Arsenal de Sarandí have a reputation, as I mentioned in my club-by-club guide to the new season, for getting the rub of the green where refereeing decisions are concerned, and in the opening match of the 2010 Torneo Apertura, they’ve managed it again. Lanús had a clear penalty shout turned down in the first half with the score at 0-0, but still ran out 2-1 winners (goals below) as the new championship stumbled into life in a fairly standard match that was overshadowed by the news that Juan Román Riquelme has finally stopped moaning and signed a new four-year contract with Boca Juniors.
Riquelme’s beef with Boca regarding his tax liability has been tempered reportedly by an agreement that the club and the player will split the tax bill 50/50. After he’d played the last year of his previous contract for the club for no pay at all, he obviously wanted to recoup as much of that as possible, but although Independiente and – at the last minute – Racing both threw their hats into the ring, he’s now put pen to paper and all that remains is for the Boca board to ratify the contract.
Out on the pitch, down in Sarandí, Arsenal should already have given up a penalty by the time Marcos Aguirre wriggled free of two defenders and scored a fine opening goal in the 25th minute. There was a lot of huffing and puffing but not much else in the first half, and early in the second Arsenal were level again after Mauro Obolo took advantage of a show of spaghetti wrists from Lanús goalkeeper Agustín Marchesín. After having a number of chances go close or frantically cleared off the line, Lanús got a deserved winner through young midfielder Guido Pizarro, and Arsenal couldn’t find a way back. It might not have been a classic, but the football’s returned at last.
Torneo Apertura 2010 first round, Friday 6th August: Arsenal 1 – 2 Lanús
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Photo taken from ole.clarin.com