Lanús, Belgrano and Estudiantes all take slender first leg leads in pre-Sudamericana finals (VIDEO)

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The identity of Argentina’s representatives in next year’s Copa Sudamericana is gradually becoming clearer and on Saturday, Belgrano, Estudiantes and Lanús took a step closer. Belgrano travelled to Santa Fe for their first leg with Colón and thanks to Fernando Márquez’s early goal, Los Celestes earned a valuable away victory.

In Bahía Blanca, Estudiantes also took a first leg advantage from their away fixture with Olimpo and will be firm favourites to finish the job in La Plata. Gastón Fernández fired in the only goal of the game from close range after some sloppy defending from the home side and Gabi Milito will be confident that he will lead La Pincha back into an international competition.

Finally in Lanús, Guillermo Barros Schelotto took charge of El Granate for the first time since confirming his departure at the end of the season and he was rewarded with a slender 1-0 victory over Gimnasia. The home side had already wasted the best chance of the match after Nicolás Aguirre saw his weak penalty saved by Nicolás Navarro but with less than ten minutes remaining, an incorrect linesman’s call gifted Lanús the win. Five Lanús players were offside when a free-kick was swung into the Gimnasia penalty area, Oscar Benítez’s initial effort was parried by Navarro but Maxi Velázquez was on hand to nod in the winner. Gimnasia were rightly furious and now have it all to do when they host Lanús next week.

Colón  0 – 1  Belgrano

Olimpo  0 – 1  Estudiantes

Lanús  1 – 0  Gimnasia

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