When Gabriel Heinze took over at Vélez Sarsfield the club were nervously looking over their shoulder at relegation; two years later they are in the Copa Sudamericana and the prospect of a return to the Libertadores is real.
A 3-0 win over Unión in Heinze’s final game in charge took Vélez to third in the table ahead of the Copa Superliga and now the club must get their next appointment right.
Lucas Janson nicked possession as Unión were caught trying to play out form the back to slot in the opening goal and two minutes later, Lucas Robertone doubled the advantage with a vicious 30-yard screamer.
Unión were unable to find a way back in and fifteen minutes from time Maxi Romero sealed the points. The in-form 21-year-old held off Franco Calderon, flicked the ball over the head of Jonathan Bottinelli and then raced around goalkeeper Sebastián Moyano to fire in from a tight angle.
Gastón Giménez’s transfer to Chicago Fire will obviously be felt and ultimately the nature of the midfielder’s departure pushed Heinze further out the door but Vélez gave a terrific response before the Copa gets underway.
Racing Club are level on points with Vélez and sit in fourth as La Academia show further signs of improvement under Sebastián Beccacece.
Héctor Fértoli stabbed Racing in front against Estudiantes just before the break following Benjamín Garré’s cutback and Jonathan Cristaldo made the result certain late on.
There was enough time for Nahuel Estévez to volley a goal back for the hosts but it was nothing more than a consolation.