Independiente couldn’t find a winner in their midweek draw against River Plate in the Copa Libertadores and on Saturday Ariel Holan’s ten men were once more forced to accept a stalemate in Banfield.
Having picked up their first Superliga win of the season last week, El Rojo were keen to follow it up with another three points in order to close the gap on the leaders but their task was made all the more difficult when Pablo Hernández was shown two yellow cards in the opening ten minutes.
Soon after Darío Cvitanich slotted Banfield ahead and the chances of Independiente leaving the Estadio Florencio Sola looked slim.
Banfield could well have extended their lead during a first half in which the visitors never got out of first gear. However, Ariel Holan’s half time talk and subsequent introduction of Emmanuel Gigliotti saw El Rojo stir.
Silvio Romero had already tested goalkeeper Mauricio Arboleda and soon after Gigliotti forced the equaliser. Martín Benítez spotted the run of the centre forward and after slipping the attention of Jorge Rodríguez, El Puma clipped the ball beyond Arboleda for his fifth of the campaign.
With their tails up, Independiente could have snatched all three points with Emanuel Brítez going close at the death but Holan’s side instead had to make do with just one.
Banfield 1 – 1 Independiente
Earlier in Rosario, Newell’s Old Boys picked up a first win of the season as they defeated fellow strugglers Lanús.
Luis Zubeldía tasted defeat on his first game back in charge against Racing but his Lanús side started brightly in the Estadio Marcelo Bielsa. Only a number of excellent saves by Newell’s goalkeeper Alan Aguerre kept the scores level and then the visitors ruined all their hard work by gifting La Lepra the opener.
Jorge Pereyra Díaz’s clumsy challenge on Mariano Bittolo prompted Fernando Rapallini to point to the spot and on the stroke of half time Víctor Figueroa rolled in the penalty.
Sebastián Ribas came close to an equaliser with a header against the base of the post but Marcelo Herrera’s dreadful challenge on Joel Amoroso seven minutes from time saw the Lanús defender see red and Newell’s were then able to wrap up the points.
Héctor Fértoli drilled in a second after a swift counter and with it Newell’s celebrated a rare league victory. Lanús remain winless and Zubeldia needs three points soon to steady the ship.
Newell’s Old Boys 2 – 0 Lanús
Vélez Sarsfield earned a decent point away to Talleres despite Matías Vargas seeing a first half penalty saved by Guido Herrera.
20-year-old Nahuel Bustos’ bobbling volley found a way past Alexander Dominguez to give Talleres a 12th minute lead and La T were given a further break when Vargas missed from the spot.
However, Vélez were much improved after the break and a tremendous Braian Cufré volley brought Gabriel Heinze’s side level just before the hour mark. Talleres are yet to find their stride under new manager Juan Pablo Vojvoda and Vélez were good value for their point.
A little later in Florencio Varela, the weather in greater Buenos Aires claimed its first victim of the season as Estudiantes’ trip to play Defensa y Justicia was called off after 26 minutes.
A skidding long range effort by Matías Rojas in the driving rain had given El Halcón the lead only for Fabián Noguera to tap in an equaliser before referee Pablo Dóvalo called time.
Through the rain and the lightning the game was suspended and the two sides will have to play the remainder at a later date.
Talleres 1 – 1 Vélez Sarsfield
Defensa y Justicia 1 – 1 Estudiantes
Abandoned after 26 minutes due to conditions