Darren Paul returns with another cracking round-up of this week’s action in Argentina’s second tier.
Ferro Carril Oeste 1 – Salmeron
Independiente Rivadavia 2 – Tarragona (2)
The top three all dropped their first points of the season this weekend as Argentinos Juniors put together back-to-back wins to take third place after a tight round in the Argentine second division. Villa Dalmine threw away the lead at home to Gimnasia de Jujuy, but retain top spot as Brown de Adrogue were also held at home, and Ferro were beaten easily by Rivadavia.
Ferro hosted Rivadavia on a glorious late winter’s evening on Saturday, and were surely expecting a third win in successive weeks. Rivadavia without a win in their opening matches came into the game after a 1-1 draw at home to All Boys.
Rivadavia started the game the better of the two sides applying early pressure on the Ferro goal. This was dealt with handily by the home side who would then take the upper hand for much of the first half. The referee had his work cut out early on with Ferro having 2 credible looking penalty claims.
The first appeal was for a handball in the box, but the defender didn’t look like he could have done much about and the referee ignored the appeals. The second a few minutes later as the Rivadavia goalkeeper Aracena was caught chasing a ball in the box towards the corner and looked like he brought down one of the Ferro forwards. Once again the referee felt it was a fair challenge and play was allowed to continue.
Ferro were starting to play like their usual selves when they had the first meaningful chance of the game, attacking down the right flank Vernetti put a cross into the box but the resulting header was put just wide. This play has been hallmark stuff from Ferro, but they were playing through the centre more in this fixture than in previous weeks, a tactic that was dealt with easily by Aguero and Rodriguez, the Rivadavia centre-backs along with their battling number 5 Dolci who would slot in to the back four a help out.
Ferro were not the only side in the first half making things happen however as Rivadavia, playing a 4-3-3, were attacking well from wide areas and the Ferro defenders and error-prone keeper Requena were looking shaky under the aerial assault from the visitors.
The best chances of the half however fell to Ferro who were superior in attack, and if fan favourite and captain “Pupi” Salmeron would have been able to collect his feet late in the half they would have gone in at the break one up. Salmeron wasting a gilt edged opportunity from close range after tricky work from the Ferro wingers.
It was not poor finishing alone that held Ferro back in the first half, but also uncharacteristic selfishness and wastefulness in front of goal, lots of poorly struck and weak efforts from distance would prove no problems for Aracena as the half would end scoreless.
It would take barely 30 seconds from the restart for Ferro to take the lead with a goal from their talismanic leader Salmeron. The ball was played along the ground into the box left winger Borrego into the feet of Bay, Ferro’s left back, who lashed a one time effort goal wards. A sprawling Aracena saved brilliantly. The ball ricocheted into the path of clinical striker Salmeron whose own effort was saved again by Aracena. As Salmeron rushed in to follow a possible rebound the ball was knocked loose and trickled into the net for the home side to take the lead.
Rivadavia would respond with extended pressure, attacks down the flanks and lots of crosses into the area resulting in a number of corners. The breakthrough for Rivadavia came from this pressure on the 72nd minute. With Rivadavia forwards camped in the Ferro final third,the ball was being moved quickly from the centre to the wing, the pace of passing causing gaps to appear in the Ferro back line. A cross was whipped into the box and met superbly with a diving header from Tarragona low into the net. Requena couldn’t do anything as his weight was going across goal as Tarragona sent the ball across his body into the corner.
Following the goal Rivadavia kept piling on the pressure, as Ferro began to sit deeper, having made some more defensively minded substitutions and the central midfield pair sitting just ahead of the centre-backs.
Rivadavia’s winner would come from a quick break with 9 minutes remaining. Ferro, looking for a winner, were being held 30 yards from goal when possession was lost. Left back Maidana played an inch perfect long ball down the line which was put first time into the box. Sprinting onto the ball was the unmarked Tarragona who smashed home the shot past the helpless Requena.
