Ending with a draw

The clásico grondonino in Sarandí ended all square on Friday afternoon, so Arsenal and Independiente go off on their winter holidays relieved, no doubt, that the Clausura is finally over for them. Arsenal will finish bottom of the Clausura table if Argentinos Juniors beat San Lorenzo in the Nuevo Gasómetro next weekend, whilst Independiente haven’t done much better.

Both defences made plenty of mistakes, in keeping with their seasons in general, and both attacks missed chances. Independiente boss Américo Gallego sent out a young team for the match to start giving them some idea of what will be required of them during the Apertura. Franco Jara put Arsenal into the lead after just over half an hour, finishing smartly inside the box after a great pass from Aníbal Matellán. Matellán had fouled Leandro Gioda inside the box in only the fifth minute, but Gustavo Bassi didn’t give a penalty – presumably he was unsure which of Julio Grondona’s sides he’d be better giving the benefit to, and was swung by the home crowd.

In the second half Fabián Assman in the Rojo goal made a magnificent save after ten minutes from a Jara free kick which he managed to tip onto the crossbar. Assman is one player even Racing fans might feel a little sorry for – he’s conceded more goals than any other ‘keeper this season (Independiente have let in 59 in Apertura and Clausura), but lesser goalies would have let in a lot more. Independiente got a lucky equaliser when Federico Mancuello’s centre bounced in front of Arsenal goalkeeper Cristian Campestrini and went in without being touched. A fitting way for both teams to end their season.

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