Back at the top table, and a faint glimmer of light…?

Campodónico\'s a very happy boy...

San Martín de San Juan might be in the automatic relegation zone with just three matches left of the Primera A season, but another high-altitude club with the same name will be in the top flight in Argentina next season, after San Martín de Tucumán drew 2-2 with Chacarita Juniors to confirm promotion. In Avellaneda, meanwhile, the Racing soap opera might – just possibly – be about to get a teensy, tiny little bit more joyous…

Tucumán, the city where the first Argentine constitution was signed, will finally be watching its favourite club back in Primera A for 2008-2009, for the first time in 15 years. The side, who’d been suffering seemingly endlessly for the last few weeks as chance after chance went begging, had to go into the break in agony once more, having hit the crossbar twice in the first half in La Paternal against Chacarita before Víctor Figueroa put the hosts ahead from a rebound after a twice-taken penalty. A couple of minutes into the second half, though, Mariano Campodónico scored twice in as many minutes for San Martín to turn the match on its head, and even Franco Dolci’s last-minute leveller couldn’t dampen the mood of the visitors. With three matches remaining, San Martín are guaranteed at least second place, and with it automatic promotion.

Very possibly going in the opposite direction at the end of this season, of course, are Racing Club, one of the traditional ‘Big Five’ of Argentine football. Tuesday, though, saw some good news for supporters of the Avellaneda side for the first time in a long time. Héctor García Cuerva was unveiled on Tuesday morning as the club’s new auditor by Daniel Scioli, the Governor of Buenos Aires Province. Immediately, García Cuerva came out with words that will surely be music to the ears of everyone who holds Racing dear to their heart.

‘This very day I’m going to present myself to the head judge and request that he… rescind the management / ownership contract… between Racing Club [and Blanquiceleste].’

A new auditor with powerful words right from the start. Maybe, just maybe, things might be looking up for Racing. The rest of this season may well prove to be a write-off, but could La Academia soon be picking themselves up and getting back on their feet…?

19 thoughts on “Back at the top table, and a faint glimmer of light…?

  1. Which are the teams that will most likely make the promocion against the two Primera clubs? I looked at the table and saw Almirante Brown and Union in third and fourth, are these sides of a standard likely to worry Racing?
    Seba, I’m sorry to read how upsetting Racing’s season has been. I have liked Racing since I used to see Claudio Garcia with his ‘Rod Stewart’ hair playing in the 90s. And then the incomparable Ruben Capria, ‘El Mago’, what a player, and of course ‘paso a paso’ in 2001, what a great recent history, never mind all the titles won in the 50s and 60s. That it should now come to this is terrible. BUT I don’t think Colon will get anything out of their two matches against River and Estudiantes. I’m assuming a Racing defeat against Puto Rojo on Sunday, but even with that, I think Racing may pull off a surprise and beat Huracan in the penultimate game. Hopefully Ubeda will make his players relax a little!
    So Racing will go to Colon needing to win, but at least it gives them a chance. Don’t give up yet, I think you can finally shut that big mouth Mohamed up for good and put his side in the play-offs! And Union vs Colon would be something to see.
    VAMOS RACING!

  2. Further to the last post, I’ve just spotted that Almirante Brown are deducted 18 points, so it won’t be them in la pro… it’s Belgrano again probably. Hope it’s not Chacarita. Whatever happened in a play-off between Racing and Chacarita would almost certainly end in a riot, and 20 points deducted from Racing whether it was Racinguistas fault or not…

  3. Well spotted Matthew. Brown will indeed be missing out on the Promoción, though why the AFA don’t just show the deduction from their current points total (the table currently shows the league table without deductions, but with notes at the bottom listing any penalties to be applied at the end of the season) is beyond me. It would make it far, far easier to read if they did it that way round, so I suspect I’ve just answered my own question…

    None of the sides in the top half of the B Nacional would be an easy ride for Racing, but of course some opponents – Chacarita or Belgrano, for instance – might be psychologically difficult to cope with as well due to their status as relatively ‘big’ clubs. A side with Racing’s morale problems can’t afford to look on anything as ‘easy’, though…

  4. “Whatever happened in a play-off between Racing and Chacarita would almost certainly end in a riot, and 20 points deducted from Racing whether it was Racinguistas fault or not…”

    Could someone please give me some more words on that?

