They may have needed a little bit of luck but on Saturday evening Estudiantes came through their latest test to defeat Racing and continue their imperious start to the season. A 90th minute winner and an injury time penalty appeal waved away, handed El Pincha a seventh win of the season and has Nelson Vivas’ side five points clear at the top already.
Racing arrived in La Plata looking to close the gap on the league leaders and showed a great deal of early menace through the talented attacking duo of Óscar Romero and Marcos Acuña. The form of Acuña has seen him earn a place in Edgardo Bauza’s Argentina squad and with the national team coach looking on it was El Huevo that gave Racing the lead. The 24-year-old’s free kick from the corner of the penalty area avoided any touch but wrong-footed Nahuel Losada and crept in off the post.
However, Estudiantes responded immediately thanks to a needless handball from Emanuel Insúa that allowed Lucas Viatri to thrash a penalty past Agustín Orión.
As the game went on El Pincha looked the more likely winners but it wasn’t until the 90th minute when two second half substitutes combined. Jeisson’s Vargas’ cross from the left was met by Javier Toledo at the near post and the striker diverted the ball inside Orión’s near post.
Racing may well feel aggrieved by Federico Beligoy’s decision to wave away a strong penalty claim in the final seconds for an offence not too dissimilar to the one against Insúa but Estudiantes continue to impress. There is a great deal of the course yet to run but Nelson Vivas’ side are laying down a early marker as the team to beat.
In Parque Patricios, Ricardo Caruso Lombardi’s Huracán put an end to their run of two defeats but were unable to hold on for all three points against Rosario Central. Ignacio Pussetto’s superb individual goal put El Globo in front early but Gustavo Colman equalised shortly after the break with a similar effort. Central were good value for at least a point but have the more important matter of a Copa Argentina quarter-final against Boca Juniors this week.
Independiente’s trouble in front of goal continued as Gabi Milito’s side were held to a goalless draw by Gimnasia in Avellaneda. Despite dominating the match with over 70% possession and managing 20 shots on goal, El Rojo’s misfiring forward line could not find a way past Alexís Arias.