After their triumphant return from Japan with the Suruga Bank trophy Independiente finally got their Superliga campaign underway but allowed Newell’s Old Boys to twice come from behind to claim a point in Rosario.
Ariel Holan selected a strong side despite a Copa Libertadores last 16 first leg against Santos on Tuesday and was rewarded almost immediately as Martín Benítez sparked a lightning quick counter ending with Maxi Meza rolling the ball to Emmanuel Gigliotti for a simple opener.
However, the lead didn’t last long. Independiente without the injured Nicolás Figal and opting to rest Alan Franco, one of Argentina’s latest recruits, were vulnerable defensively and Héctor Fértoli in acres of space beat Martín Campaña from eight yards.
Martín Benítez came close to restoring the lead before injury cut his evening short and while Inpendiente were still fretting over the forward’s fitness for Tuesday, Newell’s gifted the lead. Meza’s long ball forward caused confusion between full-back Leonel Ferroni and Nelson Ibáñez and the weak clearance with the goalkeeper stranded allowed Gigliotti to volley into the empty net from 30 yards.
Holan wanted to see more control from his side but shortly after the break Newell’s were level again. El Rojo never clearing adequately from a series of crosses and eventually the ball dropped for Fabricio Fontanini to thrash his first Newell’s goal into the net.
Joel Amoroso’s reckless lunge on Juan Sánchez Miño, which also saw the full-back retire injured, saw Newell’s reduced to ten but Independiente couldn’t take advantage.
Newell’s Old Boys 2 – 2 Independiente
Earlier in Córdoba, Edgardo Bauza’s fine start back at Rosario Central continued with the Canalla earning a hard fought 1-0 win over Talleres.
Central were one of the Superliga’s worst side’s defensively last season and so the pragmatic Bauza, in addition to his history at the club, was an ideal candidate to instil the discipline required.
Talleres, looking to bounce back from the disappointing defeat to Boca on the opening weekend, were the better side but couldn’t break down the visitors. Tomás Pochettino drew a good save from Jeremías Ledesma and soon after blazed over a clear chance but Central nicked the points from a set piece.
Matías Caruzzo headed last week’s winner against Banfield and in Córdoba, a corner from the left was met emphatically by Fernando Zampedri.