Friday, March 30, 2012

Copa Argentina Round of 16 draw + Copa Libertadores Update



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The last 3 Round of 32 games of Copa Argentina were completed this week.
In the game between the weakest teams Primera B (3rd div) team Barracas Central beat Atletico Policial from Torneo Argentino B (4th div) 4-0.
Wednesday saw Argentinos Jrs advance after easily winning 2-0 against Aldosivi (Nacional B, 2nd div) and in Thursday game Rosario Central (Nacional B, 2nd div) eliminated Velez (using a reserves lineup) on a penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw.

With this results the Round of 16 draw is complete and will have the following schedule:

Wednesday April 11
Quilmes A.C.-River Plate (both Nacional B, 2nd division)
Tigre-Argentinos Juniors (both 1st division)

Thursday April 12
Atlético Tucumán-Atlético Rafaela (Nacional B vs 1st division)

Tuesday April 17
Barracas Central-San Lorenzo (Primera B, 3rd div vs 1st division)

Wednesday April 18

Deportivo Merlo-Sarmiento de Junín (Nacional B vs Primera B)
Racing Club-Sarmiento de Resistencia (1st division vs Torneo Argentino B, 4th division)

Wednesday April 25

Rosario Central-Belgrano de Córdoba (Nacional B vs 1st division)
Olimpo de Bahía Blanca-Boca Juniors (both 1st division)

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Only one game involved Argentinean teams in Copa Libertadores this week and it was Boca beating Arsenal 2-0 at home despite playing the whole 2nd half with 10 men.
Very important win for them as they are in 2nd position of the group and with huge chances of advancing to Round of 16.
Arsenal chances are almost gone because now they have to win both games (@ Venezuela vs Zamora and vs Fluminense at home) and hope that Boca doesn't win.

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Round 8 of Clausura starts tonight with Lanus hosting Belgrano.
This will be this weekend's schedule:


Friday March 30
19.30-- Lanús-Belgrano de Córdoba

Saturday March 31
16.00-- Olimpo de Bahía Blanca-Banfield
18.15-- Unión de Santa Fe-Godoy Cruz Antonio Tomba
20.15-- Tigre-Argentinos Juniors
20.30-- Independiente-Atlético Rafaela


Sunday April 1
15.00-- All Boys-Arsenal F.C.
15.00-- San Lorenzo-Vélez Sarsfield
17.15-- Newell's Old Boys-Racing Club
17.15-- San Martín de San Juan-Colón de Santa Fe
19.30-- Estudiantes de La Plata-Boca Juniors

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Clausura 2012 - Round 7 - ...and only one remains unbeaten



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Round 7 has ended and only 1 team remains unbeaten: the only leader of Clausura, Estudiantes.

Godoy Cruz 1 - Olimpo 1

It was really a shame that Godoy Cruz - Olimpo didn't have more goals because it was a great and very entertaining game with big chances missed by both sides.
With nothing to lose and really needed of the 3 points, Olimpo played a very offensive game (there was a last minute change and they used 3 strikers) and if it wasn't for a couple of bad decisions they could have taken the win. The same can be said of Godoy Cruz, who hit the post in the 2nd half and had at least 3 or 4 clear chances to score that had wrong finishes.
In the end the draw was a fair result because if it had gone either way it would have been fair as well.


Velez 0 - Newell's 1

Not that big surprise (at least for me) in the final game of the round. Newell's played even better than I expected and had all the best scoring positions of the game but as usual their lack of a good offense made them finish all of them with the wrong choice.
As minutes passed Velez was looking more and more tired and in the last minute of the game, when it looked like the draw was a result that was leaving both of them happy, the visitors scored on a cross off a corner kick to get 3 points that put them only 2 behind the leader Estudiantes, who is now the only undefeated team of Clausura.
Well done by Newell's and coach Gerardo Martino who is doing a great job so far with a team that looked dead a couple of months ago and had won only 1 game in whole Apertura.

We will have the last 3 Copa Argentina Round of 32 games this week and the competition should start getting more interesting from the next round.

