Argentina Primera Division round-up week 28: Sarmiento, Atletico Rafaela and Quilmes relegated, Boca close to title

Argentina Primera Division

Thursday, June 15

Colon 2-1 San Lorenzo

We kicked round 28 off in Santa Fe as Colon were hosting San Lorenzo. El Ciclon are still looking for a Copa Libertadores spot. Therefore, a win was a must. San Lorenzo dominated the match and had plenty of chances but failed to convert them. Colon had a man sent off in the 60th minute but managed to hang on to their 2-1 lead. Colon are only one point behind San Lorenzo now, sitting in 9th position.

Friday, June 16

Huracan 1-0 Union de Santa Fe

Huracan got an important victory over Union as they were looking to climb out of the relegation spots. Relegation is decided via an average points-table in Argentina and Huracan were one of the candidates to go down. As a result of this result, Sarmiento and Atletico Rafaela are both relegated to the Primera B as they can’t climb out of the last 4 relegation spots.

Banfield 3-1 Rosario Central

Banfield continued to impress at home in the Flore Sola as they beat Rosario Central 3-1. Javier Pinola was sent off for an elbow after 10 minutes, giving Banfield an advantage. It was 1-1 after 50 minutes but Brian Sarmiento converted a free-kick and Dario Cvitanich finished the game off with a penalty in injury-time. Banfield are most likely qualified for the Copa Libertadores and are technically the only ones who can stop Boca Juniors from winning the title. However, their last two games are against San Lorenzo and Racing. It will be a hard task for Taladro to keep up with Boca Juniors but they can be very proud of themselves. Magnificent season.

Around the grounds

Temperley got a 1-0 away win at San Martin as Gimnasia got back to winning ways in Cordoba as they beat Talleres 0-1. A good victory for Gimnasia and a blow for Talleres. Copa Sudamericana qualification looks unlikely now!

Saturday, June 17

Aldosivi 0-4 Boca Juniors

Boca got their three points in a very convincing 4-0 victory over Aldosivi. Cristian Pavon opened the scoring with a belter from long range. Ricardo Centurion then added a quick second just before half time to basically kill the game off. Boca were cruising and never really in danger. If Banfield fail to win against San Lorenzo midweek, Boca will be champions. Surely, this can’t go wrong?

Estudiantes 2-0 Belgrano

Estudiantes got an important victory in the race for a Copa Libertadores ticket as they beat Belgrano 2-0. Belgrano have had troubles with scoring all season, scoring only 19 goals in 28 matches. The return of former Anderlecht striker Matias Suarez hasn’t been that successful and the Cordoba-based team have only picked up 22 points in the process. Estudiantes find themselves in 4th position with 50 points.

Atletico Rafaela 1-1 Quilmes

This game was a bit of a weird one. Atletico Rafaela were relegated the day before this match despite sitting in the 16th position. Quilmes needed a win here or else they would go down as well. River Plate loanee Federico Andrada pulled Quilmes back level shortly after half time. Rafaela got their first red card in the 52nd minute and their second in the 85th but despite their advantage Quilmes weren’t able to get all three points. Meaning that they will join Atletico Rafaela in the Primera B next season.

Around the grounds

Velez Sarzfield got a decisive victory over already relegated Sarmiento, 5-1. Another candidate for relegation, Arsenal, were beaten at home by Godoy Cruz. There is only 1 relegation spot left. Either Olimpo, Arsenal, Temperley or Aldosivi will go down fill it.

Sunday, June 18

Independiente 1-1 Olimpo

Independiente were held to a 1-1 draw by Olimpo. An important point for Olimpo as they are still trying to avoid relegation. It’s also a big blow for Independiente who are still aiming for a Copa Libertadores spot. They could have got into the top 5 but currently sit in 6th place. Only the top 5 places give a ticket for the Copa Libertadores. It’s a tight race, that’s for sure!

River Plate 2-3 Racing Club

The hosts were looking to close the gap with Boca but instead, they were beaten by Racing Club. River Plate goalie Batalla had another poor game. The young goalkeeper has made some fatal errors this season and did again this week.  Racing opened the scoring after he tried to clear the ball but he shot it straight at Racing’s forward Lautaro Martinez. The ball bounced off him straight into the net. Racing extended their lead to 3-0 before River got two goals back in the last 10 minutes but it was too late for them. Their title hopes are gone now.

Around the grounds

Defensa y Justicia got back to winning ways as they brushed Tucuman aside in a comfortable 3-0 victory. They find themselves in the 11th position now, just enough for Copa Sudamericana qualification. Newell’s drew 1-1 at home to Lanus. It looked like all three points stayed in Rosario but Lanus equalised in the last minute. Another team that failed to move further up the table to strengthen their Libertadores chances. Finally, Tigre got a 2-0 win away at Patronato. Both teams were in terrible form coming into this match. Tigre will definitely be happy with this result!

Copa Libertadores qualification

As I mentioned in the round-up, the race for  Copa Libertadores qualification is extremely close. Only two points separate Estudiantes (4th, 50) and Colon (9th, 48). With only two games left, all these teams basically have a shot at Copa Libertadores qualification. Argentine football can be very unpredictable, so we’ll probably see some drama this week! Round 29 and 30 will both be played this week. Make sure you don’t miss out on the next round-up as we will know if Boca managed to win the title, who will qualify for the Copa Libertadores and who will go down to the Primera B!

  1. Boca Juniors 59
  2. Banfield 54
  3. River Plate 52
  4. Estudiantes 50
  5. Newell’s 49
  6. Independiente 49
  7. San Lorenzo 49
  8. Racing Club 49
  9. Colon 48
  10. Lanus 46

Predictions round 29:

San Lorenzo 2-1 Banfield

Gimnasia 1-0 San Martin

Rosario Central 1-0 Talleres Cordoba

Quilmes 0-0 Arsenal

Temperley 1-2 Defensa y Justicia

Racing Club 3-1 Colon

Olimpo 0-2 Boca Juniors

River Plate 3-0 Aldosivi

Belgrano 0-1 Newell’s

Lanus 1-1 Huracan

Sarmiento 1-1 Patronato

Tigre 1-0 Atl. Rafaela

Godoy Cruz 0-1 Estudiantes

Atletico Tucuman 2-1 Velez Sarzfield

Union Santa Fe 1-1 Independiente

About the Author

Vincent van Raam
South American football enthusiast covering Argentina for @ByFarBlog.