Soccer — National B DivisionThursday, June 12, 2014
Independiente wins playoff, returns to First Division
Beats Huracán 2-0 with goals by Zapata and Pizzini
Martín Zapata and Francisco Pizzini scored in Independiente’s 2-0 victory over Huracán that sees the team coached by Omar De Felippe return to the First Division.
LA PLATA — After wasting many chances to escape from its rivals during the tournament and a clear chance to be promoted on Sunday, Independiente finally won a spot in the First Division next season as it defeated Huracán 2-0 in a playoff yesterday at the Ciudad de La Plata stadium.
Martín Zapata, in the 37th minute, and Francisco Pizzini, in the 86th, scored for Omar de Felippe’s side.
The Reds had to win on Sunday to secure their place in the top-flight soccer, but it only managed to draw 0-0 at home against Patronato. Meanwhile at Almirante Brown, Huracán won 1-0 and reached Independiente in the standings.
The playoff started with both sides trying to avoid defensive mistakes and sending many long passes.
Huracán, which came with a run of 13 matches unbeaten, had a clear opportunity to break the draw with a free-kick by Gonzalo “Pity” Martínez, which goalkeeper Diego Rodríguez managed to send to the corner. After that play, Independiente recovered the ball and started a counter-attack commanded by Matías Pisano. The midfielder left Alejandro Capurro behind with his speed, but his shot was blocked by goalie Marcos Díaz. However, Zapata was in the right place to take the rebound and put the Reds ahead.
In the second half, the team from Parque Patricios took control of the game. With Martínez as its main threat, Huracán dominated the ball for almost the whole 45 minutes left, but failed to find the way to equalize. Frank Kudelka’s team’s best chance was wrongly disallowed by referee Diego Ceballos. Striker Ramón Ávila found himself unmarked in the box when a teammate crossed the ball to him, but Ceballos awarded off-side before the forward headed the ball home.
Huracán was forced to play a more offensive style and left a few players in defence. De Felippe’s team took advantage of that and Hernán Fredes sent a perfect pass to the 20-year-old Pizzini, who after winning a one-on-one against goalkeeper Díaz, sealed the 2-0 victory.
Some of the more experienced players, such as Daniel Montenegro, Cristian Tula and Facundo Parra, could not control their emotions and cried after getting the promotion.
“It was a very tough year, not easy at all. Luckily, the players and coaching staff were together and we managed to put Independiente in the First Division again,” said captain Montenegro.
In August, the Reds will start their campaign in top-flight soccer against Atlético Rafaela.
Herald with agencies