Tuesday March 27
22.05--Atlético Policial-Barracas Central (Torneo Argentino B vs Primera B, what means 4th tier vs 3rd tier)

Wednesday March 28
22.05-- Aldosivi-Argentinos Juniors (Nacional B (2nd div) vs 1st division)

Thursday March 29
22.05-- Vélez Sarsfield-Rosario Central (1st division vs Nacional B (2nd div))


Round 8 of Clausura will start next Friday and will have a schedule with most games during Saturday and Sunday because Monday is holiday in Argentina (memorial day for the Falkland Islands war).
The outstanding game of the round is the leader Estudiantes hosting Boca.


Friday March 30
21.30-- Lanús-Belgrano de Córdoba

Saturday March 31
16.00-- Olimpo de Bahía Blanca-Banfield
18.15-- Unión de Santa Fe-Godoy Cruz Antonio Tomba
20.30-- Tigre-Argentinos Juniors
20.30-- Independiente-Atlético Rafaela


Sunday April 1
15.00-- All Boys-Arsenal F.C.
15.00-- San Lorenzo-Vélez Sarsfield
17.15-- Newell's Old Boys-Racing Club
17.15-- San Martín de San Juan-Colón de Santa Fe
19.30-- Estudiantes de La Plata-Boca Juniors

Standings:



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


Monday, March 26, 2012

Clausura 2012 - Round 7 - Estudiantes is the new leader


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Four games on Sunday to continue Round 7 of Clausura...

Argentinos Jrs 1 - Estudiantes 2

The day started with the game between Argentinos and Estudiantes, a very balanced match where a draw would have been the most fair result.
A very silly penalty after only 2 minutes played gave the visitors the lead, but Argentinos came back to get the deserved equalizer before half time.
The 2nd half was as balanced as it could be. Not much happened as the game was played under very heavy rain when Estudiantes scored the 1-2 and a few minutes later received a red card. It was all Argentinos after that but they missed some great opportunities to get the 2-2 and ended the match with empty hands.
Estudiantes is the new leader of Clausura due to Tigre's defeat (Velez can share the lead if they win today), they didn't lose in the last 12 games and I will repeat what I've been saying the last few weeks: if without their best players they can still win even though they don't play well, then soon they could become the main candidate to win the championship.


Colon 3 - Independiente 0

Back to reality for Independiente ?
They were playing better than Colon who was looking like the usual scared team they are when playing at home, but this time they were lucky that Independiente couldn't score in two big chances and when it looked like the 1st half was going to end scoreless, a very good counter attack gave the host the 1-0 lead.
After that Independiente simply collapsed under some very heavy rain that started at halftime. Early in the 2nd half Colon got the 2nd through a long shot that was deflected on a Independiente defender and the 3rd goal came quickly after that to finished the visitors who showed no reaction after the 1-0.


Tigre 1 - Arsenal 0

Tigre lost the lead of Clausura, they are no longer undefeated and the most important thing, they lost a huge chance to reach San Lorenzo in the Averages table.
Both were too careful until a red card on a Tigre defender changed the game as they became more cautious. Not much was happening when Arsenal scored the 1-0 and with nothing to lose Tigre went all in attack to get the draw, but Arsenal was overall closer to get the 2-0 on counter attacks than the visitors to get the equalizer.
Third consecutive 1-0 win for Arsenal, and a big missed opportunity for Tigre who is now back in direct relegation zone.


Boca 2 - Lanus 2

Last game of the day was an entertaining 2-2 draw between Boca and Lanus. Boca tried to be careful knowing that Lanus's counter attacks were pretty dangerous and when the 1st half was slowing down and fading into a scoreless match, madness happened and 3 goals were scored in only 4-5 minutes.
Lanus started the 2nd half much more focused and when after 10 minutes they scored the 2-2 it was absolutely deserved. A red card for the hosts came a few minutes later and that was basically when the game finished because Lanus went forward but looking scared of losing against 10 Boca men, and Boca didn't risk much because a draw was not that bad for them.

Round 7 will end today with two matches, including Velez's chances of reaching Estudiantes at the top of Clausura.

Monday schedule (times in GMT-3):

19.10-- Godoy Cruz Antonio Tomba-Olimpo de Bahía Blanca
21.15-- Vélez Sarsfield-Newell's Old Boys

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Free Preview !!! Colon - Independiente today !!!



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The game is the match between Colon and Independiente that kicks off at 21.15 GMT, my bet is Independiente DNB @ 2.05+



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UPDATE: Independiente played better in the first half but once they conceded right before halftime, they completely collapsed and ended losing 0-3.
Bad luck this week for the free preview, come back next week for a new one!

