Estudiantes de La Plata joined Rosario Central at the top of the Torneo Apertura standings on Friday night after the South American champions cruised to victory over still-hapless Huracán and Central lost their 100% winning record with a 0-0 bore against third-placed Banfield. Estudiantes beat Huracán 4-1 in Parque Patricios to move level with Central on 13 points after five matches.
It took Estudiantes most of the first half to break the deadlock against Huracán, who so far in this campaign have looked a pitiful shadow of the side that so nearly claimed the title at the end of the Clausura. Missing Juan Sebastián Verón, Estudiantes visited a side who set out their stall to play for a draw, and deservedly came away with three points by virtue of taking the chances that came their way.
Without Verón, it was former Boca Juniors striker Mauro Boselli who eased his side towards half time with a comfortable cushion. First he headed the ball into the path of Juan Manuel Salgueiro in the 38th minute, and the forward poked it over the onrushing Huracán goalkeeper Gastón Monzón to lob it into the net for the opener. Minutes later, shortly before the break, Boselli turned scorer. After a ball from Marcelo Carrusca he took advantage of the second chance he was handed to double the lead.
Ten minutes into the second half, Patricio Toranzo pulled one back for Huracán. With the hosts going all out to try and get back into the match, Toranzo pulled the trigger from absolutely miles out and, although it wasn’t especially well placed, his shot rocketed in just underneath the crossbar with Estudiantes goalie Damián Albil unable to do much apart from flap an arm at it.
Minutes later Clemente Rodríguez brought Toranzo down inside the box and the whole of Parque Patricios knew a penalty was due for Huracán. The whole of Parque Patricios, that is, except for referee Juan Pablo Pompei, who waved play on. With twelve minutes to play Enzo Pérez neatly controlled a cross to his feet and swivelled inside to plant a powerful finish past Monzón to make it 3-1 to Estudiantes, and just before the 90 minutes were up, Maximiliano Núñez added some gloss to the final scoreline: 4-1 to Estudiantes.
Rosario Central against Banfield was hardly a similar goalfest. With Central top at the start of the night’s action and Banfield third, and with the hosts the only side in the league to have won all four of their opening matches, something had to give, and unfortunately the compromise was played out in a dull match.
Narrow wins for Central in all of their games so far might have given us a tip-off that this wasn’t going to be a feast of attacking football, but even so Cristian Lucchetti in the visitors’ goal was man of the match. That in spite of the hosts’ apparent satisfaction, by the end, to settle for a point against another of the potential challengers for the title. If nothing else, Central will be delighted with another point in the Promedio struggle against relegation.
rod liddle in the sunday times today. i absolutely despise him. An arrogant tosser. makes my blood boil. its his type that makes it so easy to support any team that plays england.