Despite the international break, round ten of the Primera got underway on Sunday with one significant relegation clash between Vélez Sarsfield and Defensa y Justicia. With both sides hovering dangerously above the drop zone, three points could be of huge importance come the end of the season and Maxi Caire’s injury time winner for Vélez may prove to be the difference between survival and relegation.
Nicolás Stefanelli had fired El Halcón ahead just after the half hour mark when he pounced on Fabián Assmann’s fumble from close range and Vélez manager Omar de Felippe will have known that his side needed an early goal in the second half to avoid the home crowd really turning.
Thankfully he got just that when Matías Vargas skipped between two challenges to poke the ball past Agustín Rossi and into the bottom corner.
A point would have helped neither side and when Cristian Nasuti saw a penalty saved with a little over 15 minutes remaining it looked as though El Fortín may have to settle. However, as the game crept into stoppage time, Defensa y Justicia substitute Santiago Nagüel clumsily brought down Gonzalo Diaz and on this occasion, Maxi Caire stepped up. Rossi was close again but the ball was struck well and bounced under the goalkeeper’s legs.
The relief for the Vélez players was clear but there is still a great deal of work to do, as there is for Defensa y Justicia. After such an impressive Transición, Ariel Holán’s side are with just the one win in ten.
Vélez Sarsfield 2 – 1 Defensa y Justicia