Argentine Superliga round-up #14: Lautaro Martinez stealing the show and honours even in top of the table clash

Superliga Argentina

Friday

Argentinos Juniors kicked Fecha 14 off with a home game against Defensa y Justicia. Lucas Barrios was a bit unlucky last week but opened the scoring shortly after the break. The panter is well and truly back and his presence up front has been notable. Diego Batallini doubled Argentinos’ lead 30 minutes later securing all three points for El Bicho. Defensa did score late on but it proved to be nothing more than a consolation goal. Argentinos Juniors 2 x 1 Defensa y Justicia.

Godoy Cruz headed to Patronato on Friday but failed to secure all three points. The Mendoza-based side came into this game in decent form but were unable to get past Patronato’s solid defence. Patronato have struggled up front this season themselves and it was no different this weekend. Patronato 0 x 0 Godoy Cruz.

Belgrano have one of the best home records in the Superliga: They are yet to concede a goal in the Gigante de Alberdi. A record that still stands after this weekend. Lanus failed to find the net on Friday and still haven’t been able to fully recover from their Copa Libertadores hangover. There were plenty of chances on both ends but a second bore draw was on the cards as Belgrano couldn’t find a way past Esteban Andrada. Belgrano 0 x 0 Lanus.

Saturday

Flying high Union recorded a win over Racing last weekend in Santa Fe but were in for a tough game in Rosario, where they faced Rosario Central. Central had finally found a good run of form prior to last week as it was held by Gimnasia La Plata. Fernando Tobio opened the scoring early on in a fairly even tie. Holding midfielder Maximiliano Gonzalez got himself sent off on the stroke of halftime but Central were able to see the match out despite their men disadvantage. Union still find themselves in 4th despite their defeat. An important victory for Central who are slowly recovering from their poor start to the season. Rosario Central 1 x 0 Union de Santa Fe.

Banfield rested quite a lot of first teamers ahead of their trip to Ecuador for the Copa Libertadores. A 1-1 draw at home to Independiente Del Valle has put their chances of progressing in danger. Taladro must find the net in Ecuador or they won’t appear in South America’s biggest stage. One of those rested players was Dario Cvitanich, who’s recently returned from his injury. And without Cvitanich, Banfield struggle a lot. 17-year-old Julian Carranza got a chance up front instead but he was unable to properly fill Cvitanich’s gap. They were up against Atletico Tucumán who should have put in a better shift in the Florencio Sola as they played their strongest squad. Banfield’s youngsters fought well and won’t be too upset with a draw. Both sides were (again) unable to find the net resulting in the 3rd bore draw of the weekend. Banfield 0 x0 Atletico Tucumán.

Colon had a superb start to the season but have hit a rough patch recently. The Santa-Fe based side lost 3 on the bounce coming into their fixture against Independiente. Ariel Holan’s Independiente have shown some good football in recent weeks but have struggled to put their chances away. Add both facts together and a low-scoring affair is an outcome. It wasn’t another bore draw though as Leandro Fernandez separated both sides from the spot. Independiente’s first victory in 2018 and Colon’s 4th consecutive loss. Colon 0 x 1 Independiente.

New signings Fernando Quintero and Franco Armani both started for River Plate in their home fixture against Olimpo. River were desperate for a win and were indeed able to beat a relegation-threatened Olimpo. However, it wasn’t one of the new boys who stole the show on Saturday night. Ignacio Scocco dribbled past Olimpo’s entire defence including their goalkeeper before slotting it into an empty net. An absolute wondergoal by the former Sunderland-striker which went completely viral. And deservedly so, it was a goal of pure beauty. You should definitely check it out if you haven’t seen it. He also scored the first goal of the game but it was overshadowed by his piece of brilliance later on. An important and much-needed victory for Gallardo’s men. River Plate 2 x 0 Olimpo.

