Thursday, June 30, 2011

24 hours to Copa America !


Hi, this post is only a reminder about the service I'm offering for Copa America.
A 9 pages preview team by team, plus early information for every game of the tournament is available.

Those interested, contact me at mncarg@gmail.com for price and service details.

As most of you probably know we're less than a month away from the most important football even of this winter/summer, Copa America, and it will be played here in Argentina.

The tournament starts on July 1st and will end on July 24th and will feature 12 national teams : the usual 10 of CONMEBOL + 2 invited guests from CONCACAF, Mexico and Costa Rica.

If you want to see the complete match schedule, check here : http://www.ca2011.com/jogos_todos.php

During July I will offer a service with the best information, analysis and prediction like I usually do for the Argentinean league, for the 26 games of the competition.
You won't get information any faster and better than this !

Monday, June 27, 2011

RIVER RELEGATED TO NACIONAL "B"



And the UNTHINKABLE and IMPOSSIBLE finally happened : River, for the first time in 100 years, was relegated and will play the 2011/2012 season in the Argentinean 2nd division, named Nacional B.
They scored an early goal, only 5 minutes into the game, and it looked like they were going to have the perfect afternoon but after missing some good chances in the 1st half they went back to normal in the 2nd : nervousness, mistakes, and the 1-1 came.
But to make this historic day more heartbreaking, striker Mariano Pavone missed a penalty with 15 minutes left !
When there were only 30 seconds left and they needed to score 2 more goals, something that was impossible, madness started : very violent riots that continued outside the stadium with huge fights between hooligans and police that ended with lots of injured fans.

What's next for River ?
Nobody knows. Nacional B is a VERY difficult tournament, and also long because there are no Apertura and Clausura, just a long 38 rounds tournament where the top 2 promote and the 3rd and 4th place play the promotion playoffs.
Very long trips (there are teams from all over the country) and in the last 4 seasons no away fans were allowed in the stadiums to prevent fights and riots.
Future is bleak for one of the biggest teams in the continent, and today was a historic day in Argentinean football.

On the other promotion playoff San Martin beat Gimnasia 1-0 and left the series totally opened for the 2nd leg that will be played @ Gimnasia next Thursday. With any win Gimnasia will stay in 1st division, and with a draw or a defeat they will be relegated after 25 years in 1st division.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Clausura 2011 - Promotion Playoffs



Argentinean football is living a historic moment with River, the most successful team in the league with 33 championships and one of the biggest teams in the continent, only 90 minutes away from getting relegated to 2nd division.

Over 100 years in 1st division (80 since professionalism started in 1931 + 20+ of amateurism) were in risk on Wednesday and once again this disoriented River team, coached by a guy that seems like he doesn't know what he's doing, didn't step up and lost 2-0 against a decent Belgrano team who did everything right.
Now River needs to win by 2 goals or more to stay in 1st division, and since they were only able to do it once this year (2-0 vs Huracan back in the 2nd round of Clausura), their future doesn't look promising at all.
To make things worst they will miss some experienced players and mood in the team is not good at all.

River fans this days are divided in two groups : some are dead depressed and feel like they are already relegated and some are crazy mad and just want to break everything no matter Sunday's result.
I have a couple of friends in the first group, and those in the second group (mostly the famous "barras bravas" (hooligans)) were part of some riots during the game (it was interrupted for 20 minutes) and also on Thursday afternoon trying to break into the stadium even though it was closed.

At some moment the game was going to be played behind closed doors, but it was finally decided to play it with fans in the stadium (probably to prevent even bigger disasters) and with 2500 policemen !!!

The 1st leg on Wednesday broke some ratings records on TV, and was by far the most watched game in Argentina this year, even more than the last Boca-River, and the 2nd leg on Sunday will have even bigger ratings for sure because there's no TV or radio show in this country that doesn't talk about what is happening with River.

How is this going to end ? Nobody knows, but the only thing for sure is that the whole country will be watching on Sunday a game that will be talked about for years by every football fan in Argentina.
Everybody expects River to become River again. The team that dominated so many years...will they finally step up or will Sunday be a historic day ?

Meanwhile, Gimnasia easily won the playoff against the poor Huracan who got relegated for the 4th time in 25 years.
Gimnasia will play the promotion playoffs for the 3rd year in a row, this time against Nacional B 3rd placed team, San Martin de San Juan. The 1st leg at San Juan will be played on Sunday, a few hours after River - Belgrano.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Clausura 2011 Round 19 - Amazing Finish



Saturday was an UNBELIEVABLE day in Argentinean football. Historic day, with 5 games played at the same time and scores and situations changing minute by minute.

