Clausura ’08: Round 15 scores and scorers

On Monday morning, Estudiantes’ players and fans will be waking up to see their team alone at the top of the standings. Their 2-1 victory, with two men fewer, in Saturday’s La Plata derby was combined with River Plate’s goalless draw away to Independiente (Oscar Ahumada, booed throughout for criticising the fans after River’s Libertadores exit to San Lorenzo, was man-of-the-match) to leave Roberto Sensini’s men two points ahead with four matches remaining. The other clásicos saw Huracán hold San Lorenzo and Racing, inevitably but with infinite cruelty, lose to Boca. Banfield had a field day on Friday and Lanús thumped Tigre on Sunday evening.

Primera División A Torneo Clausura 2008, fifteenth round:
Colón de Santa Fé (M. Goux 52) 1 -1 Newell’s Old Boys (S. Salcedo 54; I. Fideleff OFF 85)
Banfield (D. Cvitanich 8, 64; J. Devaca 18; J. Barrales 49; J. Patiño 58 ) 5 – 1 San Martín de San Juan (L. Tonelotto 88; F. Décima OFF 33)
Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata (F. Domínguez 65; J. A. Neira OFF 78; R. Salvatierra OFF 90+2) 1 – 2 Estudiantes de La Plata (E. Maggiolo 22, 69; M. Angeleri OFF 45+1; R. Braña OFF 67)
Argentinos Juniors (S. Escudero 58; A. Pereira 87) 2 – 0 Velez Sársfield (M. Uglessich OFF 68; M. Bustos OFF 89; H. Tocalli (manager) OFF 90)
Boca Juniors (G. Paletta 73; R. Noir 90+5) 2 – 1 Racing Club (R. Navia 14; J. Shaffer OFF 85)
Rosario Central (L. Borzani 12; C. González 21; J. L. Vizcarra 82) 3 – 0 Arsenal de Sarandí
Huracán (H. Barrientos OFF 90+1) 0 – 0 San Lorenzo de Almagro (A. D’Alessandro OFF 90+1)
Independiente 0 – 0 River Plate (D Simeone (manager) OFF 85)
Tigre (S. Ereros 40) 1 – 4 Lanús (J. Sand 13, 45; M. Fritzler 23; S. Salomón 54)
Olimpo de Bahía Blanca (H. Desvaux 87; M. Olivi 90+6; M. Wagner OFF 85) 2 – 0 Gimnasia y Esgrima de Jujuy (D. Mateo OFF 90+4)

For the goals and the updated league tables, check back on Monday night.


21 thoughts on “Clausura ’08: Round 15 scores and scorers

  1. Ahumada was brilliant lat night,. The team seemed very lightweight after he came off and independiente could have snatched it at the end. But that was a stone wall penalty for ortega, the ref bottled it.

    It unbelievable how Simeone can keep playing Abreu for 90 minutes. He offered nothing. Him and Falcao are to similar. The game was crying out for Sanchez earlier on

  2. I know this is covered ground, but I honestly think if my sister had replaced Abreu in many games this clausura we’d have about eight more points.

    Incidentally, I was at the Independiente game and though the Ahumada treatment was a bit rough, I didn’t understand why everyone was on Carizo’s back too. He has almost single-handedly kept us in with a shout of winning the league. Anyone know?

  3. Joe…it’s not their on-the-field performances, it’s because what they say in the press.

    I can’t believe how silly the players are sometimes. Carrizo said no footballer play for the love of the shirt (him included). They are professionals and they’ll go wherever the conditions are best.

    Of course, this is an open secret, but players should not say certain things.

    Ahumada saying bad things about River fans while praising the Boca supporters was just suicide. There’s no coming back from that.

  4. All of this bad blood between at least some of the River players and their fans definitely does not help their on field performance. It’s got to be rough on Cholo to deal with this mess as well, and then I read there is some dissension on the team about Ortega and his alleged drinking again.

  5. I take that crisis over what we are living at Racing, Johnny! That’s how desperate we are!

    That said, yours is an excellent point.

    Not that I want to curse San Lorenzo, but they could be heading for the same kind of disaster after being unable to win the clásico against Huracán and needing to win at all costs in Quito this week.

    They are 5 points behind Estudiantes in the Clausura and they could very well be out of the Libertadores before next weekend.

    A situation that is very similar to what River had to live a couple of weeks ago. Will there be crisis at San Lorenzo? Interesting to see.

  6. Ahumada’s argument was exemplified this weekend though, having a pop at your own goal keeper before the game doesn’t help anyone but the opposition.

    It’s the comparison with Boca fans that’ll seal his fate. He is not Roy Keane, and the River fans are not prawn sandwich eaters.

  7. Did Carrizo really say that? Unbelievable, what a fool. I didnt know Ahumada said that about the boca fans. Sellouts

  8. With only 4 games left and 5 points back of not just one team, San Lorenzo are finished in the Clausura. In fact looking at the remaining games for the rat stabbers and River, I think one of them, if not both, will win all 4, so I don’ t think Boca has much chance either. However we know there are always slipups, so whoever keeps their nerve best down the stretch will win it.

