Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata lost the first leg of their Promoción last year away to Atlético Rafaela 3-0, but still stayed up. This week, they lost the first leg 1-0 away to Atlético Rafaela, but after a dramatic second half they’ve kept their place in the Primera División, winning 3-1 in La Plata for a 3-2 aggregate win. Marcos Pérez set them on their way 3 minutes in, and although Oscar Carniello equalised 19 minutes in to hand the advantage back to the visitors, Gimnasia looked in control after Pérez’s second shortly before half time.
The second half was a dramatic one, with Rafaela pushing forward in search of a second goal – the ‘sporting advantage’ created by the AFA means that if aggregate scores are level (as they were at that point) the team already in the Primera keep their place – but Gimnasia always looking dangerous on the break. In the 78th minute there was a horrible (and entirely accidental) coming together between Gimnasia midfielder Lucas Castro and Rafaela goalkeeper Gabriel Airaudo, which left Airaudo bleeding profusely from a cut to his face. By that point, Rafaela had already used all three of their substitutions, so defender Lucas Bovaglio had to take his place between the sticks.
In stoppage time, Gimnasia’s Chilean defender Álvaro Ormeño stabbed in a third goal to give Gimnasia effectively a two-goal cushion with a 3-2 aggregate lead and only a minute to play. The celebrations are still going on in La Plata right now, and Estudiantes midfielder Seba Verón has got his wish: the clásico platense will be back on the fixture list come the Apertura.
Promoción 2010: Club de Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata 3 – 1 Asociación Mutual Social y Deportiva Atlético de Rafaela (3-2 agg)
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Really nasty knock that the Rafaela keeper suffered. Reminded me of the blow Peter Cech received a few years ago.