With only seven matches to go, matters at the top of the Superliga and at the foot of the Promedio hot up. Racing Club dropping points and underdogs Defensa y Justicia joining them at the top, means the title race may yet go to the wire and with Belgrano holding Boca perhaps there is still some life in the relegation battle.
There is certainly no reason to panic in Avellaneda after Racing Club suffered only a second league defeat of the season away to River Plate on Sunday but Defensa y Justicia’s third consecutive stoppage time win makes Sebastián Beccacece’s unbeaten side an even greater title challenge now.
Racing returned to the scene where their Copa Libertadores hopes ended so emphatically last year and Eduardo Coudet was unable to exact revenge with a rejuvenated River Plate strolling to a deserved 2-0 win. Juan Fernando Quintero’s sensational free-kick the highlight of the match but the main talking point since being Ricardo Centurión’s public disagreement with Chacho and the controversial player’s subsequent relegation to the reserves.
This defeat allowed Defensa y Justicia to go level at the top and all that was required was victory over bottom of the league Argentinos Juniors. Easy, right? Well, actually not quite as it took a 95th minute Alexis Castro volley to snatch all the points. A third consecutive stoppage time winner that has all those in Florencio Varela dreaming of a first league title.
Racing’s defeat had also meant that defending champions Boca Juniors could have still fancied a late run given their game in-hand could have reduced the gap to five points. However, victory over Belgrano was required on Sunday night and Federico Lértora’s late goal salvaged a point for the relegation threatened Piratas and immediately nipped Boca’s title aspirations in the bud.
Atlético Tucumán’s goalless draw with a second string Talleres and Huracán claiming a point from the visit of Vélez Sarsfield saw no further change in the top six and so River were one of the weekend’s big winners. Along with Independiente, who ended their winless run of five games with victory over Unión to sit level on points with the Millonarios albeit having played a game more.
And so to the relegation battle, where as already mentioned Argentinos Juniors, for all of their improved resolve, slipped to another defeat edging the Bichos closer to the drop zone and Belgrano battled to a point to close on the two clubs just above them.
Belgrano really need wins but not much was expected from the visit of Boca and thankfully Patronato’s defeat to Estudiantes and San Martín de San Juan conceding a stoppage time goal to Aldosivi meant that the Córdoba club actually cut the gap to safety.
Lanús’ fine form has seen El Granate pull well clear of relegation but in chalking up a win over Gimnasia on Saturday, their opponents remain concerned with those teams directly beneath them.
San Martín de Tucumán are running out of time after losing 3-2 away to Godoy Cruz and so too are Tigre who played out a bonkers 4-4 draw with Banfield on Friday.