Watch Boca Juniors v River Plate live, right here!

As my Twitter followers are already well aware, the Argentine government’s Fútbol Para Todos programme has, for some time now, been streaming the vast majority of Primera División matches live to the world on YouTube. Today is no exception, so assuming this embed works properly, I am able to invite you to enjoy the superclásico right here on HEGS, live from La Bombonera, as Boca Juniors take on River Plate. You should see the video below; clicking ‘Live’ (or ‘Vivo’, if that’s what it says) will bump the stream forward to the current moment. Enjoy.

I’m going to click Publish straight away so you can enjoy the buildup – kick off is at 18:15 ART, which is in about 15 minutes as I write this. I’ll then add in the lineups, so if you refresh this page in about five minutes you should be able to see the players listed below the video.

The teams

Boca Juniors (manager: Carlos Bianchi)

1. Agustín Orión

4. Hernán Grana 2. Daniel Díaz 6. Juan Forlín 13. Emanuel Insúa

21. Cristian Erbes 8. Fernando Gago 11. Juan Sánchez Miño

10. Juan Román Riquelme (what do you mean, ‘who?’?!)

7. Juan Manuel Martínez 9. Emanuel Gigliotti

River Plate (manager: Ramón Díaz)

1. Marcelo Barovero

25. Gabriel Mercado - 2. Jonathan Maidana - 3. Éder Álvarez Balanta - 6. Ramiro Funes Mori

7. Carlos Carbonero 28. Cristian Ledesma 16. Ariel Rojas

10. Manuel Lanzini

29. Teófilo Gutiérrez 9. Fernando Cavenaghi

And the benches!

Boca: 12. Emanuel Trípodi (GK); 14. Claudio Pérez; 28 Juan Cruz Komar; 16. Gonzalo Escalante; 18. Nicolás Colazo; 17. Luciano Acosta; 25. Claudio Riaño

River: 19 Leonardo Chichizola (GK); 11. Osmar Ferreyra; 5. Matías Kranevitter; 18 Augusto Solari; 17. Jonathan Fabbro; 8. Juan Carlos Menseguez; 30. Daniel Villalva

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Posted in 2014 Torneo Final, Boca Juniors, Primera A, River Plate, Superclásico | Tagged , , , , ,

Episode 137: Colón still lead the way, Independiente in meltdown & previewing Boca v River


Ahead of Sunday’s superclásico, the new episode of Hand Of Pod previews Boca Juniors v River Plate as well as looking at what’s going on at Independiente, why Argentinos Juniors are so bad and a few other things. Enjoy.

Originally posted on Hand Of Pod:

The hundred-and-thirty-seventh episode of Hand Of Pod sees Sam, Peter and Andrés joined by German Dan to discuss an interesting weekend of matches, at the end of which Colón were still top of the Torneo Final pile, and looking increasingly likely to avoid relegation, points deduction or no points deduction. There were surprising results on Saturday and more predictable ones on Sunday, which concluded with a dire goalless draw between Quilmes and Boca Juniors. Boca’s next match is of course at home to their arch rivals River Plate, so as ever we dedicate a chunk of this week’s pod to previewing the superclásico; will River get their first win in La Bombonera in a decade? Can Boca lift their game? We also discuss Dan’s side Argentinos Juniors, and what’s gone wrong for them, and Peter tries to give us a quick lowdown of what mentalness is happening at Independiente…

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Episode 133: No shortage of thrillers, Boca finally win again… and look out, Newell’s are back!


Here’s the hundred-and-thirty-third episode of Hand Of Pod, with me, English Dan, Ilan and Andrés discussing a cracking last round of fixtures and looking forward to round five (which, as I reblog this, has just kicked off…).

Originally posted on Hand Of Pod:

The hundred-and-thirty-first episode of Hand Of Pod features Sam, English Dan, Andrés and Ilan. They look back over the fourth round of the Torneo Final, which saw some wonderfully entertaining games: two golazos from Gonzalo Castellani as Godoy Cruz beat Rosario Central 3-0; a 3-2 thriller in La Fortaleza where Lanús ousted Vélez; a frankly slightly silly 2-2 draw in the round’s final match between Gimnasia and Belgrano in La Plata… and a simply awe-inspiring performance from Newell’s, who ended a run of thirteen matches without in spectacular fashion, dismantling Atlético de Rafaela to claim a 4-1 victory (they did it again as this episode was being edited, beating Nacional 4-0 in the Copa Libertadores). Boca Juniors finally won a game; their 1-0 win over Estudiantes was the La Plata side’s first defeat of the year. And of course, River Plate and Racing are both looking awful again. We ask…

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Episode 132: The champs are up and running, Boca’s Riquelme-reliance, trouble at River and more


I was up until 6am editing Hand Of Pod 132, so as to be able to get it online before the fourth round of Torneo Final matches kicks off this afternoon. So the least you lot can do is listen to it. Here you go.

Originally posted on Hand Of Pod:

In the hundred-and-thirty-second episode of Hand Of Pod, Sam is joined by English Dan, Peter and Rob, and we discuss not one but two rounds of league action, with the third round having been played in midweek. San Lorenzo have started looking like the defending champions with back-to-back victories, Estudiantes have started with three straight wins to top the table early on, Racing look like… well, Racing, and it’s been a poor week for Boca Juniors. River Plate are in hot water over another security issue at the Estadio Monumental, and Tigre manager Fabián Alegre might be our new favourite manager. Oh, and Ricardo Caruso Lombardi’s back. All this and much more…

You can click here if you’d like to subscribe to us on iTunes, and here to follow us on Twitter.

