It may have been the first match of round four but it is unlikely that there will be better after San Lorenzo claimed a late 3-2 victory over Vélez in the Nuevo Gasómetro. Five goals, three red cards and a penalty decision by Federico Beligoy that sparked fury among El Fortín’s followers, it had a little of everything and appeared to confirm that Guede’s San Lorenzo are still fragile defensively and Bassedas’ Vélez are an improvement on the 2015 side.
Coming off the back of a rare one-sided victory against Argentinos Juniors, Vélez made the short trip to Bajo Flores looking for another three points against title hopefuls, San Lorenzo and took the lead after only eight minutes. A swift counter-attack led by Hernán Toledo raced down the left and the youngster did well to slide the ball across for Fabricio Alvarenga to tap in the opener.
The home side had begun knocking at the door and before the half time whistle forced an equaliser. Julio Buffarini crossed from the right and Nicolás Blandi connected perfectly with a bicycle kick to put the ball beyond Alan Aguerre. Three goals already for Blandi is quite the turnaround after struggling for playing time under Edgardo Bauza.
Beligoy had already issued some curious yellow cards and on the hour mark, Brian Cufré picked up his second to reduce Vélez to ten men but it didn’t come close to the controversy from his decision to award San Lorenzo a 71st minute penalty. Fabián Cubero clearly won the ball when preventing Nicolás Blandi from going through on goal but Beligoy pointed to the spot and sent off the veteran defender, whose reputation perhaps went before him on this occasion. Buffarini tucked away the resulting spot kick to give Los Cuervos the lead but minutes later was also shown a second yellow and followed Cufré and Cubero to the dressing rooms.
Vélez’s nine men appeared to have snatched a point when Mariano Pavone bundled in a second but with minutes remaining Mauro Matos headed in a winner having just come off the bench. Bassedas’ side were left fuming from the early decision and although San Lorenzo needed another huge slice of luck, another three points sends them momentarily to the top of Zona 1.
In La Plata, Gimnasia picked up a third straight league win after Facundo Oreja’s 86th minute header was enough to take the points against Olimpo. With nine players already suspended and Franco Niell and Alvaro Fernández injured, El Lobo could have done without losing anymore players but were forced to contend with Lorenzo Faravelli’s foolish first half sending off. Despite this advantage Olimpo still couldn’t find a goal, so often their downfall, and late in the game Oreja nodded in the winning goal. Olimpo manager, Diego Osella could be on his way to Newell’s as a further set-back for the club.