Different ambitions

One of the smaller clubs in the Greater Buenos Aires region hosted one of the biggest on Friday night, but a complete newcomer to Argentine football would have had difficulty picking out which was which. Racing have struggled for a while but now they’ve fallen to the curse of the perennial underdog – playing well but still losing by a distance. Banfield, meanwhile, got back to winning ways as they aim to improve on the third-place finish in the Apertura.

Racing manager Miguel Micó gave Maxi Moralez the first start of his second spell at the club, on the left wing to replace the injured Claudio Fileppi. Even out of position, Moralez looked good, as did Roberto Bonnet on the opposite wing, the two of them clearly setting out early on to provide Facundo Sava with as many crosses as he could throw himself at – and it worked, with Racing taking the lead early on after Sava himself got in at the far post to head home from a corner.

The remainder of the first half was very much Racing’s. Bonnet went close, and Chilean forward Reinaldo Navia did likewise, both sending the ball just past Christian Lucchetti’s right-hand post. Racing deserved to go in at the break at least two up, but the football gods – and Darío Cvitanich – don’t pay attention to what’s ‘deserved’ or not, and the Banfield front man levelled the scores five minutes before the break with a header, unchallenged in the middle of the area.

The second half was a different story, Banfield coming out more determined and holding the ball better than their visitors but not, at first, creating any danger. In the 57th minute Sava might have put Racing ahead again all the same, but saw his effort hit the crossbar – and it proved costly, because nine minutes later young defender Diego Menghi took out Cvitanich needlessly in the penalty box, and Banfield’s penalty-taking goalkeeper put the hosts into the lead.

After falling behind, Racing lost ideas and interest, and never looked like they were going to get what, until that point, they had deserved from the match. In the 90th minute, Nicolás Pavlovich was through on the Academia goal, saw Hilario Navarro block his first attempt, but followed up on the rebound to put the result beyond doubt. Racing’s nightmare continues, but Banfield have bounced back nicely from their opening week defeat to Estudiantes.

5 thoughts on “Different ambitions

  1. A good review on the match. I, being a Racing fan, I’m really worried about having to face the relegation battle with a team full of youngters that will kill you with a rookie mistake like the one MENGHI made when he had no need to grab CVITANICH.

    I think the play that really told the story of this game was when LUCHETTI saved a shot and the ball was heading for a corner kick to Racing and instead of going out, it hit the corner flag before a Banfield defender took control of it.

    The people in charge of Racing are doing EVERYTHING wrong and we, the supporters, don’t even have luck on our side.

    Part 2 of a very longggggggg season and it’s only getting worse and worse (with Colón beating Arsenal not giving us any help).

    Racing should have been up 3-1 at some point in the second half and we lost 3-1 instead.

    Blanquiceleste deserves it. The fans don’t.

  2. By the way…there is a good story between Racing and Banfield. Back in 1951, Racing were the two-times defending champions and they had to play Banfield in a playoff to decide the league winners after both teams ended up with the same number of points.

    Banfield was then labelled the “people’s team” as everybody wanted them to win. Even mythical Eva “Evita” Perón. Racing won and became the first team to win 3 leagues in a row (since football became professional in 1931).

    Both teams are far from those glory days…

  3. Spot on, Sam. The thing is that Juan Domingo PERON (Evita’s husband) and one of his ministers (Mr. CEREIJO) were Racing fans, but Evita, who had no interest in football, saw Banfield as the people’s team (for that particular final match) and decided to support them (even if she was going against her husband’s team).

  4. By the way…it was only one year before that final (in 1950) that Racing’s Juan Domingo Perón Stadium was built and to these days it is an open secret that the government (with Mr. Cereijo as the driving force) gave Racing the money to construct.

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