Sebastián Beccacece couldn’t contain himself on Friday evening as his Defensa y Justicia side came from behind to snatch an injury time win over San Martín de Tucumán and join Racing Club at the top of the league.
Still unbeaten, an 18-match run that is the second longest in the club’s history and even more impressively in the top flight rather than four tiers below, Defensa y Justicia continue to upset the odds and are legitimately pushing title favourites Racing Club all the way it would appear.
A handball against Ciro Rius saw Tino Costa give San Martín the lead in Tucumán and for much of the game it looked as though El Halcón’s run and possibly title hopes were coming to an end.
That was until the 81st minute when the visitors were gifted a lifeline. Recent signing Oliver Benítez headed into his own net and a minute into added time a counter attack saw Matías Rojas square for Nicolás Fernández to tap in a winner.
With the win Defensa y Justicia climbed level with Racing and once more La Academia will need to respond with their game in-hand against Huracán on Sunday evening.
San Martín de Tucumán 1 – 2 Defensa y Justicia
At the foot of the promedio, Tigre travelled to La Plata to take on relegation rivals Gimnasia desperate for victory if they are to pull off a miraculous escape. Just as El Matador’s leaky defence saw San Martín de San Juan leave Victoria with a point last week, another three goals conceded on Friday meant a hugely damaging defeat to Gymnasia on Friday.
After a goalless first half in which Tigre were the better side and probably deserved to lead, Gimnasia took the lead in fortuitous circumstance. A long ball in behind from Lorenzo Faravelli was looking for the run of Matías Gómez but when the 20-year-old failed to control he inadvertently dummied goalkeeper Alexis Arias and it rolled through without a touch into the goal.
Just as they did a week ago, Tigre responded and Hugo Silveira fired the visitors level but it lasted only minutes. Maxi Coronel headed in at a corner and from another almost immediately after the ball dropped to new signing Alexi Gómez on the edge of the box where the Peruvian blasted into the top corner.
A vital win for Gimnasia that eases their fears somewhat while Tigre are now eight points from safety and on the brink of being cut adrift.
Gimnasia 3 – 1 Tigre
Finally in Córdoba, Talleres came flying out of the traps to set themselves on course to a 3-1 victory over Banfield.
Sebastián Palacios is already proving an outstanding addition on his return to the club and after saving a point against Independiente last week, the pacy forward raced away from Luciano Gómez to somehow beat Mauricio Arboleda from the tightest of angles with only four minutes gone.
It got worse for Banfield as Leonardo Godoy Cruz burst forward from right-back to smash in a second soon after and with less than ten minutes played, the visitors looked done.
Jesús Dátolo did pull one back in the 78th minute but almost immediately substitute Joel Soñora rifled in a long range effort to restore Talleres’ lead. A good win for La T but a concern to see Palacios leave the pitch early ahead of the Copa Libertadores qualifier against São Paulo this week.