Friday’s and Saturday’s Torneo Final matches brought just eight goals, but one clear loser; Independiente, one of only two sides in Argentina never to have been relegated, are closer than ever after losing 2-0 to All Boys on Friday night, and seeing results on Saturday go against them – mainly the fact that Atlético Rafaela got a 3-1 win away to Tigre. Elsewhere, Vélez Sarsfield and San Lorenzo drew 1-1, with San Lorenzo’s equaliser coming from a horrendous error from Vélez goalkeeper Sebastián Sosa. And there were 0-0 draws between Unión and Argentinos Juniors, Godoy Cruz and Belgrano, and Quilmes and San Martín. All the goals are right here.
All Boys 2 – 0 Independiente
All Boys took an early lead through a superb free kick from Brian Sarmiento, and Independiente offered very little thereafter. The visitors improved in the second half with the introduction of Ernesto Farías for the once again awful Juan Caicedo up front, but Ángel Vildozo put some deserved gloss on the scoreline with a fine finish at the end of a counter attack. This result, combined with Rafaela’s win and the fact that San Martín didn’t lose on Saturday, puts Independiente in all sorts of trouble now. They need a truly astonishing turnaround in form, and for at least two of the sides just above them in the relegation table to completely collapse, in order to stay up.
Tigre 1 – 3 Atlético Rafaela
Another early goal in Saturday’s first match, with Sebastián Carrera giving Rafaela the lead after just six minutes. Diego Cisterna equalised for Tigre five minutes into the second half, but two late goals from Jonathan López gave Rafaela the win. If Rafaela get nine points of the 33 they have left to play for, the points-averaging system means Independiente will need twenty-two in order to overtake Rafaela.
Unión 0 – 0 Argentinos Juniors
Unión failed to return to winning ways and Argentinos failed to make it two wins in a row, but both sides are slowly improving, and this result doesn’t change much for either of them; whatever had happened here, Unión are still doomed to relegation and Argentinos are pretty much safe for this season anyway.
Vélez Sarsfield 1 – 1 San Lorenzo de Almagro
After a first half in which San Lorenzo’s pressing had put the frighteners on a slightly heavy-legged Vélez side, following the hosts’ midweek Copa Libertadores commitments, Ezequiel Rescaldani stabbed in the opener for Vélez shortly after the restart. Everton cult hero and former Tigre forward Denis Stracqualursi smashed a penalty over the crossbar for San Lorenzo, before the visitors found an equaliser with eleven minutes to go when a Leandro Navarro free kick from near the halfway line bounced in the penalty area and looped over goalkeeper Sebastián Sosa, who had completely misjudged it.
Godoy Cruz 0 – 0 Belgrano
Godoy Cruz missed the chance to go level with Lanús atop the Torneo Final table – a win would have taken them level on points with the leaders, who play Boca Juniors in La Bombonera on Sunday evening. Belgrano had their chances to win, with Facundo Quiroga missing a penalty during the first half, and Martín Zapata hitting the crossbar in the second.
Quilmes 0 – 0 San Martín de San Juan
With neither Quilmes nor San Martín winning, this isn’t a result that either side will be entirely happy with, but with neither Quilmes nor San Martín losing, it’s another one that looks like a nail in Independiente’s coffin. San Martín remain below Independiente – that is, still in the relegation spots – and Quilmes just above them, safe for now. If Quilmes can take 14 points from the 33 they have left to play for, Independiente need 23 to overtake them.