Clausura 2012 - Round 7 - Relegation battle shakes up



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Three matches, all important for the relegation battle, that included some funny facts continued round 7 on Saturday:

Atletico Rafaela 2 - San Lorenzo 1

The day started with an extremely important win for Rafaela, and a sad and terrible defeat for San Lorenzo.
The visitors scored after only 5 minutes and they looked in control of the game, but after a very clear penalty not given Rafaela started to play better and before half time scored a deserved equalizer with a header off a corner.
The 2nd half was pretty much the same: poor football and two teams very very nervous and scared to lose it, and when both looked happy with the draw and there were only 4 minutes left, a goal kick ended on the other side of the field (Rafaela's pitch is one of the smallest in 1st division), San Lorenzo's defenders let the ball bounce twice and midfielder Carrera touched it to send to the end of the net and get the 3 points.
Rafaela is still in a promotion playoff place and San Lorenzo too, but if Tigre wins today they will be both tied in the 19th place of the Averages table.
Very sad moment for San Lorenzo as the future looks as bleak as ever and next week they have to play at home against Velez.


Racing 0 - Union 3

Racing's record of strange things is too long to mention. Today it was a goal conceded after only 9 seconds played, almost a record for Argentine football, and the funnies thing is that it was an own goal !
They were too nervous after this and on the other side Union used that to play a perfect game. They scored the 0-2 20 minutes later, and the 0-3 to finish the game very early in the 2nd half.
Fun Fact of the game: both teams missed a penalty, but actually there were 4 penalties missed. How is this?
Well, the referee made each team shoot their penalty twice, and both times the same happened: the first chance was saved by the goalkeeper, and the 2nd one they sent it far from the goal !!!!


Belgrano 1 - San Martin de San Juan 1

The last game of the day was bound to be a 0-0 despite Belgrano's effort as they had the best chances to win it. San Martin couldn't make a difference even though they played against 10 Belgrano players the whole 2nd half... until the referee, who had been making disasters all night, finished his ridiculous performance giving a penalty to each team in stoppage time for a 1-1 final score that didn't help any of them, but it's probably worst for San Martin because Union and Rafaela won.

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Round 7 continues today with 4 matches that involve teams fighting for the championship and Tigre's great chance of finally reaching San Lorenzo in the Averages table when they started the season with 17 points less....and stay tuned for Sunday's free preview coming later today !!!!!!!!

Sunday's schedule (all times GMT-3):

16.00-- Argentinos Juniors-Estudiantes de La Plata
18.15-- Colón de Santa Fe-Independiente
19.10-- Arsenal F.C.-Tigre
20.30-- Boca Juniors-Lanús

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Clausura 2012 - Round 7 - Where are my 2 hours ?



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Banfield 0 - All Boys 0

I can't think of a worst game than the 0-0 draw between Banfield and All Boys that opened Round 7.
The good news is that there's no way there can be a worst game thank this one so the remaining 9 games of this round will be better !
Both had a couple of chances to score, but if I have to say who deserved to win it I would say that both deserved to lose it for playing such an awful game.
Two hours of my life that are not coming back...

Round 7 will continue today with 3 matches, all of them key for the Averages table race, especially San Lorenzo visit to Atletico Rafaela.

This is today's schedule (all times GMT-3):

Saturday March 24
18.15-- Atlético Rafaela-San Lorenzo
20.30-- Belgrano de Córdoba-San Martín de San Juan
20.30-- Racing Club-Unión de Santa Fe

Friday, March 23, 2012

Copa Libertadores/Argentina Recap + Clausura Round 7 Schedule




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It was a good week for Argentinean teams in Copa Libertadores.
Lanus won a key match at Ecuador 2-0 vs Emelec and their situation in Group 2 is much better as they lead it with 7 points, followed by Flamengo (Brazil) with 5, Olimpia (Paraguay) with 4 and Emelec closes with only 3.
Flamengo and Olimpia have one game less played so the group is still pretty open and will be decided in the last 2 rounds.

