly well after being heavily critisized for weaker performances during the first weeks of the season. 

It was a point that did not really help either team in their respective title quests. River Plate are in 8th and miles behind Rosario Central, while Boca Juniors are 6th, but even further behind Lanús. 

Diego Milito. (Photo:
A completely opposite story was served to fans during the late Sunday game. Racing Club travelled to Santa Fe to take on Unión and beat them in a fantastic 3-6 spectacle. It went back and forth until it was 3-3, then Racing pulled away, led by Diego Milito who scored twice to make it 2-3 and 3-4. 

When Unión threw everything forward towards the end of the game, Racing punished them and struck twice again through Roger Martínez and Lisandro López. Both teams from Santa Fe have cooled off a little after their decent starts.

Colón stood no real chance away to Independiente and lost 4-1. 34-year old Germán Denis scored again for Independiente, giving his team the 1-0 lead after just twelve minutes, which was then doubled by an own goal from Ismael Banegas. While Victor Figueroa got one back midway through the first half, Víctor Cuesta and Emiliano Rigoni wiped away any hope of the visiting team late.

Battle between Central and Banfield. (Photo:
The leaders of Zone A, Rosario Central, surprisingly struggled in their home game against Banfield. Claudio Vivas' team hadn't managed a win since matchweek 1, but got a 2-2 draw from Central while showing a decent performance. This paid dividends early on when Gonzalo Bettini scrambled the ball into the net after just 8 minutes.

Central found a way to come back through Alejandro Donatti's header (50') and a fantastic shot from Damián Musto (60'), but Claudio Villagra salvaged a point for the visitors six minutes from the full time whistle. Overall, Banfield produced more shots on targets in this one, while Rosario Central showed the rare ability of being effective this time around. We all remember their Copa Libertadores loss to Palmeiras in midweek, where they wasted chance after chance.

José Sand is pretty amazing. The 35-year old just scored his sixth goal in as many games for Lanús this weekend. While it was "only" a penalty, it helped ensure the 3-0 victory over Newell's Old Boys during the final minutes. Román Martínez got his team on the scoreboard first with two goals in the 45th and 66th minute.

The win itself was never in danger, as the home team dominated all 90 minutes long. Lanús are the best team in Argentina right now, collecting 16 points in 6 games. Rightfully, the lead Zone B by a margin of three points.

Defensa players celebrate Bordagaray's hattrick. (Photo:

In second place, you can find Defensa y Justicia. Defensa convinced with Friday night's 1-5 away win over Argentinos Juniors. Fabian Bordagaray wrote the headlines late by scoring a hattrick inside the final 12 minutes.

During the first half, Tomás Cardona gave Defensa the lead after 26 minutes and were helped further by an MacAllister own goal three minutes later. But Juniors were back in it Emilio Zelaya's header (31'), until Bordagaray, who now leads the Primera División with 7 goals, had other plans.

San Lorenzo had the chance to pass Rosario Central, but did not use it in a strange away game against Gimnasia y Esgrima. The game had about three total momentum shifts in the whole 90 minutes, but noone used their pressure periods to get a goal. A 0-0 that does not really help anyone, but was a fair result.

Further draws took place in the lower regions of both zones. Quilmes opened the matchday with a 1-1 against Olimpo. Walter Acuña's opening goal for the visitors is worth a look. Aldosivi got a 1-1 draw against Temperley as well.

All Arsenal needed against the previously convincing Vélez Sarsfield was a direct freekick from Fernando Luna in the 19th minute. The ball was in the air forever, but could not be kept out by defense or goalkeeper Alan Aguerre. Arsenal themselves suddenly find themselves in fourth after winning each of their three home games.

Huracán beat Estudiantes 1-0 at home through who else but Ramón Abila (48'). El Globo only played three times so far due to their bus crash in Venezuela, but collected four points against relegation on those occasions. The goal of the day was not pretty, but it counts for three points as well. Estudiantes were lacking precision in their attempts, not managing a single shot on target.

Belgrano have celebrated their second win of the season after beating Sarmiento 3-0. Jorge Velázquez (21'), Mario Bolatti (49') and Gastón Álvarez Suárez (90') scored the goals for the home side, that could rely on their back four to get the job done defensively in a pretty eventless match.

Finally, Atlético Rafaela have continued their downward spiral with the fifth loss in a row. San Martín were 1-2 winners this time around. Things were opened up after an extremely poor defensive error, used by Javier Toledo (36'). Emanuel Denning gave San Martín a 0-2 lead, before Uruguayan Mathías Abero headed the ball home for the final scoreline.

Here are all the goals in video form:


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