As promised earlier on Tuesday, I’m following up the (affiliated) lower division roundup with a quick look back on the positions so far in the Torneo Argentino A, and also attempting to explain how on earth Argentino B, which really does make the Primera A system of relegation and continental Copa qualification look like the simplest thing in the world, will work this season. This post will probably get about two hits, but never let it be said that HEGS isn’t thorough. I can almost guarantee you you won’t find this anywhere else on the internet in the English language (go on, try) so if you want to really impress your mates in the pub on Friday – or, more likely, if you’re getting fed up of your current friends and want to make them never speak to you again – read on.
What are the Torneos Argentinos?
The Torneo Argentino A and Torneo Argentino B are the divisions which run alongside the Primeras B (which is not, remember the B Nacional, but the division below it) and C, and are for clubs who, for whatever reason (lack of professional status, money, or whatever) aren’t fully affiliated to the AFA. Whilst Primera B is the third flight, Argentino A is also the third flight – just for a different set of clubs. They’re split into geographical zones and at the end of the season, playoffs decide the promoted and relegated sides. The winners of the playoffs in Argentino A enter a further playoff against the lowest-placed non-affiliated team from the B Nacional Promedio (however high up the B Nacional said team might have finished!), to decide promotion / relegation in the same manner as holds for the AFA-run divisions. Trust me, what you’ve just read is simple compared with what’s coming further down the page.
How’s Argentino A going so far?
So far, zones 1 and 2 of Argentino A have seen only two rounds of matches, and zone 3, three. In zone 1, Cipoletti de Río Negro and Guillermo Brown de Puerto Madryn are both on four points, and are the only two of the 8 clubs in the zone with positive goal difference. Zone 2 has three sides on four points: Sportivo Ben Hur; Patronáto of Parana, and 9 de Julio de Rafaela. Boca Unidos de Córdoba and Unión de Sunchales are the only other sides to have won one of their first two matches, with three points each. Zone 3, currently halfway through the third round, is topped by Alumni de Villa María (who, I’ve just discovered, were founded fifty years to the day before I was born, and are eight matches unbeaten at home) and Juventud Antoniana. Sportivo Desamparados de San Juan are three behind those two, with four points, but have only played two matches so far.
So how does Argentino B work, and when does it start?
Torneo Argentino B (the fourth flight, or the non-affiliate equivalent to Primera C) will be divided into six zones of eight teams each, and will be kicking off towards the end of this month. The league season is played over two sets of fourteen matches (September to December, then February til about May) before the top two from each zone, plus the four best third-placed teams, will be split into four zones of four teams. The winner of each of these zones will go into two ‘finals’ with a home and away system, and the winners of these finals will ascend to Argentino A. It’s not yet been decided exactly how many, or by what method, the relegated teams (who’ll go down to the Torneo del Interior, which kicks off in January) will be decided, but it’ll be something along the lines of the bottom (i.e. eighth) placed team from each of the ‘first round’ zones going into playoffs against each other to decide who goes down automatically, and who has to… um… play a playoff against a side from the division below. Or on the other hand a decision might be taken to do it another way. Think this is needlessly complicated? Then try following the Brazilian third divison.
Anyone still reading? No, you all left a long time ago, didn’t you…