Velez put one foot on the Round of 16 with their 3rd win in 4 matches. It was a 1-0 vs Deportivo Quito (Ecuador) with a goal in the 88th minute but it should have been at least a 2 or 3 goals win.
They now lead Group 7 with 9 points, followed by Dep. Quito and Chivas (Mexico) with 4 points and Defensor Sporting (Uruguay) with 3.
The Mexicanos and Uruguayans will meet next week to complete round 4, but unless something really strange happens Velez will advance.

The last team to play this week was Godoy Cruz, who drew 2-2 a very difficult game at Colombia vs Atletico Nacional.
The Colombians are still leaders of Group 8 with 8 points, followed by Godoy Cruz with 5, Universidad de Chile with 4 and Peñarol (Uruguay) has only 1.
Universidad and Peñarol will play next week and if the Chileans win, Godoy Cruz will be in some trouble.

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Copa Argentina was also played this week.
First division teams Racing, Tigre and Olimpo advanced to the Round of 16 as also did 2nd division's Quilmes, and the only humiliation was for Arsenal, who was eliminated by Sarmiento de Resistencia from Torneo Argentino B (4th tier!) in a match that ended 2-1.
Next week the last 3 Round of 32 matches will be played and then things will start getting more interesting.

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Round 7 of Clausura starts tonight with only 1 match, Banfield hosting All Boys, but will also feature some very interesting relegation battle matches like Atletico Rafaela - San Lorenzo and the leader Tigre visiting Arsenal.
Also Boca will play at home vs Lanus before their key Copa Libertadores match next week and Velez against the uprising Newell's on Monday.

Round 7 schedule :

Friday March 23
21.30-- Banfield-All Boys

Saturday March 24
18.15-- Atlético Rafaela-San Lorenzo
20.30-- Belgrano de Córdoba-San Martín de San Juan
20.30-- Racing Club-Unión de Santa Fe


Sunday March 25
16.00-- Argentinos Juniors-Estudiantes de La Plata
18.15-- Colón de Santa Fe-Independiente
19.10-- Arsenal F.C.-Tigre
20.30-- Boca Juniors-Lanús

Monday March 26
19.10-- Godoy Cruz Antonio Tomba-Olimpo de Bahía Blanca
21.15-- Vélez Sarsfield-Newell's Old Boys

Monday, March 19, 2012

Clausura 2012 - Round 6 - Laws of the Game



Four games completed Round 6 of Clausura 2012 on Sunday:

San Lorenzo 1 - Colon 1

As some of you probably know, I'm a San Lorenzo fan so don't expect an objective comment from me when only a few hours ago I witnessed an unbelievable thing like it is a referee that doesn't know the laws of the game, but it's even worst to have one stubborn enough to not recognize such a big mistake. His name is Diego Abal.
Colon played with 10 men since early in the game and basically never shot at goal in the whole match. San Lorenzo was not a lot better but at least they were moving the ball around, trying to find some open spaces so it was not surprise when they scored the 1-0 before halftime through a long shot that had a lucky bounce on a Colon defender.
The 2nd half wasn't much different. San Lorenzo couldn't find a way to score the 2nd goal and Colon looked resigned that there was no way back....until with 25 minutes left "The Play" happened.
It's a little bit difficult to explain, so here's a video:



The Colon player that sends the cross is obviously offside, and the laws of the game clearly said that this is an offside because the San Lorenzo player just bounced the ball, so the assistant referee raised his flag and all the players just thought the play was over. But the referee had a different idea and decided to give the goal obviously not knowing the offside rule.
After that San Lorenzo was obviously too nervous and they barely had any chances to win it. The day ended with some riots by fans that wanted to reach the referee locker room (I don't think they just wanted to ask him what happened), police overreaction, chaos, tear gas, people hurt and a high chance that San Lorenzo will play a couple of games behind locked doors due to this incidents.
Here you have another video with an extended version of the "goal":



Newell's 1 - Atletico Rafaela 0

Good win by Newell's that was much better than Atletico Rafaela who with this defeat falls in a direct relegation place, moving Tigre up to the promotion playoffs zone.
Once again their lack of a good scorer made them suffer until the last minutes but it should have been a 2-3 goals difference match without a doubt.
The new Rafaela coach will have a lot of hard work to give some confidence to this team who has lost 4 matches in a row.


