River Plate’s downfall, the Clásico Santafesino, Exciting Boca Juniors and much more in this week’s Argentine Superliga round-up.

Superliga Argentina

Friday

Huracan got back to winning ways as they narrowly beat Estudiantes in Buenos Aires. Ignacio Pussetto scored the only goal of the game. The 22-year old forward has been a standout for Huracan this season racking up 6 goals and 4 assists. Portuguese giants Benfica were interested in him last summer but a 5M offer wasn’t enough to acquire his services. It will take a lot more now to lure Huracan’s starlet away but that shouldn’t be a problem for most clubs interested. Estudiantes rotated their side ahead of their Copa Libertadores clash with Uruguayan outfit Nacional and won’t be too upset with their narrow defeat. Huracan 1 x 0 Estudiantes.

Olimpo piled on Arsenal’s misery with a 2-1 win. There seems to be no other outcome for Arsenal other than them being relegated to the Primera B. Olimpo grabbed a much-needed victory and with that their last lifeline. They currently sit one spot out of safety, with Velez above them averaging 1.194 per game over the last three years. Olimpo average lays at 1.065 points per game, meaning they still do have a slight chance of surviving. They’ll need to pick up some vital wins in the upcoming games for that to happen though. This win was their first after 5 straight losses, let’s hope for all Olimpo fans that it’s the start of an unlikely revival. Olimpo 2 x 1 Arsenal.

Godoy Cruz lost their 100% record in Mendoza against Racing Club. Racing, captained by Lautaro Martinez, made it 4 wins on the bounce with a narrow 1-2 victory. Ricky Centurion got himself on the scoresheet again but Guillermo Fernandez levelled things up with an absolute thunderbolt of a goal. It looked like both sides would share a point each but Paolo Cuadra scored a tap-in in the absolute dying seconds of the game. Devastating stuff for Godoy Cruz who’ve now lost their first game in Mendoza after winning all of their opening 7 games. Racing move up to 5th while Godoy Cruz drop down to 7th. Godoy Cruz 1 x 2 Racing Club.

Saturday

Defensa y Justicia earned a much-welcome victory over Patronato. The visitors picked up a valuable win last weekend and were expected to do some damage with Sebastian Ribas being on fire as of late. It was Defensa who were entitled to win but Patronato managed to hold on for a long time. It took the hosts 76 minutes to find the net when Nahuel Molina opened the scoring. It proved to be all she wrote in what was a deserved victory for the hosts. Defensa y Justicia 1 x 0 Patronato.

Lanus have struggled recently but there’s one player in particular who’s been impressive despite Lanus’ downfall. Lautaro Acosta is showing his class week in week out for Lanus. It came to no surprise that it was that man Acosta who opened the scoring vs Rosario Central. Lanus only managed to hold on for two more minutes though, as Martinez equalized shortly after. Both sides had chances for a winner but none of them ended up in the back of the net. Lanus won’t be too upset with a draw given Central’s recent form. Lanus 1 x 1 Rosario Central.

Velez piled on River Plate’s misery with a 1-0 victory. Another week and another poor result for River Plate. Gallardo promised the moon after the summer break but he has failed to even get to the stars. Millions were spent by River Plate in the hope they could return to the title race. A poor run of form has ruled them out for the title race already which leaves River with just the Copa Libertadores left. And that is exactly the problem that has formed the foundation of River’s struggle this season.

When Gallardo got appointed he had one main task: Compete in South America’s biggest competition, the Copa Libertadores. With the focus mainly laying on the continental tournament, Gallardo has failed to motivate his side properly for the domestic league, a league that covers a much longer period. It’s something that has crept in during Gallardo’s reign, and it’s yet to be determined whether River can overcome their domestic struggles. It won’t be before Thursday evening though, as River will travel to Brazil where they’ll face Flamengo in the, you may have guessed it, Copa Libertadores. All credit should still go to Gabriel Heinze’s Velez who did well and earned a 1-0 victory. Velez Sarsfield 1 x 0 River Plate.

