If Godoy Cruz are to reproduce the type of form that earned them a historic high runners-up place last season then much rides on Santiago García. The Uruguayan was the Superliga’s leading scorer and if García’s sensational volley against Newell’s on Monday evening was anything to go by, Morro hasn’t lost a fraction of his goal scoring ability.
Much of Godoy Cruz’s success has been built on their formidable home record but it was Newell’s who started better in Mendoza and Héctor Fértoli should arguably have given the visitors the lead when only the outstretched boot of goalkeeper Roberto Ramírez denied him when one-on-one.
Spurning such an opportunity was soon punished as the deadly García struck a first-time, outside-of-the-boot volley from an angle that whistled past Nelson Ibáñez inside the far post.
García should perhaps have had a penalty too after Ibáñez bundled the forward over but Newell’s continued to cause problems and when Ramirez went walkabout, Víctor Figueroa hit the crossbar with the goalkeeper nowhere to be seen.
The home side started the second half brightly and after seeing a number of chances pass by, Tomás Cardona headed a second.
The two-goal cushion made a comeback unlikely and while Luis Leal did pull one back eight minutes from time it proved to be nothing more than a consolation.
Newell’s sit second from bottom while Godoy Cruz having dropped only two points find themselves back up in that top three.
Godoy Cruz 2 – 1 Newell’s Old Boys
Later in Santa Fe, Unión were minutes away from losing their unbeaten home run only for Franco Fragapane to salvage a point against San Lorenzo.
Nicolás Reneiro’s diving header finished off a superb counter to give El Ciclón an eleventh minute lead as the early signs were that Claudio Biaggio side would be carrying their impressive Copa Sudamericana form from midweek into the Superliga.
When Nicolás Navarro saved Rodrigo Gómez’s second half penalty it looked as though San Lorenzo would hold on for a valuable win but in the 90th minute Diego Zabala’s low cross found its way all the way across goal and Fragapane slid in an equaliser.
Their impressive win over Nacional in the Sudamericana aside, San Lorenzo have made a poor start to the season and with three consecutive draws in the Superliga, Los Cuervos need to get their first win soon. River Plate at the Nuevo Gasómetro on Saturday another test for Biaggio’s boys.