Victory in a clásico is always demanded by supporters but for San Lorenzo, Sunday’s visit to the Estadio Tomás Ducó was even more significant as anything less than three points against Huracán all but ended their slim hopes of catching Boca Juniors.
Nicolás Reniero’s 88th minute equaliser managed to avoid defeat but for San Lorenzo the draw leaves a 13-point gap to the league leaders and even with a game in-hand, Los Cuervos now must concentrate solely on Copa Libertadores qualification.
A fiercely contested game of few real chances appeared to be heading in the direction of Huracán after Andrés Chávez’s first goal for the club. On the stroke of half time, El Globo dangerman Ignacio Pussetto skipped away down the right and his cut-back was swept in by Chávez to break the deadlock.
San Lorenzo pushed for an equaliser but were restricted to speculative efforts rather than opening up the home side’s defence until two minutes from time when Nicolás Blandi crossed to the back post and Reniero climbed to head the equaliser.
Robert Piris Da Motta’s red card shortly after ended Los Cuervos’ hopes of snatching a late winner and with a share of the points, neither side were left particularly pleased.
Huracán 1 – 1 San Lorenzo
In Avellaneda, Independiente still cling to their faint hopes of challenging for the title with a hard fought victory over Argentinos Juniors.
The visitors, who had just beaten Boca arrived at the Estadio Libertadores de America hoping to derail those plans, but fell a little short in large part due to the goalkeeping error of Lucas Chaves.
While the Argentinos Juniors keeper gifted Maxi Meza, Independiente’s second, Martín Campaña in the opposite goal proved why he is among the best in South America with a string of saves to preserve El Rojo’s clean sheet until the 86th minute.
It had been the visitors who had created the better chances but unable to find a way past Campaña, they were punished by Emmanuel Gigliotti’s fine turn and powerful shot into the top corner after 20 minutes.
At 1-0, Argentinos Juniors had shown enough to suggest that they remained very much in the game but just before half time, Chaves’ attempt to pass the ball out from the back was intercepted by Leandro Fernández and the forward was able to roll the ball to Meza for a simple tap-in.
Had the visitors been able to pull a goal back sooner, the second half could have been far more interesing but instead it wasn’t until four minutes from time when Lucas Barrios headed past Campaña and by then it was too late to stage a comeback.
Independiente held on for the points and despite remaining nine points behind Boca, El Rojo still have a game in-hand and must play the league leaders before the end of the season.
Independiente 2 – 1 Argentinos Juniors
Earlier, Vélez Sarfield came from behind to claim a 2-2 draw with Rosario Central in Liniers and while supporters were aggrieved by Gabriel Heinze’s decision to withdraw Mauro Zárate, it was his replacement Rodrigo Salinas with the crucial equaliser.
The talented Matías Vargas had given Vélez an early lead but an Alfonso Parot header and an emphatic second half finish by Joel López Pissano had turned the game and highlighted the still evident, defensive fragility of Vélez.
Vélez may have a points cushion in this season’s relegation battle but still need points and so when Heinze decided to change Zárate for Salinas, it drew jeers from the crowd. Most will still question that decision but two minutes later, Nicolás Domínguez raced down the right and his low cross was poked in by the substitute.
And finally, the Superliga’s most out of form side, Lanús hosted an Estudiantes team, with eyes on a Copa Libertadores clash next week. The result was about as exciting as it sounds, with neither side deserving much more than the goalless draw produced.
Vélez Sarsfield 2 – 2 Rosario Central
Lanús 0 – 0 Estudiantes