It’s been a long and tortuous season for Racing, but on Sunday night, at last, their fans will finally be able to sleep sound in their beds, and when they wake up on Monday morning will be going into work or school with, if not pride, then at least a massive sense of relief. On Sunday afternoon, their club beat Belgrano de Córdoba by a brilliant Maxi Moralez goal to nil, to win 2-1 on aggregate and secure another season in Primera A. In the later match, Gimnasia de Jujuy defended their own Primera A berth with a 1-0 win over Unión de Santa Fé.
Juan Manuel Llop had drilled his Racing side well in the buildup to the game, but still had to contend with the enormously high tension in the stadium. His side could afford a draw, but a loss would be simply unimaginable for them, and Belgrano, in the early stages, looked the better side, well organised and dangerous on the counter attack, forcing the home crowd to hold their breath on more than one occasion, not least in the ninth minute when first leg goalscorer Matias Gigli found himself one-on-one with goalkeeper José Luis Martínez Gullota. His shot, however, flashed wide of the post, and the hosts could breathe again.
A minute later, they were doing more than that, shouting and screaming for joy, celebrating a magnificent goal from Maxi Moralez, who won the ball on the left and exchanged passes with the dropping-off Facundo Sava before beating the goalkeeper and finishing strongly to calm Racing’s many nerves.
After that it was a nervous match, with Racing missing chances to extend the lead and put the tie beyond doubt, but Belgrano unable to capitalise on the numerous efforts they themselves had, hitting the crossbar later in the first half and with substitute Claudio Bustos missing an unbelievable sitter from almost underneath the crossbar in the second. Belgrano deserved better for their play, but with the stadium getting increasingly noisy as the minutes ticked down, it was finally time for it to explode on the final whistle. It’s been an up-and-down season and the players may not deserve it, but for another year at least, Racing es de Primera.
Gimnasia de Jujuy also defended their Primera A place, beating Unión de Santa Fé 1-0 thanks to a header midway through the second half from Juan Arraya in a dull match in Jujuy. Having drawn 1-1 in the first leg, Gimnasia, like Racing, win 2-1 on aggregate. Claudio Gugnali in the first half and Marcelo Mosset in the second were both sent off from the visitors, whilst Marcelo Quinteros saw red for the home side.