The 2011 Torneo Clausura is finally upon us, complete with a suitably nationalistic nametag from the government/AFA. This short championship will be known as the Torneo Clausura Néstor Kirchner Copa Malvinas Argentinas, just to remind us Brits in Buenos Aires of our place. The opening weekend sees champions Estudiantes kick things off against Newell’s, before two Copa Libertadores participants – Independiente and Vélez Sarsfield – clash in Avellaneda (a game I’ll be going to). Elsewhere Racing visit All Boys, Julio César Falcioni’s new-look Boca Juniors, who had a superb pre-season, are at home to Godoy Cruz, and River take a short trip north to Tigre.
All kick off times are local. Argentina is three hours behind Greenwich Mean Time, and two hours ahead of Eastern Time in the USA and Canada.
Primera División Torneo Clausura 2011, first round
Estudiantes de La Plata vs Newell’s Old Boys (Fri, 19:00; refereed by J.P. Pompei)
Independiente vs Vélez Sarsfield (Fri, 21:10; D. Abal)
Club Olimpo vs Banfield (Sat, 17:00; G. Delfino)
San Lorenzo de Almagro vs Club de Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata (Sat, 19:10; H. Baldassi)
Colón vs Quilmes Atlético Club (Sat, 21:15; P. Loustau)
All Boys vs Racing Club (Sun, 17:00; P. Lunati)
Boca Juniors vs Godoy Cruz Antonio Tomba (Sun, 19:10; N. Pitana)
Tigre vs River Plate (Sun, 21:15; S. Pezzotta)
Lanús vs Arsenal Fútbol Club (Mon, 19:00; M. Vigliano)
Huracán vs Argentinos Juniors (Mon, 21:10; G. Favale)
As ever, HEGS will have highlights of each evening’s matches as soon as possible (taking trips to the pub into account given that it’s the weekend), and the full round-up of scores and scorers after the matches have all finished. Also look out for a new page on the site giving permanent links to legal streams of the matches, which I’ll try and get up later today, but will be up on Saturday if I don’t have time.
You can follow the ins and outs during the build up to the 2011 Torneo Clausura, as well Argentina’s performances in the Sudamericano Sub 20, the country’s vast foreign legion and the latest news from the selección during the 2010-2011 season direct from Buenos Aires with HEGS on Twitter. If you’ve not signed up yet you can do so here. You can also join the official HEGS Facebook group, to keep up to date with the latest posts on the blog and discuss things with other fans. You’ll find it here. Also remember to bookmark Hand Of Pod, our Argentine football podcast, which returns for its first episode of 2011 very, very soon indeed (subscribe to it on iTunes here).