River Plate remain in the driving seat but know that only victory is the likely requirement to lift the title next week in Tucumán after being held to a 1-1 draw by Defensa y Justicia on Saturday evening.
Having watched Boca Juniors win on Friday and go level on points on Friday, River were in the position that victory at the Monumental on Saturday would leave just a point needed from the final weekend. Hernán Crespo’s in-form Defensa y Justicia had other ideas and the draw narrows the title race just a little more.
Despite a packed and expectant Monumental a lacklustre first half from River saw Juan Martín Lucero poke the visitors in front prompting Marcelo Gallardo to switch defender Javier Pinola for playmaker Juan Fernando Quintero.
The move immediately saw River on the front foot and as Defensa y Justicia battened down the hatches their resolve was eventually broken by a trip on Nicolás De La Cruz. The left boot of Quintero dispatched the penalty with the best part of half an hour remaining and River sensed all three points were very much there to be had.
However, there was no way past Ezequiel Unsain and River’s frustration was clear. Gallardo’s first league title is still the most likely outcome given River’s away form and Atlético Tucumán’s downward spiral in recent weeks but Boca are making sure that there is no more room for error.
River Plate 1 – 1 Defensa y Justicia
Atlético Tucumán’s latest defeat came a little earlier in La Plata as Gimnasia secured back-to-back wins. Despite still sitting bottom of the relegation table Diego Maradona’s side clearly have the belief that Superliga survival is possible.
Matías García rifling in from an acute angle shortly after half time was enough to give Gimnasia a deserved win over Atlético and even after the sending off Matías Melluso twelve minutes from time, El Lobo had enough to hold on.
With eleven fixtures still to come in the Copa Superliga after next weekend, Gimnasia’s unlikely survival can’t be ruled out.
Central Córdoba one of those teams looking over their shoulder after a 1-1 draw with Banfield in Santiago del Estero leaves El Ferroviario hovering just above the drop zone.
It could have been worse for the home team, Diego Rodríguez dropping a cross to allow Jorge Rodríguez to tap Banfield ahead looked like it was to be the game’s only goal. Yet Nicolás Miracco smashed in an equaliser four minutes from time and a little bit of added luck saw a Banfield penalty appeal waved away before Reinaldo Lenis hit the crossbar.
Godoy Cruz may be safe this season but are already in the thick of next season’s relegation battle after a 3-1 defeat at home to Unión.
A fine long range strike from Peruvian Wilder Cartagena gave Godoy Cruz an early lead but a Franco Troyansky penalty levelled things up before the break.
When Unión were reduced to ten men twenty minutes from time with Gabriel Carabajal sent off, Godoy Cruz should have taken advantage and yet it was the visitors that stole the points. A powerful Troyansky effort from distance gave Unión the lead and Javier Cabrera dashed clear on the counter to wrap up the win.