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Thursday, 15 March 2007

4277: Argentina Clausura weekly revi

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by : Cody Strunk

Boca Juniors, who lost out on the Apertura title to Estudiantes in dramatic fashion at the end of 2006, gained a measure of revenge with a 3:1 win away to the defending champions at the weekend, with former national team striker Martin Palermo bagging all three goals for the visitors. Jose Luis Calderon grabbed a late consolation for Estudiantes, a goal that left him level at the top of the scoring charts with Palermo and the Colombian Martin Arzuaga (Godoy Cruz) on four goals each.

Early pacesetters Arsenal de Sarandi lost their 100% record and leadership of the division in going down 2:1 at River Plate (although the game was actually played in the Velez stadium). A last-minute goal from midfielder Fernando Belluschi won the day for Daniel Passarella’s team after young Arsenal midfielder Ezequiel Llama looked to have secured a point for the visitors.

The Arsenal defeat enabled San Lorenzo to move a point clear at the top of the table following their 2:1 win over Banfield. They certainly did things the hard way, falling behind to a Silvio Gonzalez goal after just eight minutes and being down to 10-men after 17-minutes after midfielder Diego Rivero received his marching orders. Two goals, one a penalty, from former River Plate and Monterrey striker Gaston Fernandez swung the game San Lorenzo’s way though.

Velez Sarsfield, now under the stewardship of the former coach of the Mexican national team and, briefly and disastrously, Boca Juniors, Ricardo Lavolpe, managed to edge out struggling Quilmes 1:0 in a game in which they were second best throughout the first-half. The winning goal came on 78-minutes, courtesy of the snappily named midfielder Ivan Moreno y Fabianesi. The defeat left Quilmes rooted to the foot of the percentage table.

Nueva Chicago occupy the other automatic relegation place as things stand, so the goalless draw with Gimnasia Jujuy did little to help their cause either. Both sides finished a man short, with midfielder Cristian Zermatten being red-carded for Nueva Chicago with 20-minutes remaining and visiting midfielder Daniel Ramasco managing to secure an early bath a minute before the match ended.

One of Argentina’s most famous clubs, Independiente, finally managed their first win of the campaign with a 2:0 victory over Rosario Central. Colombian striker Jose Moreno gave them the lead at the mid-point of the opening period, but the points were only secured when midfielder Hernan Fredes doubled their lead at the end of the match. The visitors were down to 10-men by then, with veteran former international Kily Gonzalez being sent-off with eight minutes remaining.

Elsewhere Racing Club took maximum points for the first time this season with their win at Lanus. Another former Argentinean international, striker Claudio Lopez, opened the scoring for the visitors with his first goal since returning to the club he left more than a decade ago. Substitute Sebastian Blanco looked to have won a point for Lanus, but a last-minute goal from midfielder Maximiliano Moralez saw Racing Club go home with all three points.

In other matches, Newell’s Old Boys saw off Argentinos Juniors 1:0, with Paraguayan striker Oscar Cardozo scoring the only goal just before the break, while Gimnasia La Plata were held to a 2:2 draw by Belgrano, with all the goals coming in the second-half. Belgrano twice came from behind, with substitute Andres Rios earning his side just their second point of the campaign with a last-minute equaliser. Finally, Godoy Cruz maintained their good early form with a 2:0 win at home to Colon, with Luis Torresi and Arzuaga both scoring within four minutes of each other towards the end of the first-half.

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