Darren Paul (@AuedsTouch) returns with an update on the exciting Nacional B…
The Nacional B treated fans to a bumper week of football as both rounds 39 and 40 were completed over the past eight days, with major consequences at the top and bottom of the table.
The big winners of the week were Argentinos Juniors who are closing in on the title holding a ten point advantage over Guillermo Brown with just five fixtures remaining for the top two. Argentinos’ round 39 result was a 1-0 away win over a Flandria side in good form but it was in round 40 that Argentinos really stretched their legs, with a 4-0 demolition of struggling Juventud Unida.
Francisco Fydriszewski and Brian Romero got the scoring under way in the first half with Romero adding a second and Ivan Colman completing the scoring to leave Juventud Unida just one point above the relegation zone with six matches remaining.
Second placed Guillermo Brown heaped more pressure on themselves as they drew both of their matches, a 2-2 away to bottom of the table Atletico Parana followed by a 1-1 home draw against Brown de Adrogue, both points being secured thanks to Tobias Figueroa penalties.
Guillermo Brown do however remain ahead of third placed Chacarita Juniors, who have a game in hand, as in form Juniors suffered a shock 3-1 defeat away to Independiente Rivadavia. Diego Cardozo bagged a first half brace before Lautaro Disanto made it 3-0 shortly after the restart with Elias Alderete grabbing a consolation goal for the visitors.
Chacarita Juniors fired back in round 40, however, securing a 3-0 home victory of Deportivo Santamarina. Nahuel Menendez opened the scoring after seven minutes and leading scoring Rodrigo Salinas doubled the scoring on the 45-minute mark. Matias Rodriguez settled the tie and restored Chacarita to winning ways in the 60th minute and into their game in hand fixture over mid-table Flandria on Saturday looking to take second position. Guillermo Brown fans, players and management will be watching with interest as they have round 41 off to recover before the crucial final five games of the season.
At the bottom of the table it was a very mixed weekend for the bottom club Atletico Parana as their round 40 matchup at home to All Boys was abandoned with 13 minutes remaining in game. One of the officials was struck by an object thrown from the stands after he failed to award a free kick to the bottom club, and the referee wasted no time in ending the fixture. Photographs and videos have been making the rounds online of the linesman receiving stitches to the back of his head and All Boys have appealed to the AFA to receive all three points.
Whilst survival is mathematically possible for Parana this result all but confirms their relegation from the Nacional B despite a very good performance at home to Guillermo Brown in round 39. Parana had victory snatched away from them with a last minute penalty from Brown’s Tobias Figueroa in a 2-2 draw, a game which also saw Felipe Cadenazzi level for the hosts from the halfway line.
Crucero del Norte, whilst also not being mathematically down, had their survival chances effectively ended on Sunday evening after a 3-2 home loss to Boca Unidos, following a 3-0 away drubbing by Central Cordoba.
Crucero lie in 22nd position with just 35 points having scored just 35 goals in 38 matches this season. Boca Unidos sit one position higher with a five-point lead over Crucero, just two points and a considerable goal difference advantage from Juventud Unida in 19th position. Boca Unidos started their great week with a creditable round 39 draw at home to San Martin de Tucuman, Osmar Ferreyra rescuing a point for the relegation threatened home side in the final minute.
Villa Dalmine sit in the final relegation position having also played 38 games, and also had a strong showing in rounds 39 and 40. Villa Dalmine stunned All Boys in the midweek round with a 1-0 away victory, a second half Pablo Burzio goal enough the gain the three points and in round 40 Villa Dalmine held 6th placed Ferro to a 0-0 draw at home to pile the pressure on Juventud.
19th placed Juventud Unida occupy the final survival spot in the league having being leap frogged by Douglas Haig in round 40 following their 4-0 loss to table topping Argentinos Juniors. Unida can still look back at round 39 fondly however as they managed a 1-0 win over 4th placed Nueva Chicago at home to prevent a trip into the bottom four Martin Prost’s second half effort the difference between the two sides.
Douglas Haig are level on points with Juventud Unida but have a better goal difference which could be the difference at the end of the season. Douglas Haig are in a funk, winless in their last 8 fixtures, but having picked up draws in their last 3 games including a 1-1 draw away to Ferro in round 39 and a 0-0 home draw with Almagro in round 40. Douglas Haig are just one point above the relegation zone and have a one goal advantage over Boca Unidos in goal difference should it come to that, but in their current form they are in big trouble.
Round 41 is fast approaching with some huge match ups for the sides at the top and bottom of the table. Champions elect Argentinos Juniors will be heading to Los Andes Saturday night hoping to all but secure the title, whilst Chacarita Juniors head to Flandria knowing a win would put them into second place one point clear of Guillermo Brown who have the weekend off.
At the bottom the Crucero del Norte head to Independiente de Rivadavia who are fresh off wins in round 39 and 40 whilst Parana head to Ferro, if ever a game a draw written all over it is this one. Boca Unidos will hope to maintain their good form as they travel to the inconsistent Estudiantes de San Luis as Villa Dalmine take on Almagro. Wins for both sides could see them exit the relegation zone if results go their way. Juventud Unida host Instituto, who suffered two losses last week and Douglas Haig face a tricky fixture away at Central Cordoba. Juventud and Douglas enter the round knowing they have teams breathing down their necks in bids for survival, and a slip up could see them enter the relegation places.
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.