Lanús president Nicolás Russo confirmed after Friday’s defeat to Argentinos Juniors extended the club’s winless start to the season that Luis Zubeldía has agreed to return as manager.
In the short period of time since lifting the Primera title and reaching the Copa Libertadores final, Lanús are a shadow of those sides and as interim coach Rodrigo Acosta lost his only game in charge, Russo hinted at the task ahead.That
“It’s not a good moment. The deal with Luis [Zubeldía] is agreed, we talked, told him we needed him and he didn’t hesitate for a minute to come. Zubeldía was born in Lanús and is extremely committed to the club. He was the only candidate.”
Not a good moment is perhaps an understatement as Lanús are without a win in the Superliga and went out of the Copa Sudamericana and the Copa Argentina in the last month.
That said El Granate started brightly enough in La Paternal and only a last ditch block denied Tomás Belmonte giving the visitors the lead. But that optimism didn’t last long and from virtually Argentinos’ first real attack, Alexis Mac Allister struck a volley on the turn that beat Guillermo Sara down low to his left.
Lanús did pose an intermittent threat during the opening 45 minutes but it was Mac Allister who came closest to doubling the lead when Sara’s fingertips and the post denied the 19-year-old what would have been a fine headed second just before the break.
Sara would stop Mac Allister again early in the second half but the goalkeeper could do nothing to prevent Los Bichos taking control. Lanús, unhappy that the home side continued to play while Gastón Lodico lay injured on the turf, failed to defend a cross from the right and impressive 17-year-old Gastón Verón brought the ball under his control before smashing into the top corner.
The goal confirmed a first win of the season for Argentinos Juniors and while Los Bichos academy products continue to shine, Luis Zubeldía has to hope he can get more from Lanús’ young side as Russo’s firesale has left resources scarce.
Argentinos Juniors 2 – 0 Lanús
Later in San Juan, Huracán chalked up their first three points of the season after managing to battle past ten-man San Martín.
Andrés Chávez’s deflected effort gave the visitors the lead after 20 minutes and when Marcos Gelabert was shown a red card for a wayward arm in the face of Andrés Roa soon after, San Martín’s hopes of victory looked gone.
Martín Bravo swiftly brought the ten men level, volleying in from a corner but Huracán restored their lead before the break. A fine passing move ending in full-back Carlos Araujo slotting past Luis Ardente.
With the numerical advantage Huracán had the better of the second half but San Martín made things admirably difficult and could have even snatched a point late on.