Going down…?

San Martín de Tucumán will be replacing, rather than joining, their namesakes from San Juan in the Primera A next season. We knew that was looking likely but it was confirmed on Saturday evening after the sanjuaninos lost 3-1 away to Gimnasia y Esgrima de Jujuy, with César Carranza (twice) and Héctor Desvaux getting the goals for the hosts, and Pablo Frontini getting a temporary equaliser for San Martín. Later on Saturday night, Newell’s Old Boys won 1-0 away to Banfield, a result that finally leaves the Rosario side completely free of relegation worries this season. Santiago Salcedo scored the only goal on the stroke of half time.

9 thoughts on “Going down…?

  1. Am I right in thinking that if Olimpo win two of their last three, they will go into the promocion and Jujuy will go down, no matter what Jujuy do?
    It will be tough for Olimpo, but two matches are at home, San Lorenzo will be disorientated tonight, but the last two, like Colon against River and Estudiantes will be very tough.
    I feel a bit sorry for San Martin San Juan, they tried their best, had some good solid players and an enthusiastic crowd, but just ran out of steam at the end.
    I always found Tonellotto amusing, he just doesn’t look like a footballer! They must have been creating lots of chances for him to score so much earlier in the season, because on the few occasions I saw him in full matches, he missed some easy ones.
    I feel frustrated, though, that Racing played San Martin at such a difficult time, ie after the Estudiantes match and with no fans in the stadium and on neutral ground. It was almost as if AFA *wanted* San Martin to win this game, everything was done to help them.

    I remember Quiroz was a great player for Racing in the 90s, not so good as coach but I would have liked for him to stay up (though not at Racing’s expense), as I also like to see Ubeda doing well. But even though they went down, San Martin made a far better go of it than an English premiership team would in similar cirumstances. Looking at the history of the clubs and their sizes, you could say San Martin are of a similar size to Hull City, but I think you’ll find Hull City bottom or second bottom of the Premiership with about 15 to 25 points next season, a complete joke. The fact that San Martin were able to keep their season going for so long, and even beat three grandes – I enjoyed their win over River, though was getting nervous by the time they beat Independiente in case they overtook Racing – and also beating Estudiantes shows that Argentine football is more competitive and interesting to the fan that the boring closed shop that is the EPL.

  2. Wow, Olimpo are back from the dead! I think that if they can win one of two they are in the promotion, and if they get 4 points then they are 100% safe from everything. The bad news there is that they have River and Estudiantes in the last two weeks, but at least they are making things interesting!

  3. You are right, Andrew. Olimpo are doing incredibly well and now they depend on themselves to be safe of everything. I think they have won 15 of the last 18 points! Amazing run indeed.

    As a Racing fan, I’ve got to be thankful of seeing San Martín de San Juan on a completely different streak. They lost the last 8. Had the won a couple of those and Racing could have been in the relegation zone (dreaming of getting enough points to get to the promoción!).

    Thankfuly they went crazy and they lost a lot of points.

    As of what you are saying about Olimpo’s survival. You are correct. If they win both their remaining matches, they are safe from everything. If they win one and draw the other, they need Colón to drop some points because if not, Olimpo will have to play the promoción.

    Wanna hear the craziest of all the possible scenarios?

    Imagine Racing get a draw against Huracán and another against Colón.

    Imagine Gimnasia de Jujuy win both their matches (Newell’s away and San Lorenzo at home).

    Then imagine Olimpo also get 2 draws.

    The outcome?

    Jujuy 1,166 (average points)
    Racing 1,158 (saved from direct relegation by the slimmest margin of all!)
    Olimpo 1,157
    San Martín de San Juan (relegated)

  4. From a Racing point of view, I’m not too worried about Olimpo. I don’t expect them to get more than a point from their last two matches, I think River will certainly take care of them next week. Four of their victories have been against teams who have been low on morale in some way – Colon, Jujuy, San Martin and San Lorenzo – and I don’t think they can do it against two teams that have the greatest motivation of all, ie winning the title.
    I am worried though about Jujuy. Their win at the weekend could well give them confidence. And their two fixtures are winnable. Newell’s away and San Lorenzo at home, well if Olimpo can win these games, Jujuy are also capable of doing so. Of all the permutations I thought might make Racing safe, a point against Huracan and a win in Santa Fe won’t do if Jujuy win both theirs. We’d all better hope that Newell’s beat Jujuy next weekend. I’m not convinced they will be that bothered now they are safe…
    The strangest thing about this season has been wondering who to support in vital matches. Like Central v Colon, a 0-0 draw was good for Racing at the time, as it kept them both down there, but now I wish Central had won. And I was cheering when Olimpo beat Jujuy, as I didn’t think Olimpo had any chance of beating Newll’s and SL as well. But if Olimpo finish ahead of Racing, time may show I should have been hoping for a draw!
    It’s also weird cheering for sides I normally like to see lose… River, Estudiantes, Newell’s, and worst of all, Independiente. It felt so strange jumping out of my chair and cheering Rolfi’s golazo against Jujuy!

