There is still a long way to go in the relegation battle but Belgrano’s victory over Gimnasia on Friday night was not only a first in eight matches but moved El Pirata out of the drop zone until at least Sunday evening.
The manner in which Belgrano dropped two points two weeks ago against Banfield and the subsequent limp defeat to Vélez suggested that some of the fight had left the Córdoba club. However, Diego Osella galvanised his troops and a vastly improved display deservedly earned Belgrano victory.
Despite Matías Suárez missing the game through injury, Belgrano were the brighter side and when Gimnasia failed to clear their lines after half an hour the ball eventually bobbled to Maximiliano Lugo, who fired past Alexis Arias.
Gimnasia improved slightly after the break and as long as the lead remained at just one, anxiety hung over the Alberdi.
That was until stoppage time as Jonás Aguirre skipped away from a challenge to rifle in a second and send Osella hopping along the touchline in joy.
The win pushed Belgrano above San Martín de San Juan and out of the final relegation place while closing the gap on Gimnasia just above as the fight for survival looks to be a much closer run race than last season.
Belgrano 2 – 0 Gimnasia
Unión were hoping to bounce back from having seen their 17-match unbeaten home run ended last week and knew that victory over Patronato would have sent them second overnight but two equalisers saw the relegation threatened visitors leave with a point.
Both sides had gone close when Diego Zabala eventually broke the deadlock with a shot from the edge of the box that slipped through the grasp of Sebastián Bértoli. Unable to see it out until the break, Patronato were swiftly level, a cross from the left powerfully headed in by Facundo Barceló.
Yeimar Gómez Andrade restored Unión’s lead 20 minutes from time nodding in at a corner but once more Patronato came back, Matías Garrido pouncing on a loose ball to fire in from close range.