San Lorenzo won the Copa del Invierno late on Wednesday night, beating Independiente 2-0 in the final in Mar Del Plata. San Lorenzo, without Andrés D’Alessandro and Diego Placente, have an otherwise almost unchanged playing squad from that which fought through the Clausura, but a new manager. Independiente, by contrast, have the same manager as before but are re-building their squad after the loss of Germán Denis and the entrances of various new players. It was the more settled group on the pitch who dominated, creating plenty of chances and winning thanks to goals from Santiago Hirsig and Gonzalo Bergessio. Elsewhere on Thursday, there were pre-season wins for Racing, Lanús and Newell’s.
Racing beat Quilmes 2-0 with two strikes from a new striker – not Federico Nieto or Pablo Lugüercio, but Juan Ignacio Sánchez Sotelo, a striker called up from the youth team who’s not been shy to express his next ambition: ‘I hope I can satisfy the coach and be the centre-forward for the team.’ Well, they certainly need one. In Rosario on Tuesday, Newell’s Old Boys beat Atlético Rafaela 1-0, apparently – Olé mention it but don’t say who scored, and I’ve been unable to find mention of it elsewhere, including Newell’s own website. Lanús definitely did play Huracán, and rediscovered something of the form that brought them last year’s Apertura title, winning 5-2 with goals from José Sand (twice), Diego Valeri, Sebastián Blanco and Germán Cano. There were positives for Huracán though: their goals both came from new signings – Ariel Cólzero and Matías Manrique.