Ariel Holan was thrilled by his Independiente side’s performance last week in victory over Huracán but will be equally frustrated by the errors that saw El Rojo slump to defeat away to Atlético Tucumán on Sunday evening.
The Estadio Monumental Presidente José Fierro is never an easy place to go but having twice come from behind to equalise, the reckless sending off of substitute Pablo Hernández saw Independiente throw away their hopes of going on to win the game.
A superbly measured volley by Rodrigo Aliendro had given Atlético a deserved early lead but as Independiente then began to gain more of a foothold, the visitors eventually pulled level. Nicolás Figal’s long ball found Maxi Meza, goalkeeper Cristian Lucchetti wiped him out as the midfielder cut the ball back and Fernando Gaibor tucked the ball in from the spot.
Aliendro would give Atlético the lead once again before the break, firing in a loose ball but Independiente would come again soon after the restart. Gaibor slipping in Emmanuel Gigliotti, who finished with the confidence of being the Superliga’s leading scorer.
Holan had introduced Chilean international Pablo Hernández at the break to gain some midfield traction but for the second time in his short Independiente career, Hernández picked up two yellow cards in ten minutes to leave El Rojo with ten.
Clinging on for a point eventually Independiente’s resistance broke and it was again a self-inflicted wound as Figal hauled down Luis Miguel Rodríguez and allowed the iconic Pulga to score from the spot.
Independiente goalkeeper Martín Campaña went up for a corner in stoppage time and on the counter Favio Álvarez rolled in the fourth to wrap up the points and conclude a thoroughly miserable away day for El Rojo.
Atlético Tucumán 4 – 2 Independiente
Earlier in the Estadio Florencio Solá, Estudiantes put their poor early season form behind them to record a 2-0 win over Banfield.
A fairly even contest was eventually tipped in the visitors’ favour by a moment of magic by Mariano Pavone. Rolling back the years the 36-year-old twisted and turned in the box to make space before thrashing the ball into the roof of the net.
Fernando Zuqui required a little more luck than Pavone to squirm through the Banfield defence but in the 90th minute the midfielder added a second and with it secured back-to-back wins for El Pincha.