Newell’s stay top, five-star Racing & controversy at La Bombonera

Written by Darren Paul

Round five of the LPF season saw 31 goals across the fourteen matches, with five from a rampant Racing Club against strugglers Aldosivi, Gimnasia remain unbeaten with an away win over Carlos Tevez’s Rosario Central, whilst Central’s local rivals Newells remain top of the table thanks to their win over Estudiantes. 

Friday night saw the much anticipated managerial debut of Carlos Tevez, and whilst his side came away with a 1-0 loss, thanks to a wonderful half volley from Ramón Sosa, Tevez can be pleased with the performance his side displayed. With some positive attacking play down the left flank, Central could well have bagged a couple of goals on another day, were it not for some poor finishing and solid goalkeeping. Gimnasia were worth their victory and briefly sat atop the table until Newell’s claimed the top spot. 

Newell’s continued their unbeaten start to the season with a solid 2-0 win over Ricardo Zielinski’s Estudiantes (LP) thanks to a fine cushioned side-foot volley from Ramiro Sordo after 57 minutes before Juan Garro doubled the lead 15 minutes later. Both goals came on the break, Garro’s finishing off a six-pass move. Estudiantes had multiple chances throughout the contest but were forced to rely on shots from distance as their inconsistent start to the campaign continues. 

Racing Club bounced back from a run of poor form to secure an emphatic victory over the league’s bottom side Aldosivi. Diego Villar looked in great spirits before the game, the ex-Racing midfielder coaching the team he finished his career at, but that changed as his side was comprehensively played off the park. Racing converted five of seven shots on target into goals, the pick of them an audacious lob from  Enzo Copetti, who has reportedly attracted the attention of Udinese in recent weeks. Goals from Emiliano Vecchio, Leandro Sigali, Jonathan Gómez and an own goal by Rufino Lucero saw Racing double their total goals scored on the season. There was a touching moment as Nery Dominguez, in his last game at Racing, was awarded the armband bearing his name as he replaced Sigali for the final portion of the game. 

Boca Juniors were handed their second loss of the season in controversial style 2-1 at home to Unión de Santa Fe. All three goals came from the penalty spot and it was the visitors who scored first. The Unión youngster Juan Nardoni went over the outstretched leg of Boca midfielder Jorman Campuzano in the box and the referee Yael Falcón Pérez pointed immediately to the spot. Daniel Juárez stepped forward and just got the penalty past Javier García, who was able to get a weak hand to it low to his right.

Boca were awarded a penalty of their own at the 40-minute mark, a perfectly weighted through ball to Cristian Medina had Lucas Esquivel scrambling and the Union defender clumsily brought down Medina inside the area. 

Eduardo Salvio placed a perfectly struck penalty into the bottom right corner to even the score. Both sides traded near misses through the second half, before in the 95th minute Boca’s captain Carlos Izquierdoz missed the ball and volleyed Juan Portillo in the shin. Following a VAR review and an initial save from Garcia, who was adjudged to have been off his line, Franco Troyansky cooling slotted his penalty into the roof of the net to seal Unión’s second win of the season. 

River Plate extended their winning streak to two as they took down Lanús at home on Saturday night. José Paradela got the party started for River in the 26th minute, cooling finishing from the edge of the area after a slick counterattack by the hosts. River doubled their lead and sealed the victory just minutes later after Braian Romero received a flicked-on-pass from Paradela, whose silky run cutting in from the right flank had started the move. Romero was able to turn his defender to finish low to the keeper’s left. Lanús were able to bundle home a goal almost immediately, River allowing Tomás Belmonte to find his way to the byline in the penalty area and squared to Lautaro Acosta who could only score.

Lanús should have drawn level in the second half, a similar move to that of the goal found the veteran striker José Sand alone in front of goal but his first-time effort bounced into the turf and agonisingly over the bar. As River saw out the game, Lanús were reduced to nine men in injury time. The first ejection for a straight red card as Matías Pérez lashed out after being pushed in the back by a River forward. The second removal was to second-half substitute Brian Caraballo for two yellow cards, the second of which was an ugly kick from behind across the legs of River captain Enzo Pérez.