Mystic Sam’s fourth round predictions
Lanús v Vélez
All Boys v Olimpo
Arsenal v Racing

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Final round 3 so far: There goes the home dominance…

After the opening matches of the 2014 Torneo Final, I wondered whether the dominance of results favouring the home sides which we saw during the Torneo Inicial was set to continue. Four away wins in the second round of games seemed to suggest otherwise, and now it would appear we have more evidence for the case against: seven matches have so far been played in round 3 (three on Tuesday and four on Wednesday), and five of them have ended in away wins. Only Vélez Sarsfield – 3-0 against All Boys – and Estudiantes – 2-1 against Lanús – managed to win at home.

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Posted in 2014 Torneo Final, Estudiantes, Goal videos, Godoy Cruz, River Plate, San Lorenzo, Tigre | Tagged , ,

Torneo Final 2014 round 2: not just a crapping dog

Yes, a dog crapped on the pitch during Rosario Central v River Plate on Sunday. You’ve all seen the pictures and/or videos, so let’s move on, because some other stuff happened during the second weekend of Torneo Final action. Most notably, there was a tentative move – could it be? – away from the heavy home-dominance of the Torneo Inicial; no fewer than four of this weekend’s games ended in away wins. River looked competent once again. Boca, having looked really quite good against Newell’s a week earlier, were awful in the second half on Sunday night, and lost 3-2 to Belgrano in a match they probably should have been 3-0 up in by half time.

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Posted in 2014 Torneo Final, Belgrano de Córdoba, Boca Juniors, Goal videos, Primera A, River Plate, Rosario Central, San Lorenzo | Tagged ,

Good wine beats cheap lager (Godoy Cruz beat Quilmes)

I didn’t get round to making another post last weekend, because I was working on the tennis and struggled to stay awake during the football, never mind after it to write. But the second round of the 2014 Torneo Final began on Friday night with just the one match, between Godoy Cruz and Quilmes. Godoy had been totally outplayed last weekend away to Argentinos Juniors, but were superb this time, winning 2-0 even though they missed a lot of chances. That’s tempered by the fact that Quilmes ended the game with nine men.

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Posted in 2014 Torneo Final, Goal videos, Godoy Cruz, Primera A, Quilmes, Results | Tagged

Friday night football: starting where the Torneo Inicial left off?

Friday evening’s matches brought one draw – a 0-0 between Vélez Sarsfield and Tigre in front of an empty stadium in Liniers – and two home wins; 1-0 to Estudiantes against Arsenal de Sarandí, and more surprisingly, 2-0 to Olimpo against the champions San Lorenzo in Bahía Blanca. The Torneo Inicial saw home advantage count for a lot more even than it normally does in any league, but it was hard to escape the thought that that had something to do with the identities of the home and away sides; a lot of stronger sides were at home to relatively weaker sides. I thought the Final might change that, with the reverse fixtures… but after Olimpo’s win over San Lorenzo, I’m not so sure.

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Posted in 2014 Torneo Final, Arsenal de Sarandí, Estudiantes, Goal videos, Olimpo de Bahía Blanca, Primera A, San Lorenzo | Tagged , ,

A couple of recent articles

Oh, hello. It’s  been a while, hasn’t it. How are you all?

I’ve been thinking over the last few days about how to better use HEGS (that is to say, how to use it at all), and as with the beginning of every new championship – the Torneo Final 2014 begins at 5pm local time on Friday – I’ll be attempting to restart things here shortly, with a slightly new format. You can still enjoy Hand Of Pod on a weekly basis during the season, of course, and from this week onwards it’ll sound better than ever before, thanks to new recording equipment. To warm you up for the new season, I’ve had a couple of pieces published in the last couple of days, so thought I’d link to them. First, for ESPNFC, a look at why a quiet January transfer window for Argentine clubs is no good for the league’s finances; and secondly, for the Daily Telegraph – for whom I’m serving as Uruguay correspondent in the buildup to the World Cup – a piece on why Argentina’s neighbours across the Río De La Plata have overachieved so spectacularly down the years. Enjoy.

Posted in 2014 Torneo Final, Argentine league, Argentines abroad, Boca Juniors, Colón de Santa Fé, Other football sites, River Plate | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Episode 129: ¡San Lorenzo campeón!, Lanús claim the Sudamericana, and a general Inicial round-up


The final Hand Of Pod of 2013, congratulating Lanús and San Lorenzo on their titles and looking back over the Torneo Inicial.

Originally posted on Hand Of Pod:

The hundred-and-twenty-ninth episode of Hand Of Pod is also the last of 2013, and Sam is joined by English Dan and Joel to look back over a Torneo Inicial that was settled in an entirely predictable manner; with all four of the title hopefuls failing to win, meaning San Lorenzo took the trophy by default with the lowest points total of the three-points-for-a-win era. Lanús have the consolation of the Copa Sudamericana, only the third major trophy in their history (and the second in the last six years), whilst River Plate, Boca Juniors, Racing and the rest of the pre-season supposed title hopefuls could only look on enviously. We consider Colón’s woeful last few months, look at how Independiente are going at the halfway point of their campaign in the B, and Joel gives us the lowdown on Rodolfo D’Onofrio, who as of Tuesday is the new president of River…

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