While Godoy Cruz are certainly not at the level that saw them finish runners-up last season, Mendoza remains a difficult place to go and yet Defensa y Justicia not only left with their unbeaten run intact but with all three points too.
Sebastián Beccacece’s side continue to impress and after Independiente loanee Gastón Togni drilled the visitors in front after only a couple of minutes, Defensa y Justicia should arguably have sewn up the result before half time.
A defensive lapse by Alexander Barboza did allow Angel González through on goal for a golden opportunity that the Godoy Cruz forward put against the post but otherwise it was Defensa y Justicia in the ascendency.
Ciro Rius, Domingo Blanco and Nicolás Fernández all had good chances to extend the lead and it could have proved costly as Godoy Cruz did pose more of a threat after half time.
However when the home side saw Luciano Abecasis sent off for what was adjudged to be a dangerous, studs-up challenge on Fernández, the game petered out and allowed Defensa y Justicia to hold on for the win.
Still unbeaten, El Halcón are up to sixth and with a game still in hand following last weekend’s storm, Beccacece could have his side in second.
Godoy Cruz 0 – 1 Defensa y Justicia
In Liniers, Vélez Sarsfield picked up a thoroughly deserved win over Aldosivi thanks to second half goals by Matías Vargas and Rodrigo Salinas.
Gabriel Heinze’s side had been dominant throughout but after a series of close misses it was beginning to look as though Aldosivi might frustrate the hosts. With little more than 20 minutes remaining the ball was worked to recent Argentina call-up Vargas and the talented 21-year-old cut inside onto his right foot to whip a curling shot from outside the box inside Luciano Pocrnjic’s far post.
The relief from the opener was clear but to make absolutely certain Vélez added a second soon after. The impressive 17-year-old Thiago Almada, on as a second half substitute once again, swing in a free-kick and Rodrigo Salinas rose to powerfully head in number two.
Aldosivi remain well clear of any relegation danger but the same cannot be said for their promotion partners San Martín de Tucumán. The Superliga newcomers look odds on for a swift return to the B Nacional after seeing their winless run continued on Monday evening against Banfield.
Nicolás Giménez’s deflected strike after 36 minutes looked as though it would be handing San Martín a first win of the season but in the 88th minute, Adrián Calello volleyed an equaliser.
An action-packed stoppage time almost saw San Martín snatch it and Claudio Bravo was sent off in his efforts to preserve Banfield’s point. Ultimately it was enough and Walter Coyette looks to have his work cut out in keeping San Martín up.