Despite it being the final match day of the initial group stage in the Copa Diego Maradona there was little drama with groups 2 and 3 already sewn up. Colón already certain of their place in the Fase Campeonato secured the three points in Santiago del Estero required to top Group 2 while Banfield were held to a 1-1 draw by Rosario Central meaning El Taladro settle for second behind River Plate in Group 3.
Colón led after 17 minutes against Central Córdoba after a careless tug on Brian Fernández’s shirt presented Luis Rodríguez with the chance to open the scoring from the penalty spot.
Unable to find a way back Central Córdoba were put out of their misery eight minutes from time. Fine work from Cristian Bernardi down the left pulled the ball back to Facundo Farías and the 18-year-old finished calmly.
There was still time for Francisco Cerro to be sent off for a petulant kick out and defeat spelled the end for manager Alfredo Berti. Central Córdoba confirming swiftly after full-time that they had mutually agreed to end Berti’s spell in charge.
Copa Sudamericana quarter-finalists Independiente and Defensa y Justicia play on Sunday but with El Rojo already assured of second there is nothing to play for.
All that was left to confirm in Group 3 was whether Banfield could nick top spot off River Plate but victory was required to stand any chance of that so Friday’s 1-1 draw with Rosario Central leaves nothing riding on the remaining game.
A fine solo goal from Juan Álvarez gave Banfield an early lead in the Estadio Florencio Solá but an Emiliano Vecchio penalty soon levelled things up.
And that was how things ended. Banfield saw Claudio Bravo sent off with a little under quarter of an hour remaining but held on for a point.