Back from the dead

Before half time, Arsenal de Sarandí were 3-0 down at home to Vélez Sársfield, who incidentally were sporting an utterly beautiful new kit, and playing in a manner which lived up to the new shirts. Three goals in the space of six minutes for Vélez seemed to have put the match beyond doubt, but somehow the hosts got back into it and came away with a point, in one of the most entertaining matches of the season so far. A little earlier, San Lorenzo had ensured their continued leadership of the table with a 1-0 win over San Martín de Tucumán.

Vélez were already dominating in El Viaducto before, in the 28th minute, the breakthrough finally arrived with Juan Manuel Martínez forcing the ball home from close range. The following minutes seemed as though Arsenal’s resistance, once breached, had been overcome entirely, as before anyone even had a chance to draw breath the lead was doubled by Jonathan Cristaldo following good work down the left flank from Emiliano Papa. Just minutes after that, Víctor Zapata smashed home from an indirect free kick to make it 3-0 to the visitors.

Arsenal weren’t buried, though. Three minutes before the break Aníbal Matellán clawed one back for the hosts, heading in from a corner, and a minute into stoppage time Alejandro Gómez threw himself at a cross from a free kick to make it 2-3 with a spectacular diving header. In the second half It was an even affair but Arsenal showed the greater desire and, just before the hour mark, Matellán got his second of the match to draw his side level at 3-3. Thereafter the game settled into a pattern of thrust and counter thrust, but neither team could quite find a way through. A brilliant match ended with a point apiece, but in truth both sides deserved all three.

The same couldn’t be said of Miguel Angel Russo’s San Lorenzo, but like champions elect they managed to win without playing well against newly-promoted San Martín de Tucumán. The only goal came from Néstor Silvera in the 35th minute, after he pounced on a mis-hit clearance from San Martín defender Juan Monge. In the day’s other match, Martín Morel got two and Leonel Altobelli one as Tigre beat Lanús 3-0 to hang onto San Lorenzo’s coat-tails; they’re in second, five points back.

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