Boca Juniors’ title celebrations will definitely not happen this weekend and while Banfield may not lift the trophy, victory over Rosario Central on Friday evening moved El Taladro to within two points of the leaders and importantly placed a foot in next year’s Copa Libertadores.
The transformation from bottom of the table strugglers to title contenders has been remarkable and although Julio César Falcioni’s side have been outstanding at the Estadio Florencio Sola this season, they needed a little luck to see off Central.
Javier Pinola was harshly shown a straight red after only ten minutes when an arm to Brian Sarmiento’s chest was perceived as an elbow in the face thanks to the Banfield player’s theatrics and minutes later, the home side led. This too came with controversy after Mauricio Sperduti appeared to trip Damián Musto before sliding the ball into an unguarded net.
Federico Carrizo rifled the ten men level shortly after half time but within minutes Sarmiento curled a delightful free-kick past Diego Rodríguez to reestablish the lead.
Darío Cvitanich wrapped up the points from the penalty spot in stoppage time and Banfield are now close to confirming a place in the 2018 Copa Libertadores.
Earlier in Córdoba, Talleres fell to defeat against Gimnasia after Mauricio Romero’s second half header proved enough for the visitors to snatch all three points.
The home side will feel they had enough of the ball and created the better chances to take something but couldn’t find a way past Alexis Arias in the Gimnasia goal. Leonardo Godoy was sent off for La T in stoppage time to cap off a miserable evening in the Estadio Marío Kempes.