And also historic, because for the first time ever River will play a promotion playoff and is in danger of relegating. This had been talked all season, but nobody imagined it would happen...and it finally did !

Olimpo's unlikely (and very lucky) win, combined with River's defeat put one of the biggest teams of this league (or the biggest depending who you ask) in a situation they've never been into.

On Wednesday (at 9pm) they will play the 1st leg, against Belgrano de Cordoba (4th placed team of Nacional B), a big team from the Cordoba province with many fans and good history in 1st division.
The promotion playoffs are played in 2 legs (2nd one will be on Sunday), with the first leg played at the 2nd division team's stadium.
If after both games the teams are tied in points and goal difference (both draws or both win by the same difference), each teams stays in their own division (there is NO away goal rule).

But if this wasn't dramatic enough, the relegation games had their own big drama as well.

Quilmes finally missed the miracle they were looking for and will play next season in 2nd division, and the unbelievable came in the other games.
Gimnasia was leading comfortably against Boca (first 2-0 and then 2-1 before HT) and was qualifying to the promotion playoffs, while Huracan was destroyed by Independiente with a terrible 5-1.
The game ended and Huracan fans and many players were literally crying because they were relegated, but in that same moment some miraculous news came : Boca scored the 2-2 in the last second of the game, and this put Gimnasia in a tie with Huracan so they will have to play a game in neutral ground (on Tuesday at 2.30pm at Boca stadium) where the loser will be relegated and the winner will play the promotion playoffs against San Martin de San Juan, a not so big team but also a tough one.

So, to resume :

* Quilmes is relegated to Nacional B

* River - Belgrano is one of the promotion playoffs, 1st leg at Belgrano on Wednesday at 9pm, 2nd leg at Buenos Aires on Sunday (KO time to be determined)

* Gimnasia and Huracan will play a game at Boca stadium (Wednesday at 2:30pm). If they are tied after 90 minutes there are 30 minutes of ET and then a penalties shootout if it's stil a draw.


Loser relegates, winner plays promotion playoffs against San Martin de San Juan (3rd placed team of Nacional B). 1st leg will be played next Sunday and 2nd leg on Thursday June 30 (just one day before Copa America starts)


Also Copa Sudamericana teams have been confirmed : Velez, Estudiantes, Godoy Cruz, Lanus, Arsenal, Argentinos Juniors and Independiente (winner of Copa Sudamericana 2010) will be the Argentinean teams in the cup that starts in August.

River ended in 5th place in the season table, but lost his place in Copa Sudamericana because by rule, if a team has to play the promotion playoffs, they can't qualify to an international tournament in the same season.
So...the final numbers of Clausura 2011 :

Round 19 results :

18/6 — Argentinos Juniors 1 – 1 Tigre
18/6 — Gimnasia y Esgrima de La Plata 2 – 2 Boca Juniors
18/6 — Independiente 5 – 1 Huracán
18/6 — Quilmes A.C. 0 – 1 Olimpo de Bahía Blanca
18/6 — River Plate 1 – 2 Lanús
18/6 — Godoy Cruz Antonio Tomba 1 - 0 All Boys
19/6 — Arsenal F.C. 1 - 0 Estudiantes de La Plata
19/6 — Newell’s Old Boys 1 - 0 Colón de Santa Fe
19/6 — Banfield 1 - 1 San Lorenzo
19/6 — Vélez Sarsfield 2 - 1 Racing Club

Playoffs / Promotion Playoffs Schedule :

22/6 - 2.30pm - Huracan - Gimnasia (at Boca stadium)
22/6 - 9.00pm - Belgrano de Cordoba - River Plate (1st leg)
26/6 - River Plate - Belgrano de Cordoba (2nd leg)
26/6 - San Martin de San Juan - Gimnasia/Huracan (1st leg)
30/6 - Gimnasia/Huracan - San Martin de San Juan (2nd leg)

FINAL Standings :




Averages Table (http://www.argentinapreviews.com/2010/05/how-are-relegations-decided.html) :



Copa Sudamerica 2011 table ( Top 6 qualify to Copa Sudamericana 2011 + Independiente because they are Sudamericana 2010 champion) :