Until the 89th minute of Vélez Sarsfield’s Superliga meeting with San Lorenzo, Chacarita Juniors were set to live another day in the top flight but when Matías Vargas levelled the score at 2-2, Los Funebreros’ swift return to the Nacional B and this season’s relegation picture was confirmed.
Regardless of the result in Liniers, Chacarita were as good as down but Vélez made certain of that with the point needed to ensure their survival.
Mauro Zárate, who came back to the club in January to help keep Vélez up, rifled the home side ahead after half an hour. The on loan striker has scored six goals in that period, proving once more his talents in the white and blue, but Vélez will be aware of the need to replace him next season ahead of another relegation battle.
San Lorenzo, still in need of points to guarantee Copa Libertadores football in 2019, pushed forward and after Rubén Botta headed against the crossbar and Nahuel Barrios smashed a shot against the upright, Los Cuervos eventually levelled.
Goalkeeper César Rigamonti didn’t cover himself in glory in a ten-minute spell that saw him fumble the ball to gift Barrios a simple equaliser and soon after allow Nicolás Reneiro’s low shot to squirm out of his grasp.
San Lorenzo had just lost captain Nicolás Blandi to a hamstring injury and if the centre forward is set for a spell on the sidelines, Reneiro will be needed to fire Claudio Biaggio’s side into the Libertadores.
Despite the injury set-back, San Lorenzo looked set to hold on for all three points until the impressive Vargas arrived to fire past Nicolás Navarro from Nicolás Delgadillo’s right-wing cut back.
Vélez Sarsfield 2 – 2 San Lorenzo
Earlier in Rosario, Newell’s Old Boys chalked up a third consecutive home win under new manager Omar de Felippe and in the process inflicted a third straight defeat on Talleres, who are now sweating over Copa Libertadores qualification.
Víctor Figueroa’s fine finish gave Newell’s a third minute lead and only some wasteful finishing, an excellent goalkeeping display by Guido Herrera and a highly contentious penalty converted by Santiago Silva ensured Talleres went into half time level.
Newell’s remained the better side but had to wait until seven minutes from time to retake the lead. 20-year-old debutant, Jerónimo Cacciabue in space on the edge of the box to send a sweetly struck volley past a motionless Herrera.
A superb goal line clearance by Pablo Guiñazú denied Newell’s a third but not the victory that the home side deserved.
Talleres were Boca’s most likely title challengers only three weeks ago but after three defeats are now in the last Libertadores spot with Huracán only a point behind.