Argentine Primera Division round-up: Boca remain top, Newells and Estudiantes keep pace, San Lorenzo stumble

Argentina Primera Division

Argentine Primera División Weekly roundup, Round 18

Saturday, April 1

Newell’s Old Boys vs Atletico Rafaela

Newell’s were eager to close the gap between them and league leaders Boca Juniors. Playing at home to Atletico Rafeala, a team sitting in 19th position, you would certainly fancy them to do so. However, it was still goalless at the break. Former Liverpool and Atletico Madrid winger Maxi Rodriguez opened the scoring in the 63rd minute with a powerful volley. Newell’s striker Ignacio Scocco missed a penalty later on but it didn’t hurt them in the end. Full time whistle blew and Newell’s got their win, meaning they did put pressure on Boca Juniors, San Lorenzo and Estudiantes.

Quilmes vs Racing Club

Racing managed to turn their 1-0 deficit around last week and this week proved to be no different. Racing found themselves 2-0 down at halftime and had a man sent off as well. Pablo Alvarez elbowed one of Quilmes’ attackers down in the box. It seemed a bit harsh for a straight red card but it definitely wasn’t a smart move from Alvarez. 2-0 up and playing against 10 men Quilmes looked to finally get their wanted three points. However, Gustavo Bou proved to be vital again for Racing as he smashed a freekick under the jumping wall in the back of the net. He later assisted Lautaro Martinez who equalized in the 61st minute. Could Racing do it again? Well, the answer is yes. Pablo Quadra finished the game off with a late winner. Another 3 points for Racing and another defeat for Quilmes.

Other games

Independiente failed to impress again as they only managed to draw 1-1 at home to Velez Sarsfield. Gimnasia La Plata continued their hot form with another close victory, this time away at Atletico Tucuman. Not an easy trip! Just like last week, it was Nicolas Mazzola with the only goal of the game. Gimnasia see themselves sitting in 7th position now. Can they still qualify for the Copa Libertadores?

Sunday, April 2

Lanus vs Banfield

El Clásico del Sur, an important game for both teams. Lanus were in poor form prior to this match, having lost all of their last three games in the Primera División. José Sand opened the scoring early on. The 38-year old striker converted a penalty. Their lead only lasted until the 12th minute as Gonzalo Bettini equalized with a finish from close range. Don’t worry, there will be more goals. And more penalties. José Sand scored another one to put Lanus back in front. Do you want more penalties? Sure. Brian Sarmiento converted his chance from the spot as well, meaning it was all level again after 67 minutes. I promise, no more penalties now. However, there will be more goals. Goals for Lanus to be precise. Marcelo Herrera put Lanus back in front and José Sand added another late on to complete his hattrick. It wasn’t from the spot but it was pretty close to it. He’s a true finisher. Full time, 4-2. A Clásico, 6 goals and a red card. Why we love Argentine football!

Tigre vs San Lorenzo

This game was not shy of goals either. However, it was still goalless at the break. I am going to spoil it for you right now. We ended up with 7(!) goals. Tigre opened the scoring but San Lorenzo were in the lead after 61 minutes. Nicolas Blandi and Bautista Merlini scored the goals. Both goals were some excellent chips! But as stated above, we are not done yet. Alexis Castro equalized for Tigre but again Merlini stepped up for El Ciclon. The defensive midfielder headed in a cross at the back post, for what was surely the winning goal. In the 88th minute San Lorenzo gave away a penalty. Carlos Luna converted. 3-3. Six goals so far, meaning there will be a winner. Ramon Mierez headed in a cross at the back post meaning all three points went to Tigre. Big blow for San Lorenzo as they were looking to close the gap between them and Boca Juniors.

Other Games

Estudiantes and Boca Juniors both made no mistake at home this weekend. Estudiantes won 2-0 to relegation-threated Arsenal while Boca Juniors just managed to win 1-0 at home to Defensa y Justicia. Boca Juniors extended their lead to 5 points with Newell’s sitting in 2nd, Estudiantes in 3rd and San Lorenzo have fallen back to the  4th position. In Mendoza, Godoy Cruz were beaten 1-2 by River Plate. Lucas Alario added another one to his tally. Sarmiento Junin drew 2-2 against Rosario Central and Huracan vs Patriotas also ended in a draw, 0-0. At last, Colon won 1-0 away to Belgrano. Belgrano only have 13 points so far. Only Arsenal (8) have less.

Monday, April 3

If there was one game you could have missed this weekend, it would have been the one in Bahia Blanca. Olimpo drew 0-0 with San Martin. Nothing exciting. However, we did see some goals in the other game on Monday. Union ended Talleres’ hot streak with a 4-2 win. Union have an excellent home record in this year’s Primera División. They have only lost 2 out of their 10 home games so far!

And that wraps it up for this week! I want to thank you all for reading and I hope you enjoyed this week’s coverage on the Argentine Primera División. If you have any questions on Argentine football feel free to tweet me @VicenteGuzman_. I also have my own website based on South American football. Check it out if you want – www.el-goleador.com.

About the Author

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