Following a Racing Club win once more, Defensa y Justicia knew that victory was required to keep pace with the league leaders on Sunday morning but after suffering a somewhat unfortunate defeat to Boca Juniors a couple of weeks ago, Sebastián Beccacece’s underdogs were deservedly beaten by relegation threatened Patronato.
After a goalless first half in which Defensa y Justicia failed to get out of first gear it was the hosts in Paraná who improved after the break and a clumsy handball by full-back Rafael Delgado gifted an opening goal. Gabriel Carabajal stepped up, stuttered his run-up and slotted past Ezequiel Unsain to leave El Halcón in the familiar position of chasing a game.
However, the resolve that has seen Defensa y Justicia come from behind so often this season abandoned Beccacece’s side and instead Ezequiel Unsain hesitancy in coming to claim a high-ball in the penalty saw Germán Berterame head Patronato two in front.
Despite having Lautaro Geminiani sent off in stoppage time, Patronato held on for a vital three points. Three points that lifted Mario Sciacqua’s side clear of the relegation zone with only two games remaining while leaving Defensa y Justicia now hoping for a Racing slip-up. The top two meet on the final day but with a four-point lead now for La Academia, victory in the penultimate fixture would be enough to lift the title and deny El Halcón the dream ending to their underdog story.
Patronato 2 – 0 Defensa y Justicia
Patronato weren’t the only club boosting their survival hopes as Tigre’s great escape gathered further momentum with a victory over Talleres in Córdoba.
Walter Montillo, one player whose huge up-turn in form best signifies Tigre’s revival, bundled the visitors ahead and soon after Lucas Menossi slipped inside one challenge to bend a superbly taken second past Guido Herrera.
In need of a response, substitute Joel Sonora fired a shot against the post for the hosts but rather than getting themselves back into the game, Talleres only fell further behind – Lucas Janson squeezing a header into the bottom corner for the forward’s fourth goal since returning from his loan with Toronto FC.
Talleres’ afternoon got worse when Federico Navarro was shown a second yellow card and Sebastián Palacios’ reaction earned a second red. Despite being down to nine men, Néstor Moiraghi sliced into his own net to hand Talleres a consolation but for Tigre with two points dropped in five games, El Matador are now only three points from safety. The only issue is two games against Racing Club and River Plate give Tigre the toughest possible run-in.
Talleres 1 – 3 Tigre
Meanwhile in Rosario, two of the Superliga’s most out of form sides met and it was Jorge Almirón’s San Lorenzo who finally ended their 13-game league winless streak with victory over Central.
Following an unconvincing victory over Junior in the Copa Libertadores, San Lorenzo managed to nick another vital win thanks to Nicolás Reniero’s stoppage time win on the counter. El Ciclón remain bottom of the table and a long way from looking to have turned things round but victory provides Almirón with some reprieve before the international break.
Defeat spelled the end for Paulo Ferrari’s temporary spell in charge and Diego Cocca has been installed as favourite to take over in Rosario.