There is still a long way to go in the relegation battle but in what was a potential ‘six-pointer’, San Martín de San Juan picked up a vital three points from their trip to La Plata on Wednesday afternoon.
Hosts Gimnasia are far from safe themselves and could hardly afford the few clubs between them and safety to close the gap but that is exactly what San Martín did. And in doing so, climbed out of the drop zone, above Belgrano, putting further pressure on El Pirata ahead of their game against Atlético Tucumán on Friday.
Santiago Silva stretching to volley against the outside of the post from an acute angle may now be a moment that Gimnasia look back on ruefully as San Martín punished that with a goal in first half stoppage time. The home side’s absent defence allowed Pablo Palacios to run in behind and his pass to Marcos Gelabert saw the midfielder take his time, step inside a last ditch challenge and slot the ball under Alexis Arias.
Silva would go close again after the break with a glancing header but just as they did in the first half, San Martín responded with a goal. Francisco Grahl rose to head Gustavo Villarruel’s corner goalwards and Mauro Guevgeozian could only volley the ball into his own net in an attempt to clear off the line.
Gimnasia would push forward in hope of getting back into the game but when Silva poked a third chance of the game on target a superb stop by Luis Ardente would deny him.
San Martín held on for the points and for now can sit a little comfortably knowing that if Belgrano don’t get a surprise result against second-placed Atlético Tucumán, they will finish the weekend out of the relegation zone.