Diego Maradona’s 60th birthday celebrations continued in La Plata on Friday evening as the Copa Liga Profesional got underway with his Gimnasia side sweeping past Patronato.
Debutant Johan Carbonero gave Gimnasia a deserved lead just before the break though Patronato goalkeeper Daniel Sappa must take a large portion of responsibility allowing the Colombian’s shot to slip through his legs.
Sappa’s opposite number Jorge Broun ensured Gimansia’s lead remained intact and just shy of the hour mark the home side doubled their lead, Maxi Coronel rising to head in Víctor Ayala’s corner.
A second, well worked corner routine saw Eric Ramírez nod a stoppage time third to seal all three points in the league opener and draw first blood in Group 6.
Later in Córdoba, Talleres picked up an important victory in the highly competitive looking Group 4. Newell’s Old Boys were the visitors to the Estadio Mario Kempes and despite feeling a little aggrieved by certain decisions were punished by an impressive Talleres.
In an era where VAR dominates football discussion around the globe only the absence of a video replay denied Newell’s a clear first half penalty when Nacho Scocco was pulled down at a first half corner.
Talleres, having escaped punishment took full advantage, as full-back Nahuel Tenaglia pushed forward in the second half to flick La T in front.
Things got worse for the visitors ten minutes later when Fabricio Fontanini was sent off for a clumsy challenge on the tricky Diego Valoyes. There was no questioning the offence with the Colombian racing toward goal but the positioning off the challenge allowed for some debate as to whether it was truly a goal scoring opportunity.
Regardless the returning hero Scocco headed ten-man Newell’s level only for the excellent Tomás Pochettino to immediately restore the lead.
Valoyes headed a third late on, a reward for his strong display, and Talleres took the win. La T take an early lead in the group before Boca Juniors and Lanús face off on Saturday.