Atletico Tucumán where favourites coming into their game vs Tigre. The visitors failed to win last week out against Defensa y Justicia but probably deserved more than a draw in Tucumán. An early opener from Tigre was wrongly flagged off for offside. Tigre had a couple of good chances but neither side was able to find the net. Atletico Tucumán 0 x 0 Tigre.

Sunday

Belgrano edged relegation-threatened Chacarita Juniors in a 0-1 victory. The Cordoba-based club has impressed this season with a solid backline. The hosts were unable to break it down and their chances of surviving relegation are getting slimmer by the week. They’ve now lost 5 out of their last 7 games, a streak that most likely won’t see them surviving the relegation battle. Chacarita Juniors 0 x 1 Belgrano.

Independiente picked up a narrow victory against Banfield. Banfield were unfortunate in midweek after conceding an injury-time goal which knocked them out of the Copa Libertadores. Independiente were however simply too strong for Taladro but the visitors stayed in the game due to Independiente’s wasteful finishing. Creating chances hasn’t been a problem for Ariel Holan’s side, it’s their finishing that’s letting them down. Hopefully, for them, new signing Silvio Romero will be able to put some of their chances away. He joined El Rojo from Club America in Mexico, a great striker for Independiente who should score quite a few goals, also on the continental stage. Independiente 1 x 0 Banfield.

Boca Juniors continued to impress in a fairly exciting encounter vs San Martin. Boca’s front three with Cardona, Tevez and Pavon proved to be too hot to handle for San Martin’s defence as they conceded 4 goals. Tevez opened the scoring, Pavon added a second before assisting the third, which was scored by Nahitan Nandez. Pavon has now racked up 20 goals and 17 assists in his 54 games at Boca Juniors. An excellent return which makes him one of the most promising Argentine youngsters around. Abila scored his first goal for Boca just before the final whistle. San Martin did manage to score two goals earlier but Boca were just too powerful in attack. One of them was scored by youngster Claudio Spinelli, who’s found the net for the third week in a row. Boca Juniors 4 x 2 San Martin.

The only Clásico of this week took place in Santa Fe as Union hosted Colon in the Clásico Santafesino. Clásico’s in Argentina always produce some electric atmosphere and this occasion proved to be no different. It was Colon though who opened the scoring. Germán Conti played a perfect through ball to Javier Correa who finished at the near post. Another showcase of why Conti is one of the best CB’s in Argentina and why he should earn a move abroad after this season. Union did manage to equalize though, albeit via an own goal from Ortiz, who got on the wrong end of a Union cross. Union 1 x 1 Colon.

Monday

Talleres secured a 2-0 win over Argentinos Juniors which sees them sit in second, 9 points behind league leaders Boca Juniors. A remarkable achievement giving the fact that they were active in the 3rd tier just 4 years ago. Santiago Silva is proving to be quite the capture for La T. The veteran striker doubled La T’s lead with a sublime finish in the top left corner. Argentinos aren’t doing too bad this season but came short on quality on Monday evening. Talleres 2 x 0 Argentinos Juniors.

With Llop’s recent sacking, Newell’s have chosen former player Fabián Garfagnoli as their caretaker manager. His first job? Picking up a win at home against Temperley. The visitors are one of the few team’s who’ve had a worse season than Newell’s so far. Not much spectacle was expected in Rosario and both sides indeed fail to deliver. Newell’s were dominant and probably did deserve a goal but neither side was able to find the net. A disappointing draw. Newell’s 0 x 0 Temperley.

San Lorenzo look to be the only team capable of stopping Boca Juniors this season. However, a damaging loss in La Plata has seen them drop to third, 12 points behind Boca. They do have a game in hand but can only level Talleres’ points if they manage to win that fixture. Some nice individual skill by Gimnasia’s key man Brahian Aléman was followed by a superb low cross which left a simple tap-in for Facundo Pereyra. Gimnasia managed to hold on to their lead while San Lorenzo ended their match with 10 men: Paulo Diaz picked up a second yellow after throwing the ball away. Gimnasia 1 x 0 San Lorenzo.

About the Author

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