San Martin de San Juan 0 - Boca 1

Fair win for Boca because even if it was by only one late goal, they were always better than San Martin and for the first time in the last weeks they were solid in defense as well.
In silence and after the unexpected 4-5 defeat in the derby they are now only 1 point behind the leader Tigre and they can rest this week so...lookout for Boca because they are obviously not dead at all.


Arsenal 1 - Banfield 0

As Newell's, Arsenal also had a fair win that should have been by a bigger difference.
An early goal made things easier for them and twice the posts in the 2nd half saved Banfield from a bigger defeat.
I wonder if new Banfield coach Eduardo Acevedo is already sorry about accepting this job because this team looks completely dead.

We'll have some Copa Argentina Round of 32 games this week:

Tuesday March 20
Atlético Tucumán-Sportivo Italiano
Tigre-Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata

Wednesday March 21
Racing-Patronato de Paraná
Sarmiento de Chaco-Arsenal F.C.

Thursday March 22
Olimpo de Bahía Blanca-Excursionistas


Round 7 starts next Friday and will feature some interesting matches like the extremely important Atletico Rafaela - San Lorenzo match, the leader Tigre visiting Arsenal and Velez hosting the uprising Newell's.

Friday March 23
21.30-- Banfield-All Boys

Saturday March 24
18.15-- Atlético Rafaela-San Lorenzo
20.30-- Belgrano de Córdoba-San Martín de San Juan
20.30-- Racing Club-Unión de Santa Fe

Sunday March 25
16.00-- Argentinos Juniors-Estudiantes de La Plata
16.00-- Arsenal F.C.-Tigre
18.15-- Boca Juniors-Lanús
20.30-- Colón de Santa Fe-Independiente

Monday March 26
19.10-- Godoy Cruz Antonio Tomba-Olimpo de Bahía Blanca
21.15-- Vélez Sarsfield-Newell's Old Boys
Standings:


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

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Free Preview !!! Newell's - Atletico Rafaela today !!!



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UPDATE: Newell's 1 - Atletico Rafaela 0.
Absolutely deserved win for Newell's, hope you were able to catch a good bet on them !

Clausura 2012 - Round 6 - Avellaneda night



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...and stay tuned for Sunday's free preview coming in a few hours !!!


Nice football day to compensate the very little we had seen on Friday, and also really good in terms of expected results and the recommended bets (well, you would only know that if you are a customer of Argentina Previews :) )


Union 3 - Velez 3

The best of the day was without a doubt the 3-3 draw between Union and Velez.
Union played their best game in a very long time and during most of the game they dominated Velez. They scored the 1-0 but Velez is a team you can't give even the smallest advantage because they are extremely smart, and when the hosts relaxed a little bit they scored twice to get a 1-2 lead at halftime.
The 2nd half started with Velez scoring the 1-3 after some amazing passing and it looked like it was game over for Union, but like 2 weeks ago in the derby vs Colon, they didn't give up and got a 3-3 draw that was absolutely deserved. Neither of them was happy with the draw and both had chances to win it in the end but overall the 3-3 tie was a fair score.


Tigre 1 - Estudiantes 1

Another fair draw was the 1-1 tie in Tigre-Estudiantes. Tigre couldn't play their usual good football and I'm tempted to say this was probably Estudiantes's best game so far in Clausura.
They scored an early goal but a few minutes later Tigre got the equalizer through a penalty kick (bad called in my opinion). The rest of the game showed Estudiantes playing better but Tigre dangerous on counter attacks. As minutes passed both looked happy with the draw and that was how the game ended.
Thanks to Velez not winning, Tigre will remain as the only leader after round 6 despite Sunday results and also at the same time they will stay in a direct relegation place.


Olimpo 0 - Racing 3

Once again (like a few weeks ago vs Godoy Cruz) Racing found themselves very early in the game playing with one more men on the field, and also once again, they could barely take advantage of it.
Olimpo played a fairly good 1st half even with 10 men so it was no surprise that after a very boring 1st half the game was scoreless. The 2nd half was not much different but everything changed when a long pass ended in an own goal for the 0-1. That goal opened the game and Racing didn't have much problems to score two more for their 2nd consecutive win.
The 3 goals difference was probably too much because Olimpo didn't play that bad, but it seems their fate looks more sealed every week and it would be a big surprise if they aren't relegated at the end of the season.
The recommended OVER 2 came thanks to a little luck, but a win is a win :)

Independiente 2 - Belgrano 0

The other Avellaneda team also got the 2nd consecutive win in a very boring match.
Independiente always wanted a little more but it wasn't until the 75th minute that Ernesto Farias, scorer of the hat trick last week vs Boca, headed the ball coming off a free kick for the 1-0.
Belgrano, with very important missings in defense, had no reaction and conceded again a few minutes later.
Another nice bet won here if you took the -0.25 that was available @ 1.90+ during the morning.