  5. Matthew, mate! Thanks for your words and congratulations on the excellent choice of team in Argentina! hahaha! Hey…after all…you’re earning your right to get to heaven here on Earth! Supporting Racing Club is the real purgatory!

    Now…I like the way you see things but I’m not as confident as you are. We’ve got Huracán after Independiente and they are a good team playing good football at the moment. We are not favourites for none of the three remaining matches (especially the one on Saturday against Little Red Riding Hood! haha!).

    Of course, as a true Racing Club fan, I still have some hopes to avoid the promoción. We always believe.

    This being football, probably the most unpredictable sport of all, there is always a chance we’ll nick something on Saturday. Nothing seem to suggest it, but a derby match is a derby match and I’ve seen more improbable things happen.

    My biggest hope lies on Colón’s incredibly tough run-in. But we need to start delivering, or else…

    Forgive me if I don’t talk about our potential rivals in la promoción. I’m supersticious. I’ll wait until all the dust is settled and then, if we have to play those horrible matches, I’ll let you know what I think.

  6. Hello Gampern. I was being a bit sarcastic, but after last year’s events at the Nueva Chicago-Tigre play-off, I really don’t like the idea of Racing being up against a club with a Barras Bravas reputation like Chaca’s. I mean, these matches are *so* tense, with so much at stake, I think it’s inevitable that things are going to spill over, whatever happens. Chicago now have an 18 point deduction because of last year, if Racing fans are involved in anything, even if it’s Chaca fans starting it, I think AFA will be only too happy to impose an 18 point penalty on Racing, whether it’s in Primera or B. I was surprised there wasn’t a penalty after the Estudiantes match was abandoned, the club won’t get away with it a second time :(

  7. Seba, good luck for Sunday. A disaster here at home, my subscription card that shows Argentine futbol has suddenly stopped working, I have to get a replacement by Sunday or some other way of seeing the match. I sometimes listen to Esperanza Racinguista on Radio Genesis when Racing are not shown in Europe, but this derby will be shown, and I realy need to see it. Hopefully someone can help me out!
    I think an Indpendiente fan has blocked off my subscription! ;-)

  8. Matthew, I know it’s not the same, but you can probably get to watch it online.

    You simply need to download a few softwares and then check a couple of websites with links to the matches.

    Oh…and…by the way…the match is on Saturday. It’ll be a 2 PM kick-off.

    OK, download the softwares on this link…

    http://rojadirecta.com/aplicaciones.htm

    …and then check here:

    http://rojadirecta.com/

    and here:

    http://myp2p.eu/index.php?part=sports

    ….to get the links to the match.

    GOOD LUCK!

  9. Just bear in mind that it can be hideously difficult (read: impossible) to find working streams of domestic matches other than the super, though. The most I’ve been able to find in the past is TyC’s coverage of the crowd reacting to the game, which is frustrating… although the fact that a national station actually shows that for ninety minutes is just another reason I love Argentina’s football culture so much!

  10. Thanks Seba and Sam. Good job I checked, Digital Plus are still advertising the match as Sunday, 3pm, which is also listed on futbolpasion.
    I finish work at 5.30pm so I am gonna have to get a bus straight away and switch on the computer before I even get changed!
    I’m nervous already…. :(

  11. Sorry to disappoint you there, Sam, but the whole crowd reaction broadcast is another thing we imported from Italy. We do it better, that’s a fact. But the idea comes from Italy.

    You’ll see that there’ll be a lot of MediaPlayer links and those are usually crap. If you see that there is a channel broadcasting on SopCast or TVU or PPStream or TVAnts, then you stand a chance.

    Be patient and keep trying. And don’t rule out those MediaPlayer links because you could get lucky. I remember being able to watch Racing v. Banfield with very little delay and great quality in one of those.

