Plummetting interest

Gonzalo Bergessio celebrates putting San Lorenzo 2-0 up
Gonzalo Bergessio celebrates putting San Lorenzo 2-0 up

On the day the US Federal Reserve announced an astonishing rate cut, things at the other end of the Americas also begin to look a bit less interesting. San Lorenzo met Tigre in the first match of the title-deciding triangular, and it was the Cuervo who came out on top, meaning that if they beat Boca Juniors at the weekend, the final match of the triple-header will be rendered meaningless.

The match began on the front foot, as both sides looked to press forward and get an early advantage against their opponents, with Aureliano Torres of San Lorenzo trading efforts with Tigre’s Leonel Altobelli. It was San Lorenzo, in the 18th minute, who took the lead when Santiago Solari centred from the left, and the ball was pushed away by Tigre ‘keeper Daniel Islas, straight into the path of Pablo Barrientos, who made no mistake.

Los Santos doubled their lead just two minutes later, when Barrientos turned provider, finding Gonzalo Bergessio alone in the area. The former Platense and Racing forward finished first time, and San Lorenzo had the cushion they desired. Before half time, it might have been 3-0; San Lorenzo centre back Nicolás Bianchi Arce headed against the crossbar. There was a flashpoint when Bergessio and Islas got upset with one another as referee Saúl Laverni was being lenient with the stoppages. At half time, though, it was a two-goal lead for Miguel Angel Russo’s men.

After the break, Tigre came out chasing the match and, though they lacked the imagination to find a way through, they did succeed in pushing San Lorenzo onto the back foot, and their own defence looked a lot more sure of themselves when called upon. Santiago Hirsig, on to replace Solari, shot over in a one-on-one with Islas which would have made it 3-0, and San Lorenzo began to inch their way back up the pitch.

With fourteen minutes of the ninety to go, Sebastián Rusculleda found Leandro Lázzaro in the box and the big man pulled Tigre back into the match with a strong header. After more than one chance to put the match beyond all doubt, Russo’s side were in for a nervy endgame. They sat back and looked to close the match out.

Four minutes into stoppage time, Islas clashed with another San Lorenzo player, when he punched Barrientos inside the penalty area. Replays showed that the ball was still in play, but Laverni, who’d been alerted to the punch by his assistant, didn’t realise this latter point. He sent Islas off (a further five minutes of stoppage time were subsequently played) but didn’t award the penalty.

A win for San Lorenzo, then, means that Tigre now have to hope for a Boca win when the Xeneize form the Boedo side’s next opposition on Saturday in El Cilindro. If San Lorenzo win that match, they’ll be champions – if it’s a draw, Boca will need to beat Tigre to claim the title, but El Matador’s chances will have been exhausted.

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5 thoughts on “Plummetting interest

  1. I know you like Tigre, Sam, and I’ve warmed to them over the last weeks, but I think now I’d rather San Lorenzo just beat Boca and get it all over and done with.

    They’ve been in much better form over the last four matches, and tonight, they could’ve won five or six one.

    Boca could well go for the draw on Saturday, San Lorenzo have the players to blow them away though. It’s Tinelli’s TV All Stars and I think it will all be over on Saturday night.

    As for Islas’ behaviour, I’ve never seen anything as ridiculous on a football pitch in my entire life…

  2. there is no way that tigre will win the tournament, a small club, small budget and a smaller squad. with islas (idiot) out, tigre have an uphill battle. expect to see cagna at the head of boca juniors once ischia is gone.
    as for san lorenzo, i think that they lack the mental toughness to face boca; let us keep in mind that boca is an INTERNATIONAL powerhouse and with their fans backing them and Juan Roman wanting to play ball… i say game over, boca are champs before even playing their first match.

  3. I wonder if Ischia is gone even if Boca wins out ? Russo was Macri’s man and got an undeserved boot, and Ischia was Pompilio’s man. This revolving door as Boca’s DT is a shame. Should Boca win the tournament, much credit would have to go to Ischia given all the injuries he had to deal with, not to mention club dissension and changing keepers in the middle of the season.

  4. I heard that when Ischia was appointed it was just to keep Bianchi the seat until he wants to comeback.

    Now with the national team out of the question for Bianchi, he is wanted at Velez for their centenary year but Boca would want him too.

    The thing is…Bianchi was very close to Pompilio (RIP) and I don’t know what’s going on at the club and whether someone will ask him to manage Boca again.

    As for the tournament, now I hope San Lorenzo win it to prove AFA was horribly wrong in organising this playoffs and to have some justice there as San Lorenzo had the better goal difference of the three leaders.

    I would hate to see Chaco Torres winning the league after what he did to Racing (and especially the bad things he said about Racing), but it’ll be nice to see Wayne Bergessio getting a reward for all his efforts and talent (even though it still hurts seeing him at San Lorenzo).

    I said many times that Bergessio’s absence alone was the difference for Racing between to avoiding the promoción last season or not, such is his influence in any team he plays for.

    I’ve got the same feeling as Matt however. I think it’ll be a draw and then Boca will win by more than one goal on Tuesday against a Tigre side that will be thinking about their vacations and will have a debutant kid on goal.

  5. I hope Bergessio is one of those players who wants to go back to Racing one day, to finish his career. It’s a club that has a hold on some players, such as Piojo Lopez, hopefully Diego Milito and of course Diego Simeone was a fan and dearly wished to finish playing with Racing, which he did. (It’s still sad how he was treated as coach to make way for Merlo. Is that Lalin’s attempted bribe in the election? Get rid of Llop, but replace him with Cholo? Would Cholo feel able to refuse?)

    Of course, there seem to be some players who leave Racing and disrespect the club and its fans. I haven’t read some of the stuff Torres has said that Seba has read, he wasn’t one of my favourites anyway it’s easy to join in with the boos when he plays against Racing. I do remember disrespectful goal celebrations from Lucchetti and Fernandez as well, and that really annoys me. Lucchetti’s face annoys me, actually. He’s just incredibly annoying. I love seeing goals go past him…

    I like the respectful way most Argentine players treat goals against their former clubs – in contrast tosomeone like Rooney – and it displays a more civilised attitude by them to the fans who pay their wages. Those who break the code deserve contempt, someone like Bergessio is still a hero for the way he handles it, and he deserves every bit of success he gets, especially after not suceeding on his first trip to Europe.

    I’d love to see him in the Premiership next. Mark Hughes should bin off Jo for City and replace him with Bergessio, he is the battering ram of a striker da bloooz need to complement all this arty-farty stuff from Robinho and SWP… and he would like the colour of the shirt too, as well as being able to discuss life at Nuevo Gasometro with his rampaging right back. Perfect!

    I also agree with Nathan about Cagna. He is the next coach of Boca Juniors for sure, it’s too good a fit for them not to go with it. So what about Tigre? Could *that* be the next project for Cholo Simeone to repair his reputation with? I think that would be a nice fit for him also (he seemed a very interested spectator last night), and a better one than the chaos that will be Racing should Llop leave, I’m afraid…

    As for the play-off, San Lorenzo have incredible momentum, it would be best for football and for sport if it carried them past Boca and the AFA fixers. 60-40 says they do it. If it’s a draw, there’s no way I’m watching the third game…

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