Hot on the heels

Victor Zapata carries the ball forward for Vélez
Víctor Zapata carries the ball forward for Vélez

San Lorenzo lead the Apertura following Friday night’s win over Colón in the Nuevo Gasómetro, but they’ve got some competition, and on Saturday Vélez Sársfield reminded them of that fact with a 2-1 victory at home to Rosario Central. El Fortín played well after an early scare, and now sit two points back on San Lorenzo, with Boca (three behind Vélez) playing on Sunday. Elsewhere there was a draw in Jujuy and a goalfest in Sarandí.

Leonardo Borzani scored for Central within a minute, stabbing past Germán Montoya after a free kick from Kily González had evaded teammate Emilio Zelaya. That was almost the last say the Canalla had in the match, though, as Vélez put their feet down and began to dominate, with Emiliano Papa especially impressive, surging forward from left back whenever he got the chance. It was the former Central man who set up Vélez’s equaliser in the 33rd minute, swinging over a corner which Mariano Uglessich converted with his head. In the second half, Vélez continued to dominate, but had to be patient.

The winner eventually arrived in the 81st minute, Leandro Somoza tucking away a penalty after man of the match Papa was brought down in the box by Walter Ribonetto. Vélez are on a run now: they’ve got four consecutive wins, and are five matches unbeaten home and away – it’s ten games since they lost in the José Amalfitani. In two weeks time, they’re at home to San Lorenzo – that should be a match worth seeing.

Saturday also saw an incredible comeback, as Arsenal, 2-0 down at home to Banfield after two first half goals from Víctor López, won 3-2 after scoring twice in the last five minutes of the match. Facundo Sava set them on the way just after the hour, Alejandro Gómez equalised in the 86th minute, and a minute into stoppage time Aníbal Matellán struck an improbable winner for El Arse. Gimnasia de Jujuy and Argentinos drew 1-1, and in B Nacional Aldosivi of Mar del Plata beat Tiro Federal 3-2 away to go joint top of the table next to Chacarita Juniors and Atlético Rafaela.

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2 thoughts on “Hot on the heels

  1. Great win by Arsenal. I think nobody had expected them to win the match when they were losing by two and playing awfully. I think Sava is a great striker. He may not have superb technique, but he’s extremely effective in the scoring box and Racing misses him a lot.

    By the way, Racing’s win 2-1 over Estudiantes is another great step for the team of Avellaneda in their road to avoid promotion.

    Regarding to Velez, I think they’re a solid team. They neither play very well nor delight the fans, but they work well on the pitch, basing their game on a touch and run basis.

    Like I always say, this site is great

  2. Sava had a pretty awful season last year, he missed so many chances, but we never found anyone to replace him, so we are struggling. Luguercio isn’t a proper striker, and the others in the squad are too young to benefit from playing in a relegation struggle.

    Having said that, I’m mightily relieved at last night’s win. For a second, I was buoyant, I actually thought Racing might streak ahead 3 or 4, but this is Racing, and I spent the whole of the last 40 minutes just *waiting* for the equaliser. I wondered why sooo much injury time was being added, and I was convinced it was solely to give Estudiantes time to equalise.

    A huuuge relief to hear the whistle. Shaffer and Lucero are impressing me right now, and we’re getting glimpses of the real Maxi Moralez. But I would still swap Llop for Simeone *tomorrow*, I don’t expect to get anything from River next week, and this win last night was the very least the side needed to approach matches like Central with any kind of confidence.

    Remember, this was an Estudiantes second team waiting for a new DT, so it isn’t so momentous.

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