Two vital wins

The sixth round of matches in the 2008 Torneo Clausura got underway on Friday with two vital wins for sides at opposite ends of the table. Estudiantes kept their early-season title push on track with a 3-2 win at home to San Martín, whilst earlier Central had travelled to fellow relegation strugglers Olimpo in a real six-pointer, and won convincingly, 3-1, to move out of the relegation spots in the Promedio.

In describing Olimpo’s performance in the opening minutes of their match, Olé‘s reporter had a turn of phrase that, to an English reader, was all too familiar; ‘They began the match in their opponents’ half. Without ideas. Without variation. But with a lot of fervour.’ They weren’t the only ones guilty of booting it aimlessly, though, because Central were also hitting long ball after long ball forward, and the fans in Bahía Blanca couldn’t have been too impressed with what they were seeing.

And thus it was inevitably a long ball (of a sort) that got the first goal – a 35-yarder after as many minutes from Emilio Zelaya that Leonardo Cauterucchi in the Olimpo goal fluffed badly and allowed into the net. After the break, Olimpo came out determined to get the equaliser and suddenly, the game improved a bit, and had the ball in the net after about 17 minutes of the second half. But substitute forward Josemir Lujambio’s strike was disallowed, after the referee consulted with the linesman, for handling, and from the resultant free kick Central swept up the field and a good piece of team play ended with the ball at the feet of Zelaya, who dispatched it for his and his team’s second.

The game thus effectively decided, even Lujambio’s headed consolation eight minutes later couldn’t give Olimpo much hope – with three minutes remaining, a penalty was awarded which Central legend Kily González stepped up to convert, making it 3-1 to the visitors and ensuring that, for a day at least, they’re out of the relegation struggle.

In La Plata, a little later, San Martín hit the first and last goals of the night, but two goals from ex-Tigre forward Leandro Lázzaro, as well as a controversial penalty from Iván Moreno y Fabianesi, ensured it was Estudiantes who emerged with the points, and move level with Vélez at the top – albeit having played a match more.

Martín Bravo, who’s done well so far in the Clausura personally, even if his team have been struggling a bit, got things underway after twenty minutes when he nicked the ball from Marcos Angeleri, moved down the left flank and sent in a cross which Félix Décima rose to head in to put the visitors ahead.

The lead lasted fourteen minutes, and any hopes San Martín had of a point or three from the encounter were effectively dismantled in the nine minutes it took Estudiantes to score their three goals. In the 34th minute, Pablo Frontini fouled Cristián Bogado in the box and the referee pointed to the spot. Moreno y Fabianesi took it, and San Martín ‘keeper Ezequiel Medrán saved with his legs. Play continued, but the linesman kept his flag raised and the referee called it back. After much discussion – and the second-off of San Martín manager Fernando Quiroz – the penalty was retaken, and Moreno y Fabianesi didn’t make the same mistake.

41 minutes in, Moreno y Fabianesi robbed Décima and the ball flowed through three home players on its way to Lázzaro, who finished coolly one-on-one against the goalkeeper with a low shot. Just two minutes later, Pablo Piatti was again the provider, as he had been for Lázzaro’s first, for the veteran to make it two for himself and 3-1 to Estudiantes as the break approached.

Ten minutes into the second half, San Martín had Frontini sent off for a second booking, and the damage was done despite Martín Bravo clawing a goal back for the visitors just minutes later. The San Juan outfit fought bravely and had their numerically-advantaged hosts begging for the final whistle by the end, but were never going to get the equaliser they needed.

2 thoughts on “Two vital wins

  1. Terrible news as a Velez supporter have been murdered by San Lorenzo fans.

    They ambushed the buses that were going from Liniers (Velez) to Bajo Flores (San Lorenzo) and they shot dead a 21-year-old guy.

    The match was suspended (and so was Gimnasia (Jujuy) v Lanús, because there was no security guaranteed after the “barra brava” (hooligans) from Gimnasia got on the team’s bus and threatened their players during the week).

    This will never end. No matter what. It’ll never end.

  2. Seba – the report in Olé said the attack was from fans of Huracán, whose social facilities the Vélez fan was walking close to at the time.

    Anyway, a report is already up on here… the problem continues…

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