Round 6 finishes today with 4 matches (all KO times in GMT-3):

Sunday March 18
16.00--San Lorenzo-Colón de Santa Fe
18.15--Newell's Old Boys-Atlético Rafaela
18.15--San Martín de San Juan-Boca Juniors
20.30--Arsenal F.C.-Banfield

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Clausura 2012 - Round 6 - Lanus loses 4 in a row



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Round 6 of Clausura 2012 kicked off today with 2 pretty much uninteresting matches as neither of them showed anything worth remembering.

Lanus 0 - Argentinos Juniors 1

Lanus - Argentinos was headed to a 0-0. Each team dominated (not really creating any big scoring positions) a few minutes in the 1st half and not much was happening either in the 2nd part when Argentinos goal came off a corner kick. The host used a lineup with even more reserves than expected and they did very little to deserve the draw so Argentinos's win can be considered a fair result.
4th consecutive defeat for Lanus in Clausura, something that didn't happen to them since 2010 and back then they changed coach after it.
What will happen if they lose next Tuesday for Copa Libertadores ?


All Boys 1 - Godoy Cruz 1

After a very boring 1st half All Boys scored a very early goal but instead of taking control of the game they just went played defense and tried to play on counter attacks.
Godoy Cruz had done very little until then but they took the opportunity, started playing better and got a very deserved equalizer.
Fair draw overall because neither did enough to deserve the 3 points.

Round 6 continues today with 4 matches including the leader Tigre in a match between two undefeated teams playing each other.

This is today's schedule (KO times in GMT-3):

Saturday March 17
16.00--Tigre-Estudiantes de La Plata
16.00--Unión de Santa Fe-Vélez Sarsfield
20.30--Independiente-Belgrano de Córdoba
20.30--Olimpo de Bahía Blanca-Racing Club

Friday, March 16, 2012

Clausura 2012 - Round 6 Kicks off today !



Round 6 of Clausura 2012 kicks off today with Lanus - Argentinos Jrs and All Boys - Godoy Cruz.

Highlight of the round if the game between two still undefeated teams, Tigre-Estudiantes
Enlace
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This is the round 6 schedule:

Friday March 16
19.10--Lanús-Argentinos Juniors
21.30--All Boys-Godoy Cruz Antonio Tomba


Saturday March 17
16.00--Tigre-Estudiantes de La Plata
16.00--Unión de Santa Fe-Vélez Sarsfield
20.30--Independiente-Belgrano de Córdoba
20.30--Olimpo de Bahía Blanca-Racing Club


Sunday March 18
16.00--San Lorenzo-Colón de Santa Fe
18.15--Newell's Old Boys-Atlético Rafaela
18.15--San Martín de San Juan-Boca Juniors
20.30--Arsenal F.C.-Banfield

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Copa Argentina + Copa Libertadores / Giants Killers !


We are only 24 hours away from the start of Round 6 of Clausura 2012.
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Only 1 of the 3 first division teams that played so far this week in Copa Argentina survived.
It was San Lorenzo, who drew 1-1 vs 2nd division side Chacarita and then won 3-1 on penalties.

On Tuesday, Estudiantes was eliminated on the penalties shootout after a 0-0 against Deportivo Merlo (2nd division) while Colon suffered an humilliation losing 0-1 against Sarmiento de Junin, one of the teams fighting in the top places of Primera B Metropolitana, one of Argentina's 3rd tier leagues.

San Lorenzo, Deportivo Merlo and Sarmiento join Boca, River, and Belgrano as the teams already qualified to the Round of 16.
This week's Copa Argentina schedule includes two more games tomorrow: Atletico Rafaela - Banfield, and a two Nacional B (2nd division) teams game, Atlanta - Quilmes.

Meanwhile in Copa Libertadores...