  5. I feel a little bit sorry for San Martín de San Juan, because in recent weeks they lost 5 points due to goals in the dying minutes (ok, Arsenal’s 2:1 was after 85′). Last week a terrible defended corner at home against Tigre (~90′), and also 1:2 at home to Lanús when they lead till the 90. minute.

    I think you made a little mistake in your “outcome table”. If Racing an Olimpo both get 2 draws they will have the same promedio. Also, as 44*3=132, 44/38 and 132/114 have to be the same.

    Regarding Olimpo:
    I was certain, they are going down, but now they even got a minimal chance to get out of the bottom 4 and avoid the Relegation Playoff!

    “I’m not convinced they will be that bothered now they are safe…”

    Do argentinian clubs really feel like this? Because of the relegation system considering the last 3 years this would be absolutely stupid. At the start of the new season, when the points from 05/06 aren’t included anymore, Newell’s will “lose” 51 points, Racing 44, Rosario 45, Colón 46. So you can never be sure, although I don’t think NOB will be as bad as 06/07.

    By the way, Gimnasia La Plata had 69 points in 05/06, so they will have a promedio from about 1. I didn’t notice that they are already fighting against relegation next year.

  6. I take your point Gampern, and you can see how hard Gimnasia have battled over the few weeks, especially the way they celebrated their draw against Racing.
    But Newell’s are something like 14 points better than Gimnasia from 06-08.
    Also, there’s so much movement in Argentine football, how many of the Newell’s players will even care what happens to the club next season? Now that they haven’t got the embarrassment of relegation, and facing those fanatical fans, they may be more concerned with negotiating their next moves.
    Olimpo, on the other hand, seems to be a club where players stay for a while. I recognise many of their guys from their last stay in the Primera, and there seems to be more of a loyalty to the club.

  7. Gampern, you are right! If Racing and Olimpo get two draws each in the next two matches, they will end with the same promedio!

    Now look at this:

    If Huracán beat Racing, Estudiantes defeat Colón and then Racing win their last match against Colón, AND, Gimnasia de Jujuy win both their matches, there’ll be three teams with the same average: Colón, Racing and Jujuy!

    Provided Olimpo get a few points and finish with better average than the three of them, then Colón, Racing and Jujuy would have to play a mini-tournament, with the loser being automatically relegated and the two best teams going to the Promoción!

    Well…actually this is just my conjecture because I don’t know if there is a rule that contemplates a decision like that.

    One other thing…due to the WC Qualifiers, there’ll be a 15-day hiatus between week 18 and week 19! I don’t think I’ll be able to survive that agony!

    What a horrible thing was to watch Diego Armando Barrado scoring twice for Olimpo against San Lorenzo when not so long ago he used to play for Racing!

    Matthew, there’s another point I would like to add to your last message. Players at Olimpo (or Jujuy for that matter) don’t have the same amount of pressure than those at Racing (or the Rosario’s giants). That’s something that really plays its part in this. Olimpo were always expected to fight against the drop. They prepared themselves for that. They’ve got a good number of experienced players that are more suitable to play hot matches every day and they won’t receive the criticism the Racing players will get if they get relegated.

    I feel so bad for all these Racing youngsters that are being thrown to the lions week in, week out. They are victims, rather than culprits. Their lack of experience, the enormous pressure on their shoulders and the constant chaos at the club are a very dangerous cocktail.

  8. But then, why do Racing Lads are having a go at all of their own players (for me it seems something like that)? Or is it just, because they are more “tangible” than any club officials (of course in ARG for some fans there’s no difference in that)

  9. Exactly, Gampern. Fans “think” with their hearts. They don’t care if we have 6 or 7 players in our starting lineup with 20 matches played COMBINED!

    They want Racing to win and most importantly, they want Racing to play with passion and with determination. That’s something that we lacked for this entire season but most importantly during some crucial matches of late: such as against Boca (up 1-0 lost 2-1 with them scoring in the 50th minute), Lanús (up 3-0 ended 3-3), against Gimnasia (up 1-0 ended 1-1), etc. etc.

    I think frustration is getting to the fans from what the team does on the pitch and the players get frustrated due to the pressure that comes from the stands.

    Plus…the club officials in Argentina pay good bucks to the “barrabravas” so they don’t sing against them and they prevent the regular non-violent fans to do it.

    Instead, the barrabrava insults the players and in the end, they get a chorus of non-violent fans to support their chants.

    Racing supporters are divided between those who support no matter what and those who insult everyone even before kick-off.

    Divided between those who celebrate a draw against Independiente and those who can’t believe this constant waste of points we are going through.

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