While Boca and Juniors battle it out for a place in the Copa Diego Maradona final from Group A, Banfield took a significant step to booking their place with a hard fought 2-1 win over Colón. A victory that leaves El Taladro four points clear at the top of Group B with two games to play.
A stunning strike from tournament top scorer Luis Miguel Rodríguez broke the deadlock before half time to give Colón the lead. Banfield though have shown plenty of fight since football’s return in Argentina and on the hour mark they were level, 21-year-old Giuliano Galoppo rising to head his fourth goal.
It looked as though the sides would share the points until three minutes from time when substitute Mauricio Asenjo sent a header flying past Leonardo Burián and into the corner.
Banfield’s lead was extended after Talleres could only salvage a point from their trip to Gimnasia.
After an early floodlight failure disrupted proceedings Talleres led when Juan Méndez’s deflected effort left Jorge Broun wrong-footed.
Gimnasia responded well and just after the break Leonardo Morales smashed in an equaliser. When youngster Bruno Palazzo headed a second ten minutes from time, the home side appeared to be heading for three points until Joel Soñora found the back of the net with a wonderful curling effort.
Talleres face Banfield next Monday in need of a win if they are to catch the Taladro and make the final.
In Group A, Argentinos Juniors missed the chance to join Boca and River at the top after a 2-0 defeat to Independiente.
Jonathan Menéndez slotted El Rojo into a first half lead and although Argentinos Juniors looked the more likely next scorers the increasingly influential Alan Velasco sealed the win.
While in Zona Complementación B, Newell’s Old Boys took control after a 3-1 win over Central Córdoba.
Despite hitting the woodwork three times during the first half it took until the 50th minute for Sebastián Palacios to give Newell’s the lead. The on loan forward likely playing his last game before returning to Independiente left with the simplest of finishes after Alexis Rodríguez’s cut-back.
Soon after Pablo Argañaraz wrongfully had an equaliser ruled out and in the protests Central Córdoba were reduced to ten men, defender Oscar Salomon giving his marching orders by Mauro Vigliano.
Even with the numerical disadvantage Claudio Riaño equalised only for Cristian Vega to slice Luciano Cingolani’s header into his own net.
Former Argentina under-17 captain Juan Sforza made certain with his first senior goal for Newell’s and with it La Lepra look well placed to qualify for the Complementación final.
A win over Vélez next Sunday would seal it for Newell’s after the Copa Sudamericana semi-finalists slipped to a 3-2 defeat at home to Estudiantes.
A delicate Cristian Tarragona finished had given Vélez an early lead in Liniers only for Diego García to rifle in an equaliser from the edge of the box.
Captain Lautaro Gianetti inadvertently turned Ángel González’s cross into his own net and then it was Vélez’s turn to level things up, Ricardo Álvarez finding the net once again with a well placed free-kick.
A breathless first half was brought to a close with a brilliant Lucas Rodríguez goal to restore Estudiantes’ lead and it proved to be the last of the meaningful drama. Estudiantes well and truly over their goal drought and looking to a brighter 2021 under another new manager.