Argentine Superliga round-up week 8: Boca clinch Superclasico & goalkeeper heroics in Santa Fe

Superliga Argentina

The 200th edition of the Superclásico between River Plate and Boca juniors took place on Sunday. It was a spectacular game with all the elements you’d expect from a South American derby. The Monumental was rocking until the 38th minute. Ignacio Fernandez got himself sent off for a Nigel de Jong esque-challenge on Edwin Cardona. River were down to 10 and it got even worse for the hosts as Edwin Cardona blasted the following free kick into the net. A classic example of ‘top bins’. Boca were leading from halftime onwards but a red card for the earlier named Edwin Cardona meant that both sides were now reduced to 10 players. It was nowhere near a red card and Boca’s manager Schelotto was clearly furious with Pitana’s decision. Some words I shall not name were thrown towards the referee and it got even worse for Boca in the 69th minute. Ponzio received the ball in Boca’s 3rd and let it fly from 25 yards out: Golazo! It was all level in the Monumental and momentum was on River’s side. However, Boca had an answer, and it only took them 4 minutes. Nahitan Nandez got on the end of a cross and slid it in past German Lux. The league leaders were back in front and managed to see the rest of the game out. River 1 x 2 Boca Juniors.

Boca increased their gap with the number two up to 9 points. The Superliga is only 8 weeks old but it looks like Boca will run away with the title this year. 27 points, scoring 21 goals in the process and conceding just twice. River, on the other hand, are in a bit of a crisis. They got eliminated in the Copa Libertadores and sit 13th in the Superliga, winning only one out of their last 6 games. All in all, it was an extremely attractive edition of the Superclásico with lots of passion both on and off the pitch!

That’s it for the Superclásico, let’s get into the remaining games of fecha 8! Chacarita earned their first three points of the season on Friday as they beat Gimnasia La Plata 2-0 at home. The points were extremely welcome for the hosts who have now picked up 5 points from their first 8 games. Godoy Cruz just edged past Huracan in Mendoza, 2-1. Huracan are doing surprisingly well this season despite their loss on the weekend. El Globo currently sit in 5th place. Lanus advanced over River Plate to the Copa Libertadores final in midweek and had a typical hangover this weekend. They lost 0-2 at home to Olimpo, who hadn’t won a single game before this weekend. Lanus won’t be too upset, though. They’ve got the chance to crown themselves as champions of South America this year if they beat Brazilian side Grêmio in the final.

Belgrano played out a stalemate with Independiente. The latter side was in action in midweek as well as they advanced to the Copa Sudamericana quarterfinals over Nacional (PAR). Temperley got trashed by Defensa y Justicia at home. The hosts have only picked up 4 points so far this season and will most likely end up in a tight relegation battle. Credit where its due though, as DyJ were clinical in front of goal. Banfield stole all three points in the Nuevo Gasometro on Saturday as they visited San Lorenzo. The visitors are flying high again and proved to be no minnows in their trip to San Lorenzo. Banfield were led by Pablo Mouche who was a constant threat for San Lorenzo’s defence. He opened the scoring himself and Banfield managed to hold on. Blandi missed a golden opportunity to equalize but his panenka from the spot was saved by Altamirano.

Two in-form sides met in Santa Fe this weekend as Colon hosted San Martin. The hosts were still unbeaten and kept their unbeaten record alive. However, they won’t be too happy with the result. It was a goalfest in a game which involved two teams who are usually solid at the back. San Martin took the lead early on but Colon turned their deficit around and found themselves 3-1 up shortly after the break. However, both sides would end up sharing the points. Escudero brought the tension back in the 63rd minute and San Martin’s comeback got completed in the 90th minute. San Martin’s goalie, Luis Ardente, scored his penalty to bring the score back level. It doesn’t happen too often that a goalkeeper scores in two consecutive matches! Luis Ardente scored the only goal last weekend to give San Martin a 1-0 win over Estudiantes. It was his 3rd goal of the season, meaning he has scored as many goals as Cristian Pavón and Ignacio Scocco!

Union de Santa Fe have made an extremely good start to the Superliga and currently sit in 2nd place after beating Velez 0-2 away from home. 23-year old Striker Franco Soldano opened the scoring in Liniers and lifted his tally to 5 goals. Arsenal de Sarandi drew 0-0 with Tigre while Patronato also drew 0-0 with Newell’s. Tigre have drawn 6 out of their 5 opening games which sees them in 24th place. They’ll need to be cautious though, as they are only just above the relegation zone. Let’s just say the Monday fixtures weren’t too entertaining…

Racing Club got eliminated in the Copa Sudamericana in midweek by Libertad (PAR) and weren’t able to follow this disappointing result up with a win over the weekend. They shared the points in a rather even game with Talleres de Cordoba. Racing 1 x 1 Talleres. Rosario Central’s poor run continued as they were beaten at home by Atletico Tucumán. Former Central midfielder Gervasio Núñez hurt his former side with an absolute worldie of a goal. He volleyed the ball with 89 km/h over Central’s goalie from about 36 yards out. His celebration was remarkable as he apologised for his goal and eventually burst out in tears due to his long-held passion for the club. Argentina, ladies and gentlemen. So that wraps this weekend up! The next round-up will be back in two weeks due to the international break. Hasta la próxima!

About the Author

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