Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Apertura 2011 Round 15 - Boca one step away

It's been long since one tournament in Argentina was so easily decided.
After some seasons of very closed finishes, including a final game that had to be played in 2006 and a 3 teams mini-tournament that decided Apertura 2008, this time Boca took such a big advantage over every other team that allowed them to draw the last 2 games and still have the certainty that this next weekend or the following one they will be celebrating the championship.

The key to their success is not a great offense, but a very tight defense that has conceded only 3 goals in 15 games (new record in Argentina for the first 15 rounds of a tournament).
Once they score, it's almost impossible to get back into the game, and if they decide to close a match not lose it like it happened in the boring 0-0 draw vs 2nd placed Racing this last weekend, they just do it.

Of course, all other teams helped them take this big difference above everybody else. Racing was supposed to be a contender and even though they are still undefeated they were only able to win 5 of 15 games and drew all others. Similar situation with Lanus, a team from what a lot more was expected but they could never find some regularity.

Promoted teams Atletico Rafaela and Belgrano are having a great semester, but they don't have what it takes to fight for a championship, plus some terrible disappointing performances by Independiente, San Lorenzo (struggling in the Averages table, currently in promotion zone), and Estudiantes, who everybody pointed as a big candidate to get the championship and not only they are in the last place, but their future doesn't look too bright either as their big club idol Juan Sebastian Veron is retiring this December when Apertura ends.

Four rounds left before the summer vacations, Boca has the chance to win the championship as soon as this next weekend, and this are the current standings :

Round 16 Schedule :

Friday November 25
21.15--Tigre-Atlético Rafaela

Saturday November 26

17.00--All Boys-Lanús
17.00--Olimpo de Bahía Blanca-San Martín de San Juan
19.10--Racing Club-Belgrano de Córdoba
21.10--Newell's Old Boys-San Lorenzo

Sunday November 27
17.00--Arsenal F.C.-Estudiantes de La Plata
17.00--Vélez Sarsfield-Colón de Santa Fe
19.10--Godoy Cruz Antonio Tomba-Boca Juniors
19.10--Banfield-Argentinos Juniors

Monday November 28
21.15--Unión de Santa Fe-Independiente