The tenth round of the 2013 Torneo Final is eight matches in, and so far there’s been no shortage of bad refereeing and talking points. A virtual Vélez Sarsfield reserve side lost to Newell’s just 45 hours after their starters had been knocked out of the Copa Argentina on penalties by Olimpo; Racing and Colón drew, as did All Boys and San Martín, both 1-1; Quilmes and Rafaela got home wins over Estudiantes and Independiente, respectively; San Lorenzo beat Arsenal de Sarandí, and the two giants had contrasting weekends. Boca Juniors were the better side but failed to break down Belgrano in a 0-0 draw, whilst River Plate beat Godoy Cruz 2-1 in Mendoza to put themselves right there in the title race; their first goal came from a penalty for a foul committed outside the box, but overall they just about deserved the win. All the goals so far are here.
Vélez 1 – 3 Newell’s
There was never any doubt about who were going to win in this match between Vélez’s reserves and Newell’s first team. Martín Tonso gave the hosts the lead in the first half, but after the break Ezequiel Rescaldani pounced on a defensive error to put Vélez level. Minutes later, defender Marcos Cáceres broke forward for a throw in, cut the ball inside and put Newell’s back ahead. With quarter of an hour to go, Maxi Urruti put the icing on the cake.
Immediately after the game, Vélez’s young midfielder Iván Bella collapsed in the middle of the pitch and had convulsions. He was rushed to hospital, where he was stabilised, and he was discharged on Sunday afternoon after tests had been run. He tweeted on Sunday that doctors had told him it had been a knock on the head which had caused the attack.
Racing 1 – 1 Colón
After a first half during which Racing had taken it upon themselves to keep Colón in the game by missing as many chances as humanly possible, Mauro Camoranesi buckled under the pressure halfway through the second, and accidentally put the ball in the net to give them the lead. It wouldn’t last, though; five minutes from the end, Iván Moreno y Fabianesi equalised.
All Boys 1 – 1 San Martín de San Juan
The two goals in this game came just a minute apart; Ángel Vildozo put All Boys 1-0 up with a penalty 57 minutes in, and Lucas Landa levelled things up shortly afterwards from a corner.
Quilmes 1 – 0 Estudiantes
Quilmes had a perfectly legitimate goal disallowed early on for an offside that wasn’t, but they kept on battering on Estudiantes’ door, and eventually, with three minutes left, they broke through; Martín Cauteruccio took a pass inside the box, turned his man, and coolly smacked the ball into the bottom corner to give the hosts three crucial points in the relegation battle.
Rafaela 2 – 0 Independiente
That late Quilmes goal on Saturday had been bad for Independiente; had Quilmes failed to win, Independiente would have finished this round outside the relegation zone regardless of their own result (though survival wouldn’t have been in their own hands even then, thanks to the mathematics of the promedio system). As it was, things went from bad to worse for them once they kicked off against Rafaela. Former Independiente player Federico González scored early for Rafaela, and Diego Vera got a second with quarter-of-an-hour to go.
Boca Juniors 0 – 0 Belgrano
Boca were the better side overall – just about – but once again failed to capitalise on their dominance of possession, and drew a blank against a determined Belgrano defence. The bad news for the Xeneize is that Juan Román Riquelme suffered a small hamstring tear about half an hour in, which rules him out for the next couple of rounds – he might just return in time for the first leg of their Copa Libertadores last sixteen match against Corinthians, but on the other hand, he might not.
Arsenal de Sarandí 1 – 3 San Lorenzo
Halfway through the first half, Leandro Navarro smashed a free kick into the top corner to give San Lorenzo the lead. Just past the hour mark, Julio Furch headed in to level things up, but San Lorenzo wrapped up the points with a strike from Héctor Villalba which Arsenal goalie Cristian Campestrini should never have let in, and a late third from Julio Buffarini which Campestrini had considerably less of a chance with.
Godoy Cruz 1 – 2 River Plate
30 minutes into this one, Nicolás Sánchez brought down Carlos Luna a yard outside the penalty box. It should have been a River free kick and a red card for Sánchez; instead, Néstor Pitana gave River a penalty and Sánchez only a yellow. Utterly inexplicable, but Manuel Lanzini wasn’t phased, and put River into the lead. Facundo Castillón equalised just minutes later after being played onside by Gabriel Mercado, but in the second half River pressured more, and 20-year-old amateur defender Eder Álvarez Balanta, a youngster who’ll be given his first professional contract with the club in June, chested in from a free kick to give them all the points in just his third appearance for the first team. River are two behind leaders Newell’s overnight, though that could change if Lanús win their game on Monday afternoon.