“It’s time to step aside. I was not able to get what I wanted, I want to say thanks for the opportunity, and also the love,” were the words of Gabriel Milito after watching his Independiente side slip to a third home defeat of the season.
Banfield arrived in Avellaneda as one of the Primera’s in-form sides but Milito knew that after such an underwhelming season a win was needed. El Rojo have struggled for goals all season and between several players underperforming and Milito failing to find a comfortable system, Independiente once more toiled and aside from an early Juan Sánchez Miño miss and a correctly disallowed Diego Vera goal, Banfield were comfortable.
In stark contrast, Julio César Falcioni has settled on a formation and is getting the best out of the same players that had looked so hopeless at times last season. After half time it was El Taladro that began to gain traction and came close to finding a way past Martín Campaña on several occasions.
Just as it looked as though it would be another laboured, goalless draw for Independiente, second half substitute Juan Manuel Cobo volleyed an injury time winner. Five straight wins for Banfield puts Falcioni’s galvanised side up into fourth and while they enjoy their break, the future is far less certain for Independiente.
When Milito was appointed in May, there was a sense of optimism around the Estadio Libertadores de América but 19 games later and only eight wins, El Mariscal has opted to walk away. Elimination from the Copa Argentina and the Copa Sudamericana saw any hope of Libertadores qualification disappear and although Milito’s brief tenure has ultimately been a failure, Independiente must now seek another new coach to meet the lofty demands of the club.
Independiente 0 – 1 Banfield