The building process at Racing Club under Eduardo Coudet continued on Saturday evening and while it took a scrappy late winner to take three points away from Bahía Blanca for the first time this season, La Academia recorded back-to-back victories.
It was looking like two points dropped for Racing until five minutes from time when substitute goalkeeper Sebastián Anchoverri failed to hold Lautaro Martínez’s header at a corner and Ricardo Centurión was alert to poke the ball in from a few yards out.
Despite dominating for large parts and withstanding Olimpo’s physical tactics, Racing were forced to claim victory from behind after a defensive lapse had seen Franco Troyansky open the scoring for the home side just before the hour mark.
However, Olimpo’s lead lasted barely two minutes before defender Leonardo Sigali headed an equaliser and his first since joining the club from a corner.
The Aurinegro had managed to keep Martínez relatively quiet and were heading for what would have been a decent point in their bid for survival but Centurión sealed victory.
Olimpo 1 – 2 Racing Club
The big game of the weekend took place a little earlier in La Plata but for all the pre-game hype surrounding one of Argentina’s most important clásicos, the match failed to live up to its billing. The last two visits of Estudiantes to El Bosque ended goalless and Saturday’s meeting proved no different.
While clear chances were at a premium, fierce challenges weren’t and so it was little surprise to see Gimnasia hold their local rivals to a stalemate and for Omar Alderete to see red late on for a second yellow card.
Facundo Sava remains unbeaten as Gimnasia boss despite not registering a shot on target but did nullify an Estudiantes side that has started 2018 in terrific form.
Meanwhile in Liniers, the task ahead for Gabriel Heinze at Vélez was made all the clearer after defeat to Patronato left El Gringo’s side only one place above the drop zone.
Following the disappointing defeat to Chacarita Juniors on Monday, Vélez hosted another relegation rival on Saturday but were dealt an early blow when Adrián Balboa played a neat one-two before drilling a shot past César Rigamonti.
The goal didn’t deflate Vélez and Heinze’s side pushed forward but were wasteful in front of goal and ultimately punished. The impressive Sebastián Ribas slid in to score his eighth of the season five minutes from time and when Sebastián Bértoli saved well from a Mauro Zárate free-kick it was clear that the day belonged to Patronato.
The win took El Patrón well clear of Temperley in the final relegation spot while Vélez now sit uncomfortably just above. New manager Heinze was always going to need time to bed in his new players but the process can’t take too long if Vélez are to avoid getting dragged even closer into danger.