The final minutes would play out as Ferro pushing hard for an equalizer that was never going to come. Rivadavia had the beating of them on this occasion with a mixture of clinical finishing and stout defending it was a poor day at the office for an unusually lacklustre Ferro, who will be cursing their lack of cutting edge in the first half. Ferro will want to bounce back next week in order to keep in touch with the top of the table, even this early on.
Argentinos Juniors dominate as they set their sights on top spot
Monday night’s game featured promotion favourites Argentinos Juniors visit to Sportivo Estudiantes. The home side took the lead on 32 minutes from a looping header. A corner swung in from the left was met by Corulo which just snuck inside the crossbar past a stretching Tripodi in the Argentinos goal. The lead would last until just before half time when Javier Cabrera picked up the ball just outside the box neatly faced up and beat two defenders before curling a beautiful powerful finish into the bottom corner.
Argentinos would score a deserved winner, from Ivan Colman. The substitute’s effort taking a deflection from close range on the 83rd minute, after some clumsy attempts at defending from Estudiantes.
Argentinos were much the better side and can consider themselves unlucky to not have won by a more comfortable margin. Heinze’s plans appear to be clicking into place, as his team are playing good looking, productive, attack minded football and if not for a few minutes of madness in their opening fixture would be top of the league.
Villa Dalmine drop points keep lead on goal difference
League leaders Villa Dalmine will top the table for the third week, but will be kicking themselves that they weren’t able to extend their lead at this early stage.
In a game low on chances it was the home side who would open the scoring on 83 minutes after a good spell of attack demonstrating slick passing, moving the ball quickly and out of the reach of the visiting defenders. It was the link up of two substitutes which created the breakthrough as De Maio sent a through ball to Favalli, the left of a midfield 3, who sat down a defender with a turn before finding the head of Carboni from with a delightfully weighted cross from the edge of the area. The header was strong and direct back across the goal of Cavallotti to the delight of the Viola faithful.
The fans wouldn’t have long to enjoy the lead as two minutes later a Dalmine attack was curtailed and a long ball over the top was raced onto by first half substitute Luis Vila. Dalmine keeper Kletnicki inexplicably sprinted 30 yards out of goal in a misguided effort to clear the long ball, missed, allowing Vila to race in on goal. Kletnicki and his centre-backs were able to get back goal side, so Vila selflessly rolled a pass to Gimnasia’s number 10 Sufi, who duly curled the ball into the net with a scruffy finish on the outside of the right boot.
Villa Dalmine tried to snatch a late winner, but time would run out for them, and Gimnasia would leave with a smash and grab point. Sergio Rondina needs to take a look at the way he sets up a side to protect a victory, as what should have been a nailed on win with the late goal was allowed to get away from his side through unnecessarily aggressive attacking and a moment of madness from his goalkeeper.
Villa Dalmine have played good football in their first 3 matches and I expect to see them continue their good form, but they will need to be less naive if they want a chance at promotion at the business end of the season.
The remainder of the results in the third round
San Martin (T) 0 – 2 Chacarita Jrs
All Boys 0 – 2 Santamarina
Almagro 0 – 0 Boca Unidos
Brown de Adrogue 1 – 1 Juventud Unida
Douglas Haig 0 – 0 Nueva Chicago
Guillermo Brown 0 – 1 Flandria
Atletico Parana 2 – 0 Los Andes
Crucero del Norte 1 – 2 Instituto
Darren Paul is a UK based fan of Racing Club, most frequently found waxing lyrical about the first touch of Luciano Aued on a Saturday night. Fan of all tiers, all genders, all forms of the Argentine domestic game.
You can follow Darren on Twitter here www.twitter.com/auedstouch
He also does English commentary on various Argentine matches here www.rabble.tv/users/dfoulkes34/profile
And there is a youtube channel where he discusses the latest Racing news here youtube.com/auedstouch