Argentinos to the Sudamericana

Only one match was played on Friday night to kick off the final round of the Torneo Clausura 2008, but it had importance in its own right. Argentinos Juniors hosted Rosario Central with the aim of securing a victory that would qualify them for next season’s Copa Sudamericana. In addition, they had the chance to extend their unbeaten home run to 16 matches. Central, safe from relegation worries, were motivated only by the idea of spoiling the party, and that didn’t prove strong enough: El Bicho won, 2-1.

The visitors did threaten to mess things up for Argentinos, taking the lead quarter of an hour in through Damián Díaz and holding it until almost half-time, when Alejandro Delorte equalised just a minute before the break. Jorge Díaz’s real work improving the rosarinos will start now their season’s over and he can concentrate on helping them finish further up the table next season, but he must have been encouraged. Whatever Argentinos boss Néstor Gorosito said to his own charges at half time worked, though, and especially for Delorte, who added a second with eight minutes remaining, after Juan Mercier had got himself sent off to reduce the home side to ten men.

Argentinos, then, are going to the Sudamericana. HEGS won’t have any coverage of Saturday’s matches (I’m going to Donington Park for the UK leg of the MotoGP), but normal service will be resumed on Sunday night, the day of reckoning for the relegation issues. Don’t go away…

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