Wearing a beautiful commemorative shirt to celebrate their first league title 50 years ago, Vélez Sarsfield continued their current resurgence under Gabriel Heinze and while a trophy might still be some way off, there is no questioning the quality of football from this exciting, young side.
A much rotated Rosario Central were the visitors to Liniers ahead of their almost annual trip to the Copa Argentina final next week and despite being second best for large parts, Edgardo Bauza’s side managed to frustrate Vélez during a goalless first hour or so.
The deadlock was eventually broken by an academy pair that have shone since stepping up as regulars under Heinze. Matías Vargas, rewarded with an Argentina debut only a couple of months ago, jinked inside from his position off the left and whipped in a cross superbly headed past Marcelo Miño by 21-year-old Lucas Robertone.
Vélez goalkeeper Lucas Hoyos was forced into a smart save soon after to preserve the lead and then the home side sealed it. Thiago Almada, the 17-year-old jewel, raced forward to receive the ball back from Agustin Bouzat and hammered it low inside Miño’s near post to wrap up the points ten minutes from time.
Climbing to sixth in the table and still unbeaten at home, Vélez are continuing to improve under Heinze, quickly establishing himself as one of the coaches to watch in Argentina, and so many of the club’s young players are already deservedly attracting interest from abroad.
Vélez Sarsfield 2 – 0 Rosario Central
The relegation fears that were once a real concern to Vélez now look like a thing of the past but for San Martín de San Juan that remains a very real danger. However, results have improved of late and on Monday evening a 2-0 win over Unión served as a boost to their survival hopes.
Unión’s dip in form has now even started affecting results in Santa Fe as on the road El Tatengue have always tended to struggle and Monday’s trip to San Juan was no different. Hesitancy between centre back Yeimar Gómez Andrade and goalkeeper Nereo Fernández gifted Pablo Palacios Alvarenga an opener on the half hour mark.
The striker would head a second after 72 minutes and although the home side saw Gonzalo Prósperi sent off shortly after, Unión’s numerical advantage didn’t last long as Jonathan Bottinelli saw red too.
As things get tighter at the bottom of the promedio, San Martín de San Juan and San Martín de Tucumán are locked on the same average point total sharing that final relegation spot as it stands.
San Martín de San Juan 2 – 0 Unión
Tigre’s hopes of survival however look almost non-existent after another defeat against Godoy Cruz left El Matador hopelessly adrift at the bottom.
Last season’s top scorer Santiago García had already fired narrowly wide from the edge of the box when he slotted Godoy Cruz ahead after 23 minutes.
Federico González managed to pull Tigre level before the break but there was to be no roaring comeback after the restart. Instead a wonderful, improvised, first time finish by García restored Godoy Cruz’s lead and ten minutes from time Ángel González sealed the points.
Four wins from five has seen Diego Dabove turn things around with El Tomba while Tigre look almost certain to drop into the B Nacional.