Stand-in Independiente manager Miguel Santoro saw his future replacement unveiled earlier in the week, when Claudio Borghi was presented to the media, but made it clear on Thursday that, for the moment, he wasn’t for shifting. Santoro announced he wouldn’t be standing down voluntarily until June (which is in any case the earliest Borghi can take charge according to an agreement he has with his old club Colo Colo), and Santoro’s players showed they had enough faith in him on Friday night with an easy 3-0 win over Banfield.
In truth, Los Diablos Rojos rarely looked really impressive – two of their goals came from penalties – but even so they deserved their win. Daniel Montenegro put the hosts into the lead in just the third minute after being set up by Germán Denis, and thereafter Independiente maintained their superiority over Banfield, keeping the ball away from their opponents and moving it round well in the opposing half, without actually finding that little bit extra to push for a second goal.
Early in the second half, referee Carlos Maglio saw a handball from Jairo Patiño inside the Banfield penalty area which meant a red card for the visiting midfielder and a penalty for Independiente, which Denis easily dispatched to double the lead. Banfield manager Miguel Jerez’s subsequent attempt to regain some balance in his side resulted in withdrawing too many attacking players to have a hope of coming back into the game, and it cost them in spectacular fashion when first Ariel Broggi, in the 84th minute, and then Diego Herner, in the 89th, were also sent off – the latter resulting in a second penalty which Independiente sub Mariano Herrón tucked away to complete a victory against eight men. Independiente’s second straight win puts them back into contention for a Copa Sudamericana berth whilst they wait for Claudio Borghi to arrive.
Later on Friday night, Huracán also won 3-0, to claim their first victory since the third round of matches. The victory came against Olimpo, and also included El Globo‘s first goals in five matches. Andrés Franzoia scored twice in the first half, and Eduardo Domínguez put the icing on the cake with 11 minutes left in the second.