Final tournamentSunday, April 27, 2014
Gimnasia keeps eye on the prize
Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata, looking for its first league title, clinched its sixth straight victory and extended its lead in the championship, at least for a day, with a 2-0 win over Argentinos Juniors, which is almost condemned to relegation.
Leader Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata pulled away from second-placed River Plate, which plays tonight against Olimpo, and moved three points ahead in the standings after beating Argentinos Juniors 2-0 at the Diego Armando Maradona stadium in La Paternal in a match for the 16th round of the Final Tournament.
Maximiliano Meza put the visitors ahead in the second minute of play with a fantastic accurate shot from outside the box, while Facundo Pereyra doubled the difference and sealed the victory in the 50th.
It was the sixth straight win for Pedro Troglio’s side and yesterday’s victory almost condemned Argentinos to relegation. The team coached by Claudio Borghi, who led the club to its last title in the Clausura Tournament 2010, will be relegated to the second division if Olimpo takes a point from its clash against River tonight.
Gimnasia’s aim at the start of the season was to avoid relegation, but this fantastic campaign put them as one of the favourites to clinch the title, which would be the first in its history.
Yesterday, the visitors controlled the match and took a deserved victory. Argentinos attacked when there were only some minutes left and after the match some of the fans were crying as it is almost certain that the team will be relegated.
Gimnasia leads the standing with 30 points, while River and Colón share second place with 27. Argentinos is 18th with 15. There are three matches left.
At the José Amalfitani stadium, Vélez Sarsfield finally cut its negative run of four straight defeats with a 4-1 victory over Rosario Central.
Mauro Zárate netted an outstanding goal with a over-head kick from outside the box in the first minute of play and the former Lazio forward doubled the difference in the 21st.
Youngster Leonardo Rolón netted in the 70th and Jairo Vélez Cedeño sealed the win in the 86th after a fantastic play of Roberto Nanni.
Antonio Medina pulled one back for Central before the end of the match.
Earlier, defending champion San Lorenzo and Belgrano drew 0-0 at the Mario Alberto Kempes stadium.
The host was the best side during the first half with Lucas Pittinari and Guillermo Farré controlling the midfield, and Lucas Zelarrayán as the most dangerous man in attack.
Belgrano had its first scoring chance in the eighth minute, when Jorge Velázquez’s shot was blocked by defender Lucas Aveldaño.
San Lorenzo preferred to play with a counter-attack style using the speed of midfielders Fernando Elizari and Juan Cavallaro. However, the Saints woke up in the second half, when Héctor Villalba, Néstor Ortigoza and Ángel Correa entered.
Villalba had two chances to take the lead, but goalkeeper Juan Carlos Olave saved the first and the forward’s shot went wide in the second.
San Lorenzo will now think about its return leg game against Grêmio in Brazil on Wednesday for the last 32 round of the Libertadores Cup.
At the Nuevo Monumental stadium, Atlético Rafaela and Colón drew 1-1 in a key match for the fight against relegation.
The host went ahead in the 51st minute with a goal scored by Rodrigo Depetris, while Gabriel Graciani equalized for Colón 10 minutes later. Rafaela’s goalkeeper Esteban Conde saved a penalty shot by Jacobo Mansilla in the first half.
Both sides are out of the relegation zone, with Godoy Cruz, Quilmes, All Boys and Argentinos Juniors behind them.
Herald with agencies