Lanus 1 - Emelec (Ecuador) 0

Lanus got the win they needed to stay alive in Copa Libertadores and even though the difference was only one goal, they made Emelec’s goalkeeper the man of the match because it was him who prevented the host from winning by more goals.
The early red card in the 1st half sure helped Lanus who finally ended a 4th consecutive defeats streak.
Flamengo (Brazil) and Lanus lead Group 2 with 4 points while Olimpia (Paraguay) and Emelec (Ecuador) have 3, but the Brazilians and Paraguayans still have to play their 3rd round game tonight.

Arsenal 1 - Boca 2

For the 3rd game in a row Boca conceded before the 10th minute, but this time they were able to turn around the result and take the 3 points they really needed.
But once again, they didn’t play a good game. Arsenal took an early lead through an own goal and when they looked closer to the 2nd one they conceded the 1-1.
The 2nd half was more balanced but again it was Arsenal who looked more in control, but a counter attack and a defensive distraction gave Boca the win.

After 3 rounds Fluminense is the comfortable leader of Group 4 with 9 points, Boca is now in 2nd place with 4 points, Arsenal has 3 and Zamora (Venezuela) 1.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Clausura 2012 - Round 5 - Standings + more


Velez 1 - Olimpo 0

The round ended with Velez winning 1-0 with a lucky goal (Ivan Bella tried to send a cross but it went over the keeper and inside the goal) but there were no doubts that they deserved it.
The first half should have been at least 2-0 for the hosts but they even missed a (bad called) penalty. When it looked like they couldn't find a way to score, the 1-0 came and after that they kept missing opportunities to get a better lead.
Olimpo gets into even deeper trouble because San Lorenzo, Tigre and Union won this weekend so their chances to avoid relegation are smaller now.

News from around the league:

* Atletico Rafaela's coach Carlos Trullet resigned after losing the 3rd straight game. He was almost 3 years in the club and was the coach that promoted them to 1st division, but he became the 5th coach to lose his job after only 5 rounds !! They already have a replacement: Ruben Dario Forestello, an ex Rafaela striker who was working with Santamarina de Tandil, the 3rd division team that almost eliminates Boca from Copa Argentina a month ago (1-1 and Boca advanced on penalties).

* Independiente still doesn't have a "main" coach. The club board met again with the main (and only?) candidate, Americo Gallego, but they still have to negotiate how they are going to pay him the big debt they have from the last time he worked for them. Negotiations continue and they should reach an agreement soon.

* Once again AFA is analyzing how to change the championship system so you might read something about this if you check our local newspapers. The new idea is so weird that I don't even want to waste time trying to understand it until all the clubs approve it and it is confirmed.

We have a few Copa Argentina Round of 32 games this week and expect all teams playing with reserves and mixed lineups (all times GMT-3):

Tuesday March 13
18.00-- Sarmiento de Junín-Colón de Santa Fe
21.10-- Estudiantes de La Plata-Deportivo Merlo

Wednesday March 14
21.10-- Chacarita Juniors-San Lorenzo

Thursday March 15
18.00-- Atlanta-Quilmes
21.10-- Atlético Rafaela-Banfield


Round 6 starts next Friday as usual and will have earlier games because we are supposed to start Autumn soon (even though this weekend we have 32-35 degrees days).
The game that stands out is the leader Tigre at home vs Estudiantes.

Friday March 16
19.10--Lanús-Argentinos Juniors
21.30--All Boys-Godoy Cruz Antonio Tomba


Sunday March 17
16.00--Tigre-Estudiantes de La Plata
16.00--Unión de Santa Fe-Vélez Sarsfield
20.30--Independiente-Belgrano de Córdoba
20.30--Olimpo de Bahía Blanca-Racing Club


Sunday March 18
16.00--San Lorenzo-Colón de Santa Fe
16.00--Newell's Old Boys-Atlético Rafaela
18.15--San Martín de San Juan-Boca Juniors
20.30--Arsenal F.C.-Banfield

Monday, March 12, 2012

Clausura 2012 - Round 5 - A derby for the ages



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Round 5 continued today with an unbelievable derby and 3 other intense matches.