  9. Good point, justin. Estudiantes and River have the advantage of not having to play any more Copa Libertadores matches. Boca and San Lorenzo could be done in the continental competition as soon as this week, but as you said, the points difference is not a small one and there are a good number of teams in the fight.

    Oh…if only the Argentine league was played with a full 38-fixture list and with a proper qualification to cup competitions! It would be even better. Estudiantes would be leading by 3 points and the fight to qualify to the Libertadores would be incredibly attractive. But no…Grondona keeps up his ridiculous idea of playing two leagues in one season with 75 or 80% of the teams playing for ABSOLUTELY NOTHING after week 5 in each Apertura or Clausura, because not even the relegation battle has to do with the current season and the current season only.

    Take a look at how the table should look and see how tight it’d be everywhere. Then…imagine Boca and River don’t get invitations to play the Copa Sudamericana and see that with 4 weeks to go, even Arsenal (the 12th placed team) would still be alive in the fight to get to the continental competitions.

    Below that, every team would still be playing relevant games this far into the season as they try their best to avoid the drop.

    But the people in charge of our league really don’t have a clue.

  10. Just to add to that (and I’m sorry if this is getting very off-topic), how ridiculous is the system to qualify to the Copa Libertadores?

    The Apertura champions always have to wait 18 months to play in the Copa Libertadores. And when they do, they already sold their 11 starters from the championship campaign. So…Lanús, champions of the Apertura 2007 will participate in the Copa Libertadores 2009!!!!! 2007 – 2009! How stupid is that? Then the AFA complains because Brazilian sides often win the Copa Libertadores and they even have all-brazilian finals. The only exception is Boca and that’s because they play in a league of their own. They are the only club that can afford to keep a player like Palacio for more than one season or give Riquelme a contract with European standards in terms of money. Boca never weaken their squad. They are always improving and having a large share of the Argentine market surely plays its part there. Fair enough, but the rest of the clubs in the country are miles away from that.

    Then…for example Tigre, a team that had a sensational season before falling into a terrible run of 7 games without a win, are unable to compete for a place in the Libertadores. Why? Because to qualify, teams have to be among the top 2 in an average of the last 3 tournamentes (Apertura 2007, Clausura 2008 and Apertura 2008). Tigre were playing in the Nacional B by the time the Apertura 2007 was played and so they won’t have enough points to qualify even if they do make it to the top5 or top6 in their first entire season since they are back in the top flight.

    It’s the only place in the world with a competition format with this level of idiocy and unfairness.

    How this league survives is really beyond me and must be due to the incredible loyalty of the fans, the only ones capable of putting up with this ridiculous system because they do go there for the love they have for the shirt.

  11. Seba-thanks for answering some questions that I had not posed about the Libertadores!! A completely ridiculous way of qualifying that prevents some worthy clubs from playing and insures that some surefire losers will participate ! But of course, as often happens when discussing local futbol, answering some questions just leaves more unanswered !

    As for Carrizo, he is playing out the string and obviously doesn’t care what the River fans think or say. He’s off to Lazio or whereever. Still, a dumb thing to say, and it may come back to haunt him one day.

    And, now that I think of it, there is another question I have. What does “La Academia” refer to when used to describe Racing ?

  12. Good question. One that would seem unbelievable if you judge Racing for their recent form. But our club won that nickname in the early years of football in Argentina (before professionalism).

    Among other feats, Racing did all of this:

    Won 5 official competitions in 1917 (the league, the Copa de Honor, the Copa Aldao (Argentine-Uruguayan competition between the champions of each country), the Copa Competencia (played only that year and beating San Lorenzo in the final) and the Copa Carlos Ibarguren (a very strange cup competition that was official).

    Won 7 leagues in a row (between 1913 and 1919) and 9 in total.

    Lost only 5 matches between 1913 and 1919.

    Racing was the second powerhouse in the history of Argentine football and they took over from Alumni (the pioneers) when they disappeared.

    That and their attractive style earned Racing the nickname the current squad is not honouring at all.

  13. Hmmm…I’m not sure I’ve answered your question. La Academia was a nickname that was born because Racing was referred as a teaching footballing side for their attractive and effective style.

    It doesn’t refer to a place or a site. It’s just a metaphor.

  14. Seba – good rant about Libertadores qualification. I suppose it’s an inherent problem when there is one Libertadores every calendar year, but two Argentinian league tournaments. Still, averaging results for newly promoted sides like Tigres is insane and unfair.

    As regarding Seba Abreu earlier, despite being 6’5″, when crosses come in, he doesn’t exactly attack the ball like a true center forward. In fact Falcao is a far more aggressive and effective aerial threat. A team of small, ball playing wizards like River with a giant target man center forward, I question the wisdom.

