Far be it from me to suggest but a good number of players during Saturday’s final round of Torneo Transición appeared as though they were already on their holidays, and the result was goals, lots of goals. Arsenal de Sarandí picked up the biggest win of the tournament, demolishing Atlético Rafaela 6-1 in Santa Fe and a Julio Furch hat-trick helped Belgrano to a 4-0 victory over Independiente. Banfield were on the wrong end of a 3-2 result for the second consecutive week, as little Franco Neill popped up with two late goals to give Rosario Central all three points and in Saturday’s other match, Olimpo and Defensa y Justicia played out a goalless draw in Bahía Blanca.
Atlético Rafaela 1 – 6 Arsenal de Sarandí
Saturday’s SIX goal haul in addition to the four they scored in their first away of the season last time out against Newell’s comes as quite a surprise given that prior to this Arsenal were without a win and had scored only six goals from seven matches.
Brahian Alemán gave Arsenal the lead after 17 minutes with a superbly struck free kick and two minutes later, the sweet left foot of the Uruguayan blasted Martín Palermo’s side further in front. When Emilio Zelayo headed the third before the half hour it was clear that the Atlético defence had their minds elsewhere.
Sebastián Palacios swivelled to fire in a fourth on the hour mark, Christian Chimino rifled in a fifth before Leandro Godoy saved the best until last with an absolute rocket from 30 yards out. Nicolás Orsini managed a late consolation but for a long time the match had taken on the appearance of a friendly kickabout.
Perhaps if Arsenal can carry this away form into next season, they may pose a threat to the top of the table.
Banfield 2 – 3 Rosario Central
Matías Almeyda has work to do with his Banfield side as once more they proved that they are capable of playing some very pretty stuff and score goals but manage to shoot themselves in the foot and end up losing matches that upon reflection, they should have won.
A sleepy start from the home side allowed Lucas Lazo to run behind the defence unchecked and fire Central into an early lead but Banfield responded well after half time. Santiago Salcedo equalised from the spot just after the break and 15 minutes later the influential Ecuadorian, Juan Cazares curled in a wonderful second. His injury layoff had been a real loss to Banfield and his latest golazo illustrated just what they had been missing.
However, as they have done so often this season, Banfield found the way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. All 5 feet and 4 inches of Franco Neill managed to leap and send a sensational looping header back across goal and into the far corner to level the match and as the game ticked into injury time Neill found a winner. The error prone Gaspar Servio and defender Juan García showed hesitancy in dealing with an aimless ball forward and Neill poked the ball between the both of them and into the unguarded net. Almeyda was left with his head in his hands once again and needs improvement next season.
Olimpo 0 – 0 Defensa y Justicia
Two struggling sides near the bottom of the table with nothing to play for on the final day of the season. Add in, a hot December day in Bahía Blanca and it didn’t exactly sound like it would be a classic.
In that regard, it didn’t disappoint. Olimpo and Defensa y Justicia finished goalless but in 2015 when there will be far more at stake, both sides will need to improve.
Belgrano 4 – 0 Independiente
Independiente’s season finished last weekend when Racing defeated Rosario Central to end any distant hopes of winning the title and so when they travelled to Córdoba to face a Belgrano side, who with victory could still qualify for the Copa Sudamericana, perhaps defeat is not such a surprise.
When Marcelo Vidal dallied on the ball in midfield allowing Fernando Márquez a free run on goal and eventually lead to Julio Furch tapping in the opening goal after just 12 minutes it gave an indication of what was to come.
That said, no one could have foreseen Furch’s second which followed soon after. When the often lumbering striker picked the ball up 35 yards from goal there did not appear much danger but a fraction of second later the ball was in the top corner.
Furch’s second was a display of raw power but Belgrano’s third showed a more intricate, delicate side to their forward play. Fernando Márquez played a one-two with Lucas Parodi, whose flick ran perfectly back into the path of the forward and as Diego Rodríguez dashed from his line to smother the chance, Márquez produced a delightful chip to end any slim hopes of a comeback.
With 10 minutes remaining, Furch rose at the back post to head in a fourth for Belgrano and complete his hat-trick. Belgrano will need some help from Sunday’s results but with the win they could still qualify for the Copa Sudamericana.