Saturday saw the end of Racing’s near-historic one-match winning run, and on Sunday it was the turn of another of the ‘Big Five’ to have an impressive spell brought to an end. Ramón Díaz’s San Lorenzo visited Argentinos Juniors in La Paternal and took the lead thanks to an Aureliano Torres penalty, but were denied by two second-half strikes from the hosts.
Having gone six matches without defeat, and scored 11 in their last three prior to this weekend, San Lorenzo arrived at Argentinos in good form to play Néstor Gorosito’s side, who were well down in the bottom half of the table. With Copa Libertadores progress ensured in midweek, Díaz decided to give some of his star turns a rest, and with Gonzalo Bergessio, Andrés D’Alessandro and Néstor Silvera all rested, the pressure was on the replacements to deliver. And whilst the defence began well enough, the attacking players, including Juan Carlos Menseguez, who hadn’t played since the thrashing of Tigre two weeks ago, looked less impressive.
San Lorenzo were, nonetheless, able to go in for the break with a lead, after Argentinos’ young attacker Gabriel Hauche got tangled up with Bernardo Romeo and gave away a penalty, which Aureliano Torres converted without any problems. In the second half, things became less satisfactory still for Díaz, though, because the lack of fluidity in San Lorenzo’s attack spread, after the interval, to a lack of organisation and commitment in the defence.
Agustín Orión in the San Lorenzo goal kept Argentinos at bay as best he could, until in the 24th minute of the second half, when substitute defender Gastón Aguirre committed a frankly stupid handball in the penalty area, and Pablo Barzola scored the second penalty of the match to make it 1-1. Back on level terms and with the momentum very much behind them, the hosts kept pressing, missing two golden opportunities to take the lead in the six minutes after the equaliser. Wasted chances continued to be the order of the afternoon for Argentinos, until in the final minute, Gabriel Pérez broke the deadlock with the first non-penalty goal of the match. 2-1 to Argentinos, and San Lorenzo will have to get another run going if they’re going to challenge for the title again under Díaz.