A winning debut

Monge celebrates
Monge celebrates

Back in the top flight after nigh-on a decade and a half away, and it was as if San Martín de Tucumán had never left. They opened the 2008 Torneo Apertura in their own stadium against Huracán on Friday evening, and ran out 2-0 winners after taking full advantage of a strong start. A little later in the evening, Newell’s won what might, even so early in the season, turn out to be an important relegation clash by a solitary goal, away to Gimnasia La Plata.

San Martín, managed by Carlos Roldán, started the match with speed and closed down every ball, looking to release their strikers early into space whenever possible, and the strategy paid dividends early on as they raced into the lead courtesy of new signging, forward Mario Turdó, after just 13 minutes. Turdó made up for having missed two good chances just a minute or two before, ensuring it was third time lucky for him and his team. In the 32nd minute, he had a crucial part to play in the second goal. Rising to meet a left-wing cross with his head, Turdó thought he’d scored again, only to see the ball hit his team-mate, defender Juan Monge, on the back before bouncing into the net.

In the second half Huracán were much better, but San Martín still had their chances. Ramiro Leone hit the visitors’ post from a free kick, and Huracán looked shell-shocked. The match had to be suspended for a couple of minute due to fireworks on the pitch, but when they’d been cleared away Huracán’s lack of bite remained. San Martín ended up with the dream start to their first season back at the top table, but they’ll have it harder next week: they play Independiente in Avellaneda. For Huracán, it’s struggling Racing, at home.

In Friday’s later match, it was Newell’s who emerged victorious from Gimnasia’s stadium (not, it would seem, the Estadio Municipal) thanks to Germán Ré’s 24th minute goal. After El Colorado‘s contribution, there wasn’t a lot else of note in a dull match, and a season in which Gimnasia will be fighting against the drop hasn’t begun well for them.

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One thought on “A winning debut

  1. I thought Gimnasia were unlucky. Newell’s were sloppy in defence in the first half, and were fortunate not to concede. Piatti showed some nice touches, though Sosa is not up to speed yet.
    I still think Gimnasia will be okay, despite both promoted clubs getting good starts (godoy cruz winning 2-1 right now).

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