All the talk from Zona Campeonato A has been whether Boca Juniors or River Plate would be taking the group’s place in the Copa Diego Maradona final yet Argentinos Juniors remain very much in the picture after a 1-0 win over Huracán.
A stunning Matías Romero goal just after the hour mark settled a close game and puts the Bichos just a point behind the two Buenos Aires giants with a final day clash against Boca on the horizon.
There was little between Argentinos and Huracán in Parque Patricios and the Bichos required a little bit of luck yet Romero’s moment of magic was worthy of winning any match. The 24-year-old had only come off the bench due to a first half injury to Gabriel Florentín but flicked the ball over the sliding challenge of Estebán Rolón before delivering a pile driver from 25 yards to break the deadlock.
Huracán may feel aggrieved that Kevin Mac Allister’s last ditch attempt to half Juan Garro went unpunished due to the forward opting to try and continue and get his shot away and if not that then certainly the late handball claim that was dismissed.
But it is Argentinos Juniors with hopes intact of lifting the cup. Saturday’s game against Boca is a must-win while they must also hope Independiente can do them a favour against River but with the decisive games falling between Copa Libertadores semi-final matches, stranger things have happened.
The finalist from Group B will either be Rosario Central, Talleres or Gimnasia and so while Colón’s trip to Atlético Tucumán meant nothing it did provide an opportunity for Luis Rodríguez to show case his talents once more.
The 36-year-old on his return to Tucumán, where he remains a club icon, earned Colón victory with a marvellous solo goal. Skipping past three challenges into the penalty box Rodríguez produced the deftest of chipped finishes to leave goalkeeper Cristian Lucchetti stranded. The tournament’s leading scorer with six goals, Pulga Rodríguez simply doesn’t score simple goals and even at his advanced age remains a match winner.
Atlético pushed to find an equaliser and with Lucchetti forward for a corner Colón were able to counter with teenager Facundo Farías left to roll the ball into an empty net.
In Zona Complementación B Estudiantes still had hopes of keeping their hopes alive but needed a win in Mendoza to do so and the Pincha were instead dealt a 1-0 defeat by Godoy Cruz.
The home side had new manager Sebastián Méndez in the dugout for the first time and Diego Maradona’s former assistant at Gimnasia will be buoyed by his side’s victory. Centre-forward Tomás Badaloni headed the game’s only goal after 18 minutes and although the visitors saw plenty of possession, Godoy Cruz held firm.