They say you need a bit of luck and the resilience to grind out wins to become champions and on Monday evening for the third consecutive game Defensa y Justicia exhibited just that with yet another dramatic stoppage time winner.
Racing’s defeat to River Plate on Sunday had left the door ajar for Defensa y Justicia and all that was required was Sebastián Beccacece’s unbeaten side beat bottom of the table Argentinos Juniors. Something that looked so straight forward on paper took a 95th minute winner from recent signing Alexis Castro to spark wild celebrations.
Argentinos Juniors had only scored five goals all season prior to the trip and as a result have been sucked into the thick of the relegation battle but posed enough of a threat to demand El Halcón’s respect in the early stages.
Neither side could force an opener in the first half and while the inevitable Defensa y Justicia goal was expected, it was instead Argentinos Juniors midfielder Franco Moyano who stunned the home crowd with a superb half-volleyed strike on the hour mark.
Racing Club were breathing a sigh of collective relief as Defensa y Justicia toiled and appeared to wasting their opportunity. However, Fernando Márquez, scorer of the late winner two weeks ago against San Lorenzo, headed the home side level in the 73rd minute and it set up the dramatic finish.
Already deep into the five minutes of added time, the ball dropped to Castro and the player who was deemed surplus to requirements at San Lorenzo rifled the ball past Lucas Chaves to secure the vital points. With seven games remaining and a final day fixture against Racing, it would appear that Defensa y Justicia aren’t going anywhere.
Defensa y Justicia 2 – 1 Argentinos Juniors
There was also late drama in Mar del Plata, where Aldosivi snatched an injury time over ten-man San Martín de San Juan.
Despite having Arián Pucheta sent off after only ten minutes for a foul on Cristian Chávez when through on goal, San Martín came within a minute of a valuable point.
Javier Iritier’s powerful 93rd minute finish eventually finding a way through after several missed opportunities had almost allowed the visitors to escape with a draw. San Martín remain just outside the relegation zone but have Patronato and Belgrano hot on their heels.