Dropping further

A managerial debut for Antonio Mohamed on Friday night, with his first match in charge of Colón a 0-0 draw at home to Gimnasia, a result which means his new side will continue in the relegation zone for at least a week longer. Racing, though, once again take the wooden spoon for the day after losing 2-1 at home to fellow strugglers San Martín. La Academia are just above the relegation playoff places – but are in real danger.

Mohamed’s Colón looked an improvement on the previous version, but sadly for them couldn’t actually go so far as to get a positive result for their new manager, and El Sabalero remain in the playoff places for relegation. In spite of their safe Promedio place, Gimnasia are in the bottom five of the Clausura, and in the first half in particular the lowly standings of both sides were clearly visible. Ignacio Piatti was the only real attacking threat for the visitors, and an uneventful match finished with neither side’s fans entirely happy.

Behind closed doors in Lanús’s stadium, Racing took on San Martín in a key relegation battle. The lack of a crowd was due to the crowd trouble which saw last weekend’s Racing – Estudiantes match called off as it approached its climax, and it might have been just as well there were no home fans present as San Martín took a two-goal lead before the break. The first goal came from a penalty Racing fans might not be totally happy with, as Gabriel Mercado was trying to get out the way of Martín Bravo, who went over his leg. José Brusco took no prisoners from the spot, and Racing were left to rue earlier missed chances from Facundo Sava and Sebastián Arrieta’s failure to really run the game as Miguel Micó had planned.

There was less argument about the second, five minutes later, as Bravo put the cap on a wonderful move from the visitors to double the lead seven minutes before half-time. Racing were lucky the break was so close, or they might have been further overrun by Fernando Quiroz’s side. In the second half, José Chatruc’s early header made it 2-1 and gave Racing hope, but the optimism proved unfounded as they failed to create much more thereafter. On the rare ocassions they did, San Martín goalkeeper Ezequiel Medrán kept them out.

When, as they surely will, the AFA award last week’s points to Estudiantes, who led 2-1 when that match was called off, Racing’s Promedio standing will look very, very treacherous indeed, and this match was a chance to put some space between them and their rivals. They’ve failed, and if Gimnasia de Jujuy can beat fellow strugglers Central at home on Saturday (hardly the least probable speculation), Racing will really be in it. How much further can they slide?

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