Argentine Primera: Inicial round up week 18
In the first game of the penultimate weekend’s fixtures, new Godoy Cruz boss Martin Palermo was unable to get his managerial debut off to a winning start as his side drew 0-0 with Quilmes. The result didn’t do Quilmes any favours either as they remain joint bottom of the promedios with Union.
An Emanuel Gigliotti brace helped Colon to a 3-1 victory over Argentinos Juniors on Saturday. Gigliotti was gifted the first when Luis Ojeda failed to hold a routine free kick, leaving the Colon striker to tap in. Argentinos were back in the game shortly after when Pablo Barzola scored from the spot but an Ivan Moreno y Fabianesi goal before half time ensured that los Sabaleros went in ahead at the break. And Gigliotti wrapped the game up with a bullet header to take his tally to 8 for the season. Argentinos Juniors now have only one win in the last eleven as new boss Gabriel Schurrer looks for his first victory.
Racing ensured that they recorded their highest points total in 10 years with a comprehensive 3-1 victory over All Boys. Luis Farina and Mauro Camoranesi, with his first goal for the club, gave Racing a 2-0 lead in under 30 mins after good work from wonderkid Luciano Vietto on both occasions. All Boys pulled one back through Fernando Sanchez but Racing secured the three points after a Diego Villar attempt looped up off Carlos Soto and into the net.
Velez overcame a stubborn Union side to be crowned champions of the Torneo Inicial with one game to spare. After a pretty even first half it was that man Facundo Ferreyra who proved the cutting edge once again and broke the deadlock early in the second half. Ferreyra darted to meet Alejandro Cabral’s cross with a precise header and put el Fortin on course for a ninth title. And fittingly it was Ferreyra who made the game safe with his eleventh of the season. Ferreyra controlled Fernando Tobio’s long ball to Lucas Pratto who burst forward and squared the ball back to Ferreyra to curl a sumptuous effort inside the post to the delight of his teammates, sending the Estadio Jose Amalfitani into raptures. With other results going their way, the win meant the title was heading back to Liniers for the third time in four years. A huge amount of credit must go to Ricardo Gareca who has expertly guided his young squad to the big prize despite losing many players over the summer.
Both Belgrano and Tigre came into this fixture with midweek victories under their belts. Belgrano won their replayed match against Independiente 2-1 while Tigre’s 1-1 away draw at Millonarios saw them progress to the Copa Sudamericana final against Sao Paulo. A single goal from substitute Cesar ‘Picante’ Pereyra was enough to give Belgrano the three points and move them into third place. Tigre have endured a miserable Inicial but will hope they can once against cause a huge upset in the Sudamericana final.
River parted ways with coach Matias Almeyda during the week, with club favourite Ramon Diaz watching his side beat Lanus from the stands. Lanus needed to win the game to stand any chance of snatching the title from Velez but despite an epic run of form they couldn’t quite go the whole distance. Rodrigo Mora broke the deadlock midway through the second half, heading in Leonardo Ponzio’s perfectly placed free kick. Lanus can take heart from a very encouraging season under new boss Guillermo Barros Schelloto and will hope they can hold onto to their gaffer next term.
In the must win clasico between two grandes struggling to avoid relegation, it was San Lorenzo who emerged victorious, beating Independiente by two goals to one. Osmar Ferreyra put the visitors ahead with a brilliant free kick after ten minutes but San Lorenzo were quickly level. Pablo Alvarado headed against the bar from a corner and Denis Stracqualursi reacted quickest to the rebound to nod the ball across to Nicholas Bianchi Arce to head home. San Lorenzo came out of the traps quickest in the second half and Alan Ruiz scored with a fine strike worthy of winning any game. The young enganche took one player out of the game before unleashed a thunderous effort that was too powerful for Hilario Navarro. Gonzalo Prospieri and Julian Velazquez were sent off but El Ciclon hung on for an important victory, their fourth in the last five, while a hapless Independiente are without a win since October.
In a repeat of the Supercopa earlier in the season, Arsenal once again came out on top against Boca with penalties being decisive yet again. Boca were awarded a dubious penalty after Lautaro Acosta went down midway through the first half. Nevertheless, Cristian Campestrini produced a wonderful save to deny Rolando Schiavi and keep the scores level. Boca were made to pay for their profligacy when straight after the break Emilio Zelaya scored a soft goal, nipping ahead of Schiavi to put Arsenal ahead. Boca couldn’t find a way back and the game ended 1-0 to the recently disposed champions.
Newell’s brushed aside Rafaela 3-0 on Monday and booked a place in the Libertadores. Fabian Muñoz got them off to a perfect start with a goal after two minutes and the 21-year-old grabbed his second of the game just after half time to give Newell’s a comfortable lead. Ignacio Scocco completed the rout and to go joint top of the scoring charts with Facundo Ferreyra – both having rippled the back of the net eleven times this season. Will Martino will be disappointed his side didn’t maintain their title challenge they have nonetheless achieved their main aim of steering themselves well clear of relegation.
In the final game of the round, Estudiantes defeated San Martin 2-0 as most would have expected. Both goals came from young striker Carlos Auzqui – his first goals for the club – as Estudiantes moved up to seventh in the league. San Martin however are suffering a poor finish to the season with no win since mid-October after a brief revival saw renew hopes of beating relegation.
Godoy Cruz 0–0 Quilmes
Colon 3–1 Argentinos
Racing 3–1 All Boys
Velez 2–0 Union
Belgrano 1–0 Tigre
River 1-0 Lanus
San Lorenzo 2–1 Independiente
Arsenal 1–0 Boca
Newell’s 3–0 Rafaela
Estudiantes 2–0 San Martin