The Superclasico still dominates conversation in Argentina but away from all that drama, a full round of Superliga fixtures meant there was no shortage of action. If Boca Juniors and River Plate had caused you to despair then this weekend’s thrilling Clásico Tucumano should have restored your faith in Argentine derbies. The shock result there saw the Superliga leaders extend their advantage as we near the mid-season break.
Last weekend’s goalless draw with Banfield was a blip in Racing Club’s otherwise tremendous season so far but no sooner had La Academia’s title challengers closed ground, Racing extended their lead back up to five points. A 3-1 victory away to Talleres on Monday thanks in part to captain Lisandro López’s brace wrapped up an ideal round for Eduardo Coudet’s Superliga hopefuls.
This after closest rivals Atlético Tucumán tasted defeat in an exhilarating clásico against San Martín. El Decano in hot pursuit of Racing took a two-goal lead against their relegation threatened city rivals and the result looked certain until a roaring come back kick started by Luciano Pons finding the net. Luciano Acevedo equalised before Tino Costa slid in a winner in a dramatic ending to the game.
Third-placed Defensa y Justicia also dropped points but a last-minute Lisandro Martínez goal away to Huracán will perhaps be better viewed as a point gained in the circumstances for Sebastián Beccacece’s still undefeated side.
Boca Juniors may have had next weekend’s Copa Libertadores on their minds but it didn’t prevent Los Xeneizes climbing to fourth with a win over Independiente. How they managed it was down to a moment of magic from Edwin Cardona, El Rojo’s usual wastefulness in front of goal and a dire refereeing display by Darío Herrera which had Independiente up in arms.
Libertadores rivals River Plate also celebrated victory ahead of the trip to Madrid with Marcelo Gallardo’s second string having the better of a largely reserve Gimnasia side, who are preparing for the Copa Argentina final after the penalty win over River during midweek.
Another of the winners from round 14 were Vélez Sarsfield, who secured a 2-0 win over Rosario Central in Liniers. Academy products Lucas Robertone and Thiago Almada scored the goals that extend the undefeated home record to 14 matches and as Vélez continue to make strides, qualification for international competition is a very realistic target.
While Vélez have successfully dragged themselves clear of relegation, things at the foot of the promedio are getting tight. Tigre are the only side looking increasingly doomed after their defeat to Godoy Cruz on Monday.
But Patronato and Belgrano now beginning to sweat after El Patron slumped to a 1-0 defeat away to rivals Newell’s Old Boys and Belgrano mustered a point against Colón.
Both will be increasingly nervous over San Martín de Tucumán’s revivial as mentioned earlier and namesakes San Martín de San Juan also chalked up a win thanks to Pablo Alvarenga’s brace against Unión.
The two San Martíns now occupy the last relegation spot, level with the same average, leaving a few others to look over their shoulders. Argentinos Juniors managed to halt their dreadful slide towards the bottom four with a win over Banfield, Lanus secured a point away to Estudiantes and Aldosivi snatched a last gasp equaliser against San Lorenzo.