Whatever Patronato did over the summer break it worked and having looked dead and buried in the relegation battle, the Paraná side are now spying a surprise Superliga survival. Victory over River Plate in the Monumental was one thing but would count for little without more of the same and so on Monday evening, Patronato put three past Atlético Tucumán to suggest their change in form is no flash in the pan.
On-loan forward Germán Berterame headed Patronato in front inside three minutes and before the break the lead was doubled when Gabriel Carabajal’s diving header left Cristian Luchetti with no chance.
Atlético Tucumán hoping to secure a Copa Libertadores spot had plenty to play for but found themselves three-down. Gabriel Ávalos, full of confidence after his hat-trick against River, won a second half penalty and sent Luchetti the wrong way to wrap up the points.
Yonathan Cabral lost his cool and was sent off for an elbow late on but it made no difference and with the result, Patronato momentarily climbed out of the bottom four.
That was until San Martín de San Juan hosted Estudiantes. Rubén Forestello’s side needed to react and did just that, matching Patronato’s score to pick up a comfortable three points and leapfrog their rivals into safety.
Mauro Bogado’s superb half-volley on the stroke of half time gave San Martín the lead and substitute Pablo Palacios capitalised on some slack defending to head the home side further in front. Five minutes later the points were secured in spectacular fashion. Claudio Mosca let fly from 35 yards and the ball flew like an arrow past Mariano Andújar into the top corner.
Patronato and San Martín battle for survival in that fourth and final relegation position but their upturn in form is bad news for the likes of Belgrano and Argentinos Juniors.