God knows where this has come from. Racing have looked a better team so far in the Apertura, but lost last week to Banfield and had a tricky match this weekend against top-of-the-table San Lorenzo in a clásico that surely, none of their fans thought they could win. But win it they did, thanks to two first half goals and a second half display which kept San Lorenzo at arm’s length. It finished 2-1 in El Cilindro. Racing are climbing slowly away from the drop, and the title race has just been blown wide open.
Adrián Lucero gave Racing a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel with the opening goal in the first minute, finishing off a lovely move down the left between Maxi Moralez and Franco Sosa which culminated in Pablo Lugüercio setting the midfielder up. After that it was normal clásico fare, with tasty tackles and neither side able to get past the opponents’ defence with any real danger. In the eighteenth minute, though, Moralez got into the San Lorenzo box and was brought down by Nicolás Bianchi Arce. Referee Gabriel Brazenas pointed to the spot, and Maxi made no mistake to put Racing 2-0 up. Before half time, Racing could have gone further ahead, Moralez and Lugüercio functioning superbly together, but couldn’t find the finishing touch. The league leaders, for their part, looked nervous.
In the second half, San Lorenzo looked more like a team courtesy of a couple of changes from Miguel Angel Russo (the two Santiagos, Solari and Hirsig, came on for Pablo Barrientos and Juan Manuel Torres at the interval), and began to create some proper opportunities. When they arrived at the Racing goal, though, they met with an inspired José Martínez Gullota between the sticks, keeping out everything apart from a long-range free kick from Aureliano Torres that crept through the box and into the far corner of the net. In the end, though, La Academia hung on. They’ll celebrate the win. So will Tigre, Newell’s and Boca.