Hugo Tocalli’s debut as head coach of Vélez Sársfield could have gone a little better – his side could have kept a clean sheet – but one thing’s for sure: it couldn’t have been much more exciting for the fans. In front of a home crowd, the Liniers side raced into a 4-1 lead against Colón, before having a man sent off and almost buggering it up, but hung on for a 4-3 win.
Gustavo Balvorín got two goals, including the first of the match after 17 minutes, heading in from a Leonel Ríos centre as visiting goalkeeper Sebastián Blázquez found himself in no-man’s-land. Five minutes later, Blázquez did come out, but mis-timed woefully as the ball dropped to Santiago Silva, who faced the simplest of tasks to slide it home. Almost without trying to, El Fortín had opened up a two goal lead.
Colón were on the ropes and found themselves three down in the 27th minute, as Mariano Uglessich capitalised on some distracted-looking marking to stab the ball in from a corner. It should have been plain sailing for Tocalli’s men from there onwards, but Germán Montoya showed it wasn’t only Blázquez who was open to making errors, letting Pablo Aguilar in to give Colón some slim hope with eleven minutes of the first half remaining. As the teams tramped off to the dressing rooms, there was still a semblance of a competition.
Ten minutes after the restart, Balvorín appeared to have put such thoughts well and truly to bed, with a brilliant right-footed strike, again from a Ríos cross, to make it 4-1 to Vélez. With just over quarter-of-an-hour remaining, however, Vélez defender Pablo Lima got sent off, and when minutes later Darío Gandín clawed another back for Colón, it set up a frantic finale. Alejandro Capurro got a third for the Santa Fé side four minutes into stoppage time, but it was just too little, too late. Vélez have started with three points, Colón with none, but one might say both outcomes were in spite of both side’s best efforts…