A risky draw, and Banfield just keep scoring

In an all-Santa Fé encounter on Friday evening, Colón and Newell’s had to settle for a draw which leaves both sides still hovering above the relegation playoff spots in positions that, whilst they should be safe, are catchable for the chasing pack below them. Banfield, meanwhile, continued their recent revival with a 5-1 thumping of San Martín.

Newell’s haven’t beat Colón in ten years since the 1998 Clausura, when they won 3-2 , and Ricardo Caruso Lombardi sent his men out in El Cementerio del Los Elefantes to play for the draw and thus protect their current Promedio standing, slightly above Colón – who would have leapfrogged their opponents in the relegation table had they won. Newell’s desire and plan to play for the draw was so perfect that, when Colón did eventually break the deadlock in the seventh minute of the second half, Santiago Salcedo struck back almost immediately, just two minutes later, to set things level again. Colón, for their part, were more frustrated with the draw; it’s they who are in greater danger of being caught by either Central or Racing. Sorry, I meant, by Central.

Banfield, meanwhile, were more punishing against a relegation-threatened opponent who are looking increasingly like they’ll definitely be playing next season back in the B Nacional. It took eight minutes for the hosts to break their resistance, Darío Cvitanich literally walking the ball into the net from a corner. Ten minutes later, José Devaca scored with a strong right-footer from the penalty spot, and San Martín were already killed off. There were no further goals in the first half but in the second, Jerónimo Barrales, Jairo Patiño and Cvitanich again put Banfield 5-0 up, before Luís Tonelotto got a late consolation for the sanjuaninos, who also had Félix Decima sent off. The win lifts Banfield to eighth, whilst San Martín – 14th in the Clausura – are joint bottom of the Descenso.

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