It may only be the start of the Superliga season but the battle at the foot of the descenso table is already well underway and while Huracán celebrated a key victory on Monday evening, Olimpo and Arsenal remain sweating over their top flight survival.
Only one place separates Olimpo and Huracán in the relegation table but given that it is the critical position between staying up and dropping out, Monday’s meeting in Bahia Blanca could scarcely have been more important.
Neither side have looked as thought they don’t deserve to be in the position they find themselves in but there is perhaps a crucial difference and it showed. Only the goals of Facundo Coniglio and Rodrigo Cabalucci kept Olimpo up last season; the latter has been out injured and the former swapped Bahia Blanca for Huracán.
Coniglio hadn’t yet scored for his new side but as fate would have it tucked away his first goal for El Globo after 32 minutes. And while Huracán remain in danger it is the presence of Coniglio, Ramón Abila and Ignacio Pussetto that provide the threat a threat that most of the relegation candidates simply don’t have.
Olimpo certainly had the chances to get something but after missing the target from three presentable opportunities, Mauro Bogado ensured the points were going back to Parque Patricios. A swerving, long range effort left Adrián Gabbarini flat-footed and left Olimpo staring at a damaging defeat. The loss looks set to bring Mario Sciacqua’s time in charge to an end but whoever takes over at Olimpo faces a huge task.
Later in Sarandí and Arsenal were also dealt a blow after suffering a 1-0 defeat to San Martín.
After beating Banfield on the road with ten men, Humberto Grondona might have been excused for thinking his team had turned a corner but a limp display back in Sarandí was ultimately punished.
Gabriel Carabajal’s inswinging olímpico attempt was probably not bending enough to find the net until the miscalculated punch of goalkeeper Pablo Santillo helped it and it was this fine margin that decided the game.
Arsenal remain firmly in the relegation zone and cannot afford too many repeats if they are to survive again.
Olimpo 0 – 2 Huracán
Arsenal 0 – 1 San Martín