  12. Ah, thanks Matthew, thought there’s maybe a special rivalry between these two or something happened in the past.

    Anyway, what will be the decider, if the 16. and 17. (or + even the 15.) have the same promedio?

    Digital+? Oh, you lucky one. I would love to have it too, but as Austrian in the European Union, with it’s free movement of goods and services, i’m officially not allowed to watch spanisch TV. Pah!

    As I’m not speaking spanish I’m relying on such great sites (especially also the comments!), so maybe I can give a little bit back: Seba already mentioned one of the best pages for southamerican football streams, http://rojadirecta.com
    If there’s no link for a game, have a look in their Programación Forum. Was not only once, that someone put up a stream at short notice and proclaimed it there.
    You don’t really need to download and install a lot of software, I think you just need the standard Win Media Player. There are usually a lot of streams via http://www.justin.tv
    Recently PSN worked fantastic for me (http://www.justin.tv/psn_1)
    Just give it a try at the weekend, most of this justin.tv streams loading really quickly.
    I just found this site last weekend, but didn’t have the time to have a closer look on it. But had booth Sunday evening games in comparatively good quality: http://futbolenvivoyparatodos.blogspot.com/

    Hope this helps a little bit.

    Hm, btw. couldn’t we have a little chat on here, for example if someone has problems with finding a working stream or for some trash talk during a game? Sam? Hehe! Sorry if it is a stupid suggestion.

    Well and finally, could someone please name some other english sites about argentinian league football (I don’t think there’s any useful in german) which could be interesting for me? Thanks!

  13. Seba, I know how the streaming works but thanks anyway. I’ve been watching like this for a good couple of years now so I know it’s a matter of patience!

    Gampern, if two sides finish on the same Promedio, a one-off playoff game will be used to separate them before the Promoción begins (same as if the two sides at the top finish on the same number of points at the end of the campaign – currently a distinct possibility).

  14. Also Gampern, if a poster includes a link in a comment, it goes into a queue for approval to avoid spamming (which has happened on here in the past from automatically-generated comments which aren’t related to football at all), and since that approving / deleting is done manually by me, you might have a to wait a few hours before your comment shows up, if there’s a link in it.

    Yours all went straight into my spam box because you kept trying to re-post, so a friendly piece of advice would be to only post once, because unless I think you’re trying to advertise something without permission, it WILL appear by the end of the day!

    I’m more than happy with talking during matches but of course, I can’t start a new article for each game because meaningful news pieces would get pushed way down the front page, and the site’s archive would be full of ‘discussion’ articles. Might I suggest using the weekly ‘Round x Fixtures’ post for this?

    Finally, other Argentina sites in English: there are hardly any. That’s the whole reason I set HEGS up, because when I started following the Argentine league… probably six years ago, I spoke no Spanish at all, and found it nearly impossible. Argentinesoccer.com is the ‘other’ main one, and it’s been around for years, but aside from full lists of transfers in and out and more regular updates on the lower leagues (which I only write about now and then because when I do spend ages on a roundup, they hardly ever get more than a few readers), I don’t think you’ll see too much on there that isn’t covered here.

  15. Sam…my bad. Of my last message, only the first para was for you and the rest was intended for my fellow Racing fan, Matthew. Only I forgot to clarify that.

  16. Regarding Gampern’s suggeston for chat during games and people trying to find feeds, if we are all on Facebook, we could set up a HEGS Facebook Group, then all chat using the new Facebook Chat programme, which seems to work quite well.

    Or the other option, during the world cup, a German friend found a chat room about some German pop star who clearly had no fans, as no-one ever went in there. So during Germany v Argentina, about twenty people of different nationalities were on there chatting about the game!

    My Facebook profile is at http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=590764550
    if anyone wants to chat during the game, just identify yourself as HEGS reader and I’ll add you.

  17. Feel free to create a HEGS Facebook group if you like, Matthew, I’d be most flattered. I did actually have one a while ago but I canned it because I didn’t use Facebook for about four months and thus it never got updated. Fangroups are always welcome, though!

    And Seba, thanks for the clarification!

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