Opportunity missed

After Lanús had kept themselves in with a slim hope of the title on Friday night with a 2-0 win away to Vélez (their first win away to the Liniers side in 49 years), the focus shifted to the relegation battle on Saturday afternoon as Racing took on Gimnasia de Jujuy. A win would take the home side to within a point of the tally of 25 they’d set as a target at the start of the Apertura, but despite being the better side it wasn’t to be on the day…

Racing went out looking for the win right from the off, and in only the second minute Gimnasia de Jujuy goalkeeper Gastón Pezzutti was already having to scramble to save from Leandro González’s wicked shot. Gradually through the second half La Academia‘s dominance shrunk, but the best the visitors could muster before half time was a shot from outside the box from Walter Busse that whistled just wide of Pablo Migliore’s post.

After half time, Gimnasia started out better, continuing where they’d left off, but they couldn’t find a way through and lacked any real ideas in the final third to get past Racing’s backline. The game might have turned when Juan Manuel Llop sent on Juan Ignacio Sánchez Sótelo for Franco Zuculini in the 65th minute, and certainly after the youngster had been introduced Racing regained the iniative. No breakthrough came from either side, though.

With around ten minutes to go Lihué Prichoda sent over a cross from the right which Sánchez Sótelo met with a good header to send it back across the goal, but Pezzutti, already tracking the Racing forward’s run across the box, turned back on himself to produce a fine save and keep El Lobo Jujeño level late on. There will be (and have been) far uglier 0-0 draws this season, but this one doesn’t exactly serve either side.

Elsewhere so far this weekend Lanús’s win on Friday came thanks to goals from Diego Lagos and José Sand – his 15th of the Apertura. San Martín beat Newell’s 2-0 at home on Saturday, Pablo De Muner and Antonio Ibáñez scoring the goals, and in the Friday night match – a thoroughly entertaining affair – Argentinos led Banfield 2-0 away from home with goals from Carlos Recalde and Nicolás Pavlovich. With six minutes of the 90 to go, though, Facundo Ferreyra pulled one back for the hosts, and in the 89th minute Luciano Civelli saved a point for Banfield.

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10 thoughts on “Opportunity missed

  1. Extremely worried about the list of players supposedly leaving Racing in January.
    Maxi doesn’t exactly look thrilled to be being sent back to the gulags, Zuculini looks to have a far better opportunity at Juve: he could become one of the greats.
    Then it gets worse, are Caceres, Yacob and Leandro Gonzalez all going as well? We needed a win tonight because I’m worried about the Clausura.

    Also noticed a Lalin ad during the match. Who is expected to win the election? I know about Lalin and he’d be a disaster :(

    1. It seems to me, Matthew, that Lalín’s announcement that he’d remove Llop from his managerial position ought to harm his campaign (the other four candidates have all said they’d keep Llop in charge for the Clausura). You’d better hope pretty hard though, because Lalín’s got quite an influence…

      Player-wise, it also depends on which group wins the elections. Rodolfo Molina’s group, ‘Racing Vuelve’, are claiming they’d bring Sergio Romero back from AZ Alkmaar on loan, and possibly also moving for Ernesto Farías, who’s somewhat in the shadow of Lisandro López at Porto at the moment. Whether they’re just saying that to try and win the election, though, is another matter.

  2. I saw a few posters on the streets today and you can see the Racing badge with letters in Japanese and below it says: “Acompañanos a Japón” (Come with us to Japan).

    Signed: Daniel Lalín.

    So…not only this Independiente fan (because he is) did send us to bankruptcy the first time he was around, now he’s back and he’s laughing to our faces.

    We need another flying drum, please!

    Matthew…it’s going to be another lonnnnnnnnnnnnng Clausura, I’m afraid.

    I see no light at the end of the tunnel. Less so when I see Lalín has chances to return to Racing (because anybody knows that transparency won’t be the word that will define the elections at our club).

    Finally…is it snowing in this website??? I thought there was something wrong with my eyes but I think it’s virtual snow indeed. Crazy stuff! haha

  3. Haha, nothing wrong with your eyes Seba. WordPress offered the ‘snow’ option last year and I had it then as well – it stopped automatically in January and I obviously forgot to untick the box, because it’s back now!

    A longer-lasting change is the fact that rather than the WordPress logo next to the site’s URL in your browser’s address bar, you should now see Señor ‘Che’ Maradona instead. The hosting and technical side of the site isn’t something I ever mention, but I must say WordPress are being very kind to all their users this year!

  4. There´s a good chance that we´ll have three team joint number one when the season is over. If that´s the case, how will they decide the winner?

  5. The same way they would if two sides were tied, Johan: with a playoff. I would assume each side will play each other, but the way the AFA goes it wouldn’t surprise me if San Lorenzo play Tigre, and the winners get the chance to play against Boca for the title…

  6. I said this last week… Lanus beat SM Tucuman, then Boca, Tigre and San Lorenzo could all draw. Four teams on 37 points.

    Will they have group games, or will they have a semi final draw and a final? This is just a rhetorical question, as I don’t even think AFA would know the answer….

  7. My comment wasn’t born of bias, Johnny – I’d have said the same thing if it were River in the mix (and if the AFA ever get the chance to decide the title through a worldwide-televised superclásico title decider, you’ll probably find they make it a best of 17 series, or something).

    I just despair at the thought that goes into it all on the part of the AFA. As Matthew says, I really don’t think they’ve considered the possibility, before the last couple of weeks, that more than two teams might at some point finish joint top of the table.

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