Everything had fallen into place for Racing Club. La Academia had rocketed up the table in 2018 and Huracán and Independiente had left the door open for Copa Libertadores qualification. All Eduardo Coudet’s side needed to do was get a point against Colón, themselves pushing for a spot in the Copa Sudamericana, and just as those around them earlier in the weekend had done, Racing fluffed their lines.
When Guillermo Ortíz unfortunately headed a Racing corner into his own net with barely a minute on the clock, the Cilindro sensed Libertadores football for 2019 was creeping ever closer.
However, Colón were unperturbed by falling behind and equalised soon after when Marcelo Estigarribia was left free to fire past Juan Musso.
Racing had chances to restore their lead and while La Academia had a little luck at Ricardo Centurión not seeing red for a studs up challenge, an injury to Lisandro López was a real blow. And their luck didn’t improve just before the break when a Cristian Bernardi shot was saved by Musso only to be deflected into the empty net by Marcelo Meli.
Far from their best, Racing pushed for an equaliser but found themselves even further behind eight minutes from time. Javier Correa burst through the centre of the home defence and drilled the ball past Musso for a third.
Colón managed to leap into the final Copa Sudamericana spot at the expense of Argentinos Juniors and will be joined by Racing, unless La Academia can win this year’s Libertadores or the Copa Argentina. That comes as an understandable set-back but there can be no getting away from the improvements made in 2018 under Chacho Coudet and there is plenty of reasons for optimism.
Racing Club 1 – 3 Colón
Meanwhile in the Gigante de Arroyito, Rosario Central were a minute away from ending the season on a high only for Nicolás Bazzana to snatch a last-gasp equaliser for Estudiantes.
Marco Ruben poked Central in front on the half hour mark and that looked to be enough until Bazzana scored from close range deep into stoppage time.
Rosario Central 1 – 1 Estudiantes