Central Córdoba consigned Talleres to their third loss of the season away from home, to see them sitting in 13th position. Talleres had the better of the early going but were reduced to ten men as Christian Oliva was adjudged to have stamped on Central’s Claudio Riaño, as Riaño dove in to a tackle on Oliva. The second half was all Central as they had multiple chances on the Talleres goal, but it would take until the 85th minute for them to find the opener. An inch perfect through ball from José Goméz carved open the tiring Talleres defence for Francisco González Metilli to square the ball to Claudio Riaño to finish into an open goal. Claudio Riaño doubled the lead, meeting a square ball from González Metilli with a diving lunge to poke the ball past Guido Herrera to seal the three points. 

Benjamin Garre was the hero for Huracán in their win away to Colón de Santa Fe on Saturday night. The ex-Manchester City prospect, currently on loan from Racing, scored the game-winning goal after just seven minutes. Franco Cristaldo was allowed to take the ball to the byline after a throw-in and cut it back into the area where Garre met it first time rifling it past Ignacio Chicco with a crisp left-footed finish. Colón had Chicco to thank for them not being 3-0 down at the break thanks to two excellent saves, one from the head of Jhonatan Candia, the other, a fierce shot from Matías Cóccaro. Colón should have drawn level, were it not for an amazing goal-saving tackle from Jonathan Galván. Colón was awarded a penalty with 20 minutes to play, after Facundo Farías was brought down by Santiago Hezze. Farías would step up to take the spot-kick but despite his shuffling run-up shot a tame effort in a comfortable spot for Lucas Chaves to easily save. 

Patronato claimed their second win of the season to go behind Independiente by alphabetical order, thanks to a stunning 3-1 home victory over the Avellaneda outfit on Monday night. Facundo Sava’s charges got the perfect start thanks to a first-minute opener from Axel Rodríguez, a bullet header from just right of the penalty spot that few keepers could ever hope to save. Patronato were reduced to ten men after 15 minutes, Jorge Valdéz Chamorro badly misjudged a clearance and went studs up into the shin of Lucas Romero.

11 minutes later Patronato doubled their lead. The experienced Urugyuanan shot stopped Sebastian Sosa was caught in possession by Jonás Acevedo who dispossessed the keeper and slotted home.

Independiente had the ball in the net before the break, a cross into the box wasn’t dealt with and Captain Leandro Fernández gladly obliged in smashing the ball into the top corner, but fortunately for the hosts, Fernández had strayed fractionally offside when he collected the ball at the start of the attack. VAR wasn’t coming to save Patronato minutes later however as  Lucas Romero slotted home a fine one-time effort after another attack down the right flank. 

That would be as good as it would get for the visitors as less than ten minutes into the second half Axel Rodríguez put the game beyond doubt. Juan Insaurralde lost his footing on a cross in from the left, allowing Rodríguez the time and space he needed to finish past the on-rushing Sosa and claim the three points for his side. 

In the other games of the round, Platense and Sarmiento played out a goalless draw, whereas Defensa y Justicia and Velez, Banfield and Barracas Central, San Lorenzo and Tigre and the final matchup of the weekend Argentinos Jrs and Arsenal all ended in one-one ties. 

Fecha 6 fixtures (all times ARG = BST -3)

Friday 1st July

19:00 Central Cba (SdE) –  Argentinos

21:30 Boca Juniors – Banfield

Saturday 2nd July

15:30 Tigre – Talleres (C)

18:00 Godoy Cruz – Colon

18:00 Velez – Atl Tucuman

20:30 Gimnasia (LP) – Def y Justicia

Sunday 3rd July

13:00 Union – Lanus

15:30 Barracas Central – San Lorenzo

18:00 Sarmiento (J) – Racing Club

21:00 Huracan – River Plate

Monday 4th July

17:00 Arsenal – Estudiantes (LP)

19:00 Aldosivi – Rosario Central

19:00 Newells – Patronato

21:30 Independiente – Platense