  15. See Justin, that’s exactly my point. Why do we have 2 tournaments per season? Why? Why?????

    The explanation given when they introduced this ridiculous format was: “It’ll be more exciting and any team could win it. If a team win 3 in a row then they are suddenly contenders”.

    Well…what about: “if a team losses three in a row they are suddenly out of everything by week 5!”????

    People bought that and there were a lot of fans actually very happy by this change. The media played (and still plays) a big part in hyping up the fans and the farce continues.

    Then they complain about how our teams struggle in the Copa Libertadores and they seem to ignore that in big part is due to the ridiculous format we are victims of.

    Let’s take Brazil for example. They too have a ridiculous format in the shape of those estaduais (state) tournaments. They start their seasons early in the year (late January, early February) and they play the state championship in which the big fishes from Sao Paulo, Rio, Belo Horizonte, Porto Alegre, have to face really weak opposition and they always play the finals between them. For example in Rio. Flamengo, Botafogo, Fluminense and Vasco Da Gama have shared the title every year since 1966 when minnows Bangú won it.

    Those state championship push the start of their Brazilian League to late April-early May (just when everything is finished in Europe).

    Then all their stars leave in the European summer transfer market and most of the teams lose up to 75% of their starters.

    Talking to a Brazilian journalist when I was in Rio, he told me the magazine Placar has to publish 2 Brazilian League Guides. One at the start of the season and the other one after the first half because of how many changes they have in every squad list.

    Not good at all. But I prefer that to the system we have in Argentina.

    One tournament. One champion. Home and away fixtures against EVERY rival. And the champions with the best teams go to the Libertadores inmediately after they qualify and not 16 months later.

  16. Haha… keep this up and I’ll have to give you a regular spot, Seba!

    Your initial post with the link to the ‘season-long’ league table has now gone up, by the way.

    Personally I don’t mind the fact the ‘short’ championships, those aren’t the biggest problem. The big problems, as you say, are how qualification for the Copas, and relegation are sorted out. Those should be done using one, season-long table, whether that’s separate from the (two) championships, or part of a new (one championship) season.

    This will begin to be sorted out in part when the winners of this year’s Apertura go directly into the 2009 Libertadores – so the gap will be just 2 months, not 14 as previously. This, for those who’ve forgotten, was one of the new regulations introduced by AFA at the start of the season – I reported it here:

    It wouldn’t surprise me if the championship switches to one season-long (probably February to November / December) championship in the next couple of years. But if it doesn’t, the Copa qualification at least will make slightly more sense from this year forth. Of course, the ridiculous fashion relegation is sorted in may not change – but it’s Racing’s and River’s fault for having useless seasons a couple of decades ago and ‘forcing’ the AFA into coming up with this system to stop the big boys going down!

    Oh, and Johnny, think of ‘La Academia’ as a similar kind of nickname to West Ham being referred to as ‘The Academy’ in England. A nice way of playing and they’ve been a sort of ‘finishing school’ for a lot of greats in the past of the national team.

  17. I’m quoting you here, Sam: “but it’s Racing’s and River’s fault for having useless seasons a couple of decades ago and ‘forcing’ the AFA into coming up with this system to stop the big boys going down!”

    Errr…actually it was River alone! Racing were victims of the new relegation system. River finished second from bottom in 1983 and Racing were 4th from bottom and still got relegated together with Nueva Chicago (the bottom team).

    And I must add that Boca was having terrible seasons too and were favoured by the new system.

    One day (maybe later today) I’ll back my sayings with the proper sources and info (not very hard to find, but I have to run now).

    The AFA favouring Racing? Hmmm…think again!

  18. Seba, I got it a little wrong, I apologise. I first read about the origins of the Promedio when my Spanish was far worse than it is now! Let’s set it straight:

    The system was brought in 1983 to prevent ‘big’ sides going down after SAN LORENZO got relegated in 1981. In 1983, the system saved River – who would’ve gone down had it not been changed that year – but relegated Racing, who as Seba says, finished above River over the whole of the 1983 season.

    So, River’s and San Lorenzo’s fault. Sorry Seba!

  19. OK, got it.

    Here’s the link: (scroll down to 1983 and see the table and the explanation below. It was an average of the two seasons and not the three -as it is these days-).

    I was wrong regarding Nueva Chicago’s final placing in 1983 (they were 4th from bottom) but I was definitely right about River Plate!

    They should have been relegated instead of Racing Club. The other Racing that you see in that 1983 standings is from Córdoba. Another Racing.

    As a curious note: take a look at the top-scorers table and see if you know anybody from there! ;)

  20. No worries Sam. You’ve got it spot on.

    So…officially…1983 was the worst year in the history of football in Argentina.

    The “Promedios” were installed.

    Racing got relegated.

    And Independiente won the league.

    A tough year to start 1st grade in an elementary school in Avellaneda with half of my class supporting El Rojo! The story of my life! But the more Racing suffer, the more I love it.

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