Another trophy

It’s only an invitational tournament, so it doesn’t matter in the slightest, but Lanús, it seems, are developing a taste for silverware after claiming their first ever championship last month. On Monday, the Granate won the Copa Ciudad de Buenos Aires without even playing, as Vélez Sársfield beat Estudiantes de La Plata 2-1 in the José Amalfitani.

Ezequiel Maggiolo put El Pincha ahead after only two minutes, but after a promising start they faded as the hosts came into the game, fashioning the first chance of their own after nine minutes. Ten minutes after that, Gustavo Balvorín slotted home the equaliser for Vélez from close range, after a shot from Víctor Zapata rebounded to him. Estudiantes continued in their superiority up until half time, but without managing to trouble Vélez ‘keeper Germán Montoya too much more.

Seven minutes after the restart, Vélez took the lead, Pablo Lima sending in a free kick which Santiago Silva met well with his head to leave the goalkeeper stranded. Juan Sebastián Verón and Iván Moreno combined to give Pablo Piatti a glorious chance of an equaliser midway through the second half, but the youngster couldn’t quite connect. That was how the story continued for Estudiantes, searching promisingly for a second goal but never quite getting there in the final third.

Lanús, then, are the winners of one Copa, and begin their quest for a rather more important one against Olmedo on Thursday night. Yes, the pre-season’s almost over – the Copa Libertadores approaches…

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