Revista del Argieball: week 1


Burdisso Boca Quilmes

The Argentinian Primera is back! And the first round of fixtures of the Torneo Final didn’t disappoint with plenty of goals, drama, power cuts and controversy.  Here’s the weekend’s round up of the main stories and incidents!

Carlos Bianchi’s reign back at Boca began with a win, although it was far from plain sailing.  Much like the first day of the Inicial, Quilmes raced into an early lead thanks to Wilfrido Olivera and Cristian Menendez.  However, Boca managed to reduce the deficit when Walter Erviti pulled one back before half time.  Centre back Guillermo Burdisso equalised midway through the second half with a well improvised finish from a deflected free kick but the drama wasn’t over.  Matias Caruzzo saw red as he felled Jacobo Mansilla in the box but Martin Cauteruccio’s penalty was kept out by Agustin Orion.  One minute later Quilmes were defending a corner but could do nothing about Burdisso smashing an unstoppable volley past Emanuel Tripodi to complete a spectacular comeback for Bianchi’s men.  In short..PAR-TI-DAZO

Velez got their title defence underway to a good start with a narrow victory away at Argentinos Juniors.  A power cut delayed the game for a while but once restarted it was Lucas Pratto who broke the deadlock with a wonderstrike worthy of winning the game.  Worryingly for Velez, last season’s top scorer Facundo Ferreyra went off injured, but they held on to claim the three points.

Another game that was disrupted by power cuts was Union’s 1-1 draw with Arsenal.   Braian Aleman put the hosts ahead early on but Dario Benedetto grabbed a late late equaliser in the 24th (!) minute of stoppage time.  However, the game will be remembered for Pablo Luguercio who reacted aggressively after Emanuel Britez poked him in the bum of the Arsenal (insert own joke) striker.  Lanus and Colon beware…

It was a bad day for both Avellaneda giants as Independiente lost to Newell’s and Racing were comprehensively beaten 3-0 by Rafaela.  Independiente were tied one apiece with Newells after Cristian Tula cancelled out Ignacio Scocco’s opener and as the rain bucketed down came the decisive moment of the match.  After it had been adjudged that Gabriel Heinze had brought down Juan Caicedo, Ernesto ‘Tecla’ Farias (below) stepped up and completely spooned it well over.  As bad a penalty as you’re likely to see and it proved costly as 2 minutes later as Scocco fired in his second.  Pablo Perez sealed the win after more good work by Maxi Rodriguez.  A killer blow for Independiente who need a big season to avoid relegation.

farias pen miss

While Farias erred from the spot, relegation rivals Rafaela had no such problem with both Lucas Bovaglio and Sebastian Grazzini netting penalties to down an out of sorts Racing.  Jonathan Lopez turned in the third just after half time to see La Crema rise to the top of the table after the first week’s action.

Lanus were the week’s star performers as they thumped Colon 4-0 on Monday night.  Two goals either side of half time – courtesy of Victor Ayala, Silvio Romero, Ismael Blanco and Mario Regueiro – blew the visitors away and Colon had no response.  Lanus played some lovely football and will probably be one of the main challengers for the title this season.

River also began the Final with a win over Belgrano and in the process cast away some of the demons with a first triumph against the side that consigned them to relegation since that fateful day.  Los Millonarios were reduced to 10 men when Leonardo Ponzio received his marching orders for needlessly lashing out at Cesar Pereyra but took the lead when new signing Leonel Vangioni lashed in a ferocious drive from 30m out.  Chino Luna doubled the advantage late on when he cooly finished from a Rogelio Funes Mori flick on.  Guillermo Farre pulled one back for Belgrano but it was too little too late.

Elsewhere, Tigre scored a fine 3-1 victory over Estudiantes to already equal the amount of wins they managed in the Inicial.  All Boys and Godoy Cruz drew 1-1 and San Martin versus San Lorenzo was sans goals as neither side was able to fine a winner

Figura de la semana –Guillermo Burdisso (Boca)
The young centre back scored a brace to rescue Boca from the clutches of defeat.  Not only that, it was the sheer quality of the contribution that sees him claim Player of the Week.  The technique to volley in straight from the corner was something most strikers would be proud of and in the context of the game – with Boca down to 10 and having just saved a penalty – that makes it extra special.  With Schiavi gone, it will be a big season for Burdisso and one that could define him.

Boludo(s) de la semana – Pablo Luguercio (Arsenal) & Emanuel Britez (Union)
Tecla Farias’ penalty was utterly terrible, Estudiantes keeper Agustin Silva had a day to forget and Leo Ponzio’s sending off was childish but Boludo of the week can only go to Luguercio and Britez for their hilarious antics in the Arse’n’al game.  The most feeble, homoerotic handbags you’re likely to see this season

Golazo de la semana – Guillermo Burdisso (Boca) / Lucas Pratto (Velez)
A difficult call to make as there were a whole host of impressive strikes this week.  Vangioni’s powerful effort and Marcos Gelabert’s lovely free kick were both in the running but it’s a dead heat between Burdisso’s sumptuous volley and Lucas Pratto’s beautiful dipping effort from out wide.  Both deserving winners of their games.

Video Highlights:
Union 1-1 Arsenal
Argentinos Jnrs 0-1 Velez
All Boys 1-1 Godoy Cruz
Estudiantes 1-3 Tigre
Boca 3-2 Quilmes
San Martin 0–0 San Lorenzo
Independiente 1-3 Newell’s
Rafaela 3-0 Racing
Belgrano 1-2 River
Lanus – Colon