Last season they were playing in the Torneo Argentino A, the third division section for clubs not affiliated to the AFA, but on Sunday Atlético Tucumán ensured their city will continue to have Primera División representation next season by thrashing relegation-threatened Talleres de Córdoba 4-1 to confirm the B Nacional title. Atlético’s last appearance in the top flight was in 1984, the year I was born. Welcome back gents.
Since the Torneos Argentinos were first set up in 1995 to allow a place in the national league for sides not located in Gran Buenos Aires, Rosario or Santa Fe (plus a few sides who were invited into the Torneos Metropolitanos back in the ’80s), no team has managed to win promotion from Argentino A and go straight up from B Nacional to Primera División in the same season. Atlético have managed it thanks to a great campaign that’s seen them clinch promotion with two matches remaining.
Emanuel Fernández Francou put Talleres into the lead in the fifth minute, but that was all the joy the hosts were to get from the game. Luis Rodríguez equalised just after the half hour mark, and in the second half the visitors ran riot. Juan Pablo Pereyra put Atlético into the lead two minutes after the restart, Juan Manuel Azconzábal made it 3-1 in the 72nd, and just three minutes later César Montiglio made it 4-1. Immediately after that goal, a riot in the stands brought the game to and end.
Talleres’ punishment will be decided later but for now it’s bad enough for them that the result will stand. It leaves them bottom of the relegation Promedio way off the pace. Earlier this decade, they were coming close to claiming a surprise title win, but next season they’ll be in the third division.
Elsewhere in the division, third-placed Belgrano de Córdoba drew 0-0 with Tiro Federal of Rosario, a result which benefits second-placed Chacarita Juniors hugely. If they beat Platense (bottom of the season-long table, though clear of the relegation positions in the promedio) tomorrow in an ‘away’ match behind closed doors in La Plata, they’ll go up automatically.
A division below, meanwhile, we had the Clásico del Oeste going on in the semi-finals of the Primera B (not B Nacional) playoffs, the winners of which will play off against a side from B Nacional for a place in next season’s second division. Merlo took on Morón in the home ground of El Porvenir, and drew 0-0. The second leg is on Thursday and if the aggregate scores are level Morón, who finished above their local rivals in the regular season, will go through.