Sunday

Arsenal are in deep relegation trouble and picking up points is a must for Sergio Rondina’s men. They faced Gimnasia at home, who’ve struggled away from La Plata since the start of the season. They were confident of a result here though as Arsenal are one of the worst sides in the league. Uruguayan playmaker Brahian Aleman has pulled the strings for Gimnasia this season and continued to do so this weekend. He earned a MOTM award in what was a rather disappointing affair. Gimnasia probably should have scored but failed to do so and Arsenal failed to impress once again. A fairly disappointing fixture.  Arsenal 0 x 0 Gimnasia.

Estudiantes are usually involved in tight affairs but their home game against Newell’s was full of spectacle. Colombian youngster Juan Otero was fouled in the box and opened the scoring from the spot himself. He eventually got subbed off under a standing ovation come the end of a spectacular match. Some sloppy defending from Newell’s allowed Estudiantes to score 4 goals on the night, of which 2 had been scored by Otero. Estudiantes who usually rely on their defence conceded two goals themselves too. Andujar should have done better on both occasions but it made no difference in the end. Estudiantes 4 x 2 Newell’s.

The biggest game of the weekend took place in the Nuevo Gasometro where San Lorenzo hosted league leaders Boca Juniors. A win for Boca juniors could see them extend their gap with San Lorenzo to a massive 9 points. It didn’t start off well though for Boca. A shot from Ruben Botta took a massive deflection leaving Rossi with no chance. San Lorenzo’s early lead was eventually cancelled out by Carlos Tevez, who scored his first goal since his return to his boyhood club. Facundo Quignon got himself sent off on the stroke of half-time leaving San Lorenzo with a man disadvantage for the remainder of the game. Boca had a poor second half and failed to capitalise on San Lorenzo’s disadvantage. Even when their opponents were reduced to 9 men when Rojas was sent off. Boca will be much happier with a point though as they kept their gap at 6 points. It was the second game in a row where San Lorenzo finished the game off with 9 men. A worrying sign. San Lorenzo 1 x 1 Boca Juniors.

Racing were looking to bounce back from their 2-1 defeat at Union last week but Huracan are flying high this season. It was highly rated youngster Lautaro Martinez who stole the show Sunday evening, scoring a hattrick in a 4-0 victory over Huracan. Lisandro Lopez scored the other goal from the spot after Lautaro Martinez was fouled after some quick footwork in the box. A superb performance from the youngster who impressed Argentina’s NT manager Sampaoli, who was attending the game. He clearly enjoyed Lautaro’s goals and we may even see him shine for Argentina at the World Cup. Racing 4 x 0 Huracan.

Monday

Chacarita juniors picked up an important win over Velez Sarsfield in Villa Maipu. Gabriel Heinze hadn’t lost a game in charge of Velez prior to this weekend but their decent run of form has come to an end. It was a deserved win for Chacarita in a game where Velez failed to really test Chacarita’s Pedro Fernández. Mauro Matos cost his side 3 points last weekend as he scored in the wrong end of the pitch. He redeemed himself though as he opened the scoring shortly before halftime. Santiago Caseres received a second yellow card in the 76th minute which allowed Chacarita to extend their lead and secure the victory. Chacarita Juniors 2 x 0 Velez Sarsfield.

It was more of the same for Temperley who were narrowly defeated by Talleres in front of their home fans. A poor first half from the hosts resulted in them looking at a 0-1 deficit at halftime. Their second half was a bit better but Arias’ goal proved to be the difference between the two sides. Another positive note was the return of El Tanque, Santiago Silva. He had a superb season for Banfield two years ago which earned him a move to Chilean outfit Universidad Catolica. He’s now back on Argentine soil and should be a good impulse for Frank Kudelka’s Talleres. Temperley 0 x 1 Talleres.

The last match of Fecha 14 took place in San Juan where San Martin hosted a struggling Tigre. San Martin would have won this game if it wasn’t for Tigre’s GK Federico Crivelli. The veteran goalkeeper had a big part in San Martin’s 19 shots not ending up in the back of the net. Tigre will be much happier with a point but still find themselves in a relegation battle. They narrowly sit outside of the relegation zone but they’ll have to turn things around or we’ll see the Victoria-based side in the Primera B next season. San Martin 0 x 0 Tigre.

About the Author

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