Three teams are tied on twenty points at the top of the Torneo Apertura after Saturday’s matches, and San Lorenzo could join them on Sunday. As well as Central’s 2-0 win over Independiente, Estudiantes had already won on Friday night, 1-0 over Atlético Tucumán, and on Saturday Banfield (3-0 at home to Godoy Cruz) and Newell’s (2-1 away to Vélez Sársfield in a magnificent encounter) joined the South American champions at the top of the table. Racing, meanwhile, drew 1-1 at home to Lanús, before confirming that German legend Lothar Matthäus will become their new manager on Monday. Or will he?
Banfield’s 3-0 stroll to victory over Godoy Cruz was inspired by their foreign duo of Uruguayan striker Santiago Silva, who scored twice, and one from their 18-year-old Colombian midfielder James Rodríguez. Silva’s opener in the 14th minute saw him cut in from the left and shoot from twenty-five yards out, with the ball appearing to take a deflection which wrong-footed Nelson Ibáñez in the Godoy goal. The second, running onto a header back across goal from Rodríguez following his own cross, was definitely Silva’s. Those both came before half time, and Rodríguez added the third in the 89th minute, finishing off a sweeping counter attack.
Chacarita Juniors claimed only their second win of the season at ‘home’ to Huracán in Argentinos Juniors’ stadium, to leave Angel Cappa’s team in 18th and lift themselves off the bottom of the table. The goal came from an unlikely source – Mariano Echeverría – and if that weren’t enough, just take a look it. If you see a better goal scored by a centre half anywhere in the world this weekend, do let me know.
Jonathan Cristaldo put Vélez Sársfield ahead against Newell’s Old Boys in Liniers after half an hour, but that was as good as it got for the defending champions. Very shortly after half time their defence fell disastrously asleep at a free kick, and Joaquín Boghossian took advantage. In the 70th minute he got the winner for Newell’s, who are the first team to beat both Estudiantes (Copa Libertadores holders) and Vélez (domestic champions) this season.
And a strange tale at Racing. Without their new manager yet having arrived, caretaker manager Juan Barbas’s side got a draw at home to Lanús after Claudio Yacob cancelled out Eduardo Salvio’s early opener. After the match Racing President Rodolfo Molina told the press; ‘Racing Club have officially contracted the services of Lothar Matthäus to be the new manager of the team.’ That appears to be news to Matthäus, though. In his column for Bild in his homeland, the German denied that he was travelling to Argentina, ‘either on Monday or in the coming weeks.’
The 1990 World Cup winner had a tumultuous few matches in charge of Atlético Paranaense in Brazil as part of his fledging (and deeply unspectacular) managerial career, which ended with him claiming he was quitting the club after two months in charge to be closer to his family.
As wonderful match that it was in Liniers, the referee was equally horrid… but what can one expect from one Javier Collada?
That was a huge win for Newell’s, and even bigger than just being the first team to have beaten both Estudiantes and Velez is that the did so in the span of a week!
I’m starting to believe that pigs can fly… so, who knows, maybe Matthäus will take over at Racing Club. That won’t give him much time to work with the team, though, as their next game is Tuesday against Newell’s.