Argentine Primera: Inicial round-up week 1


In an entertaining opening round of the Inicial, Boca and River got their campaigns off to a sloppy start after both suffered defeat in their first game.

In a grudge match that pitted River against Belgrano – the side who relegated them last year – there was always bound to be a dramatic return to the Primera for Los Millonarios. Goals either side of half time from teenager Lucas Melano and Cesar Carranza put Belgrano two up before a deflected Manuel Lanzini free kick halved the deficit. River were given the chance to level late in the game when a penalty was awarded for ‘keeper Juan Carlos Olave clattering into Martin Aguirre, knocking himself out in the process. Olave recovered to see Rogelio Funes Mori blaze the penalty over. However, referee German Delfino bizarrely sent off Olave for his over-zealous celebration aimed at the assistant yet didn’t order the penalty to be retaken despite Olave’s obvious encroachment from his goal line. Belgrano held on, with striker Juan Martin in goal, to maintain their reputation as River’s bogey team.

Boca were comprehensively beaten by promoted Quilmes at the Estadio Centenario Dr. José Luis Meiszner. A brace from lively forward Martin Cauteruccio and a strike from Pablo Garnier put a lacklustre Boca to the sword. Boca were not aided by the dismissal of striker Santiago Silva who was sent off in the 19th minute for moronically kicking out at Sebastian Romero after a particularly heavy challenge. Under-pressure manager will hope for a better showing in the Copa Argentina final versus Racing this Thursday.

Clausura champions Arsenal de Sarandi won the opening bout of the season on Friday with a 1-0 victory over Union de Santa Fe. In atrocious conditions the game was decided by a goalkeeping error by ex-Arsenal custodian Oscar Limia, dropping a Nicolas Aguirre freekick into his own net. Limia somewhat made amends by saving an Emilio Zelaya penalty but Arsenal were the only side that ever looked like winning the tie.

It wasn’t a good day for penalty takers as Jose Sand twice missed from the spot for Racing as they drew 1-1 with Rafaela. Cesar Carignano struck first for Rafaela but La Crema were quickly pegged back as centre back Fernando Ortiz headed in from a Diego Villar corner. Racing had to settle for a draw as new signing Sand then saw both penalty attempts well saved by an inspired Guillermo Sara.

In a replay of the final game of the season, San Lorenzo took on fellow relegation survivors San Martin de San Juan. Just as they did in their last meeting, it was San Lorenzo who once again emerged victorious. Leandro Romagnoli and Franco Jara netted for Los Cuervos, with Sebastian Penco getting a well worked consolation goal for San Martin.

Velez started their campaign brightly with an impressive 3-0 victory over Argentinos Juniors. A young Velez side, with many regular starters rested, took apart Argentinos Juniors in under an hour thanks to a brace from centre back Sebastian Dominguez and a lovely finish from Lucas Pratto.

Newell’s Old Boys and Independiente played out a scoreless draw in a fairly uneventful game. Both sides could well be involved in a relegation battle this season as their averages read 1.182 and each could have done with a win.

Colon edged Lanus in a tight game at the Cementerio de los Elefantes, with experienced midfielder Ivan Moreno y Fabianesi volleying home, having been found by a delightful pass by new boy Ruben Ramirez.

There was nothing to separate Godoy Cruz and All Boys as they played out a 1-1 draw on Sunday. David Ramirez was one player who actually managed to score a penalty this week, giving el Tomba the lead in the 14th minute. However, All Boys regained parity two minutes later, Ivan Borghello scoring the equaliser.

Clausura runners-up Tigre hosted Estudiantes in the final game of the week. Maxi Nuñez caught the Tigre defence napping with an early goal, only for Emmanuel Pio to equalise from the spot with a thunderous strike on the stroke of half time. With the game heading for a draw, Guido Carrillo headed in the winner.

Arsenal 1-0 Union Santa Fe
Velez Sarsfield 3-0 Argentinos Juniors
Racing Club 1-1 Atletico Rafaela
Colon 1-0 Lanus
Quilmes 3-0 Boca Juniors
Newells Old Boys 0-0 Independiente
Godoy Cruz 1-1 All Boys
San Lorenzo 2-1 San Martin San Juan
River Plate 1-2 Belgrano
Tigre 1-2 Estudiantes