Friday: Godoy Cruz heap pressure on Independiente, Belgrano edge Velez


Juan Caicedo cuts a frustrated figure as Independiente lose a crucial home game in their bid to avoid relegation

Friday night’s results brought some interesting developments in this season’s championship. Godoy Cruz travelled to Avellaneda to play Independiente having not lost a game yet this season and with the possibility of going top, if only until Sunday when Lanus and River play. For Independiente, every game is of huge importance as they attempt to improve their relegation average and avoid the drop. Unfortunately for Independiente, an enjoyable and competitive game was won by Godoy Cruz, the only goal in the 1 – 0 victory coming in the second half. In the earlier game, Belgrano of Cordoba hosted defending champions, Velez Sarsfield. An injury time winner from Martin Zapata made sure Velez returned to Buenos Aires empty handed. REPORTS AND GOALS HERE….


Velez manager, Ricardo Gareca opted for a youthful side ahead of Tuesday’s important clash with Peñarol in the Copa Libertadores and despite putting in a good performance against a strong Belgrano side with a good home record the youngsters slipped to defeat with almost the last kick of the game. Velez grew into the game and in the final 30 minutes looked strong and just when both teams looked like they were edging towards the draw Belgrano struck. Zapata drove at the Velez defence and slipped a throughball down the right to Cesar Mansanelli, his low cross into the box was not cleared and the ball fell back at the feet of Zapata who made no mistake in driving the ball into the net from 8 yards.


Both ends of the table were effected by this game as Godoy Cruz climbed to the summit in continuing their unbeaten start and Independiente fell back into the relegation places. As the other weekend fixtures are played this could change but as things stands the feelings in both clubs could not be more different. Despite only one goal in the game, this was a thoroughly entertaining match and a good advert for Argentinian football. Both teams created openings in the first half but perhaps it was Independiente who had the better of those. The closest being Julian Velazquez’s header which came back off the underside of the bar. The key moment in the game came after 55 minutes, in one moment Independiente were on the attack, Juan Caicedo clipped the ball over the goalkeeper only to see his effort come back off the post and as Independiente were still cursing their misfortune Godoy Cruz were celebrating the opening goal. A long pass was headed down by  Obolo and Alexis Castro fired home from the edge of the box. Independiente boss, Americo Gallego threw on all his attacking options in a bid to salvage something and his team created several more opportunities, notably when Caicedo was again denied by the woodwork but they could not find the all important equiliser. It was a good performance by Independiente minus the injured Daniel Montenegro and Cristian Tula and on another day the result could have been very different but that is of no use if they remain in this position come the end of the season.

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