HEGS‘ first championship finale based in Argentina has been an eventful one. 25 years after their second and last domestic title, and one week after that astonishing comeback from the dead against Independiente, Argentinos Juniors beat Huracán 2-1 away to seal their place as champions of the Bicentennial Torneo Clausura 2010. Goals from Juan Mercier and Facundo Coria gave El Bicho enough of a cushion that Alan Sánchez’s 88th minute consolation for the hosts didn’t matter. HEGS was there, and for once the home fans got out early as the away contingent celebrated long and hard. Estudiantes won 4-1 away against Colón, but to no avail. It’s been a see-saw championship – if the see-saw in question has at least five seats on a central pivot – and after all matches have been played it’s the side from La Paternal who’ve come out on top.
Whether we got in entirely legally or not, Johnny and I still aren’t totally sure – an Argentinos fan and his girlfriend got us through the security checks and took us into the stadium on their members’ cards without us ever seeing a ticket – but after the experience of last Sunday we couldn’t miss out on seeing Argentinos’ coronation, especially since Huracán’s ground is practically down the road from where we both live in San Telmo. We watched the first half from almost right behind the goal and then, after having made out very little of it, moved to a more elevated spot behind the corner flag for the second period (at which point, annoyingly, my camera gave out – the photo above is from when the teams took to the pitch).
The first half was largely Argentinos’, and they might have already had the lead before Mercier’s header from a corner in the 23rd minute, were it not for Gastón Monzón in the home goal. After Mercier scored though, there was no hint of the nerves that affected the side last Sunday, as they continued to press forward whilst staying solid at the back. Celebrations started when Facundo Coria – who missed last Sunday’s historic comeback – doubled the lead with just under 15 minutes to play, and although Sánchez struck a decent goal to pull the deficit back to 2-1 the final score was never in doubt. A few idiots in the Huracán popular set fire to something after the match, whilst a large minority in the plateas stayed behind to applaud the visitors who were awarded the trophy on the pitch afterwards.
Huracán 1 – 2 Argentinos Juniors
For Estudiantes, who had to win and hope Argentinos didn’t, Mauro Boselli had a hat trick by the time the second half was five minutes old to make a mockery of Colón’s reputation for beating big teams in their own back yard. Enzo Pérez then added a fourth and although Facundo Curuchet got one for Colón in the 76th minute, it wasn’t enough for Colón – just as Estudiantes’ impressive win wasn’t enough to give them the title.
Colón 1 – 4 Estudiantes
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