Boca 4 - Independiente 5

How do I start writing about a derby that ended 4-5 with 2 goals in stoppage time ?
The title of this report should be "A derby for the ages" because it's a game everyone here will not forget in a very long time.
The match started with a huge surprise, Independiente scoring after only 30 seconds and after 7 minutes for an unexpected 2 goals lead before anybody could understand what was happening.
Boca took control of the ball and got the 1-2, but when they started to feel comfortable in the game more bad defending came and the visitors took 1-3. Honestly, there was always a feeling in the air that Boca was not losing this game. They were playing well, Riquelme in high level, so it was no surprise when they scored the 2-3 before halftime and the 3-3 only 6 minutes into the 2nd half.
What everybody expected happened 25 minutes later: Boca scored the 4-3 and fans started celebrating even though there were only 15 minutes left.
The 5-3 seemed to be a matter of time, but it never came...and when everybody watching the game was waiting for the final whistle Independiente once again scored thanks to Boca's lack of defense on air balls off free kicks (they conceded 3 this way this week including 1 goal vs Fluminense).
Ok, epic draw, this will end 4-4....no way !!
5 minutes added and in the 93rd Boca's striker Santiago Silva, who still has to score a goal for his new team missed a huge chance 2 meters from the goal line and 1 minute later a long ball and a failed attempt to throw the ball away by veteran defender Rolando Schiavi ended with Ernesto "Tecla" Farias (who until today didn't have a goal for Independiente after 4 matches played) completed his hat-trick with a Messi-style finish.
Boca's 33 games undefeated league games run ended curiously against the same rival that 14 years ago finished a 40 games undefeated streak when Boca was an unstoppable force (that game at Independiente finished 4-0). The team that conceded only 6 goals in 19 Apertura games, now conceded 7 in 5 dias, and in 72 hours they have a must win game for Copa Libertadores vs Arsenal.


Banfield 0 - Tigre 2

Clausura has only one leader and it is Tigre, who won their 4th game in a row to stay only 3 points behind San Lorenzo in direct relegation.
For those wondering about this funny situation (leader and relegating at the same time), if they finish Clausura like this they are champions and they automatically avoid relegation.
The 2 goals came very late in the game but it was a fair win because they were always better than Banfield, looked always closer to take the 3 points.
Next week they will meet another undefeated team, Estudiantes.


Godoy Cruz 0 - Arsenal 1

Arsenal had a little luck to finally win their first game of the semester.
The game had one half for each team. Arsenal scored a very early goal through a long shot and had at least 3 or 4 very good chances to score a 2nd one. The 2nd half, when Godoy Cruz was expected to be much more tired due to the midweek Copa Libertadores game, they started playing better and had a couple of great scoring positions but missed them. A draw would have been a fair result, but Arsenal took their first win of Clausura.


Atletico Rafaela 0 - Union 2

Union finally won after 8 matches and it was in a "final" of the Averages table and they left the promotion playoffs zone sending Rafaela and their 3 consecutive defeats into it.
It was an intense game full of nervousness due to the high importance it had, and it was Union who made best use of their scoring chances to get the 3 points after a long time while Rafaela gets into trouble after a great start of the season.


Round 5 will end today with Velez hosting Olimpo at 21.15 (GMT-3)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Free Preview !!! Boca - Independiente today !!!



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UPDATE: Unfortunately the bet was lost thanks to 2 goals in stoppage time to give Independiente an epic 5-4 win when the game looked finished at 4-3 in the 90th minute.

Clausura 2012 - Round 5 - Light at the end of the tunnel for San Lorenzo ?



Stay tuned for the free preview coming later today !!!


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Belgrano 1 - San Lorenzo 2

It's impossible to measure how important is this win for San Lorenzo, not only because of the points involved (All Boys lost, San Martin drew and Union and Rafaela play each other) but more in terms of confidence.
It's been loooong since San Lorenzo came back from a 0-1 but the best thing is that it was completely deserved.
Belgrano scored the 1-0 thanks to a defensive mistake and then just relaxed too much. San Lorenzo absolutely dominated from there and before HT already deserved to get the draw but when it didn't happen it looked like it was another bad night coming. The 2nd half started the same way with San Lorenzo playing much better than a disoriented Belgrano and when two goals came in 5 minutes (the 2nd one was a very clear penalty) they had no reaction either.
It could have been a 1-3 if San Lorenzo wasn't nervous or a 2-2 in the end if Belgrano had scored on their only real chance of the 2nd half, but after all it was a completely fair away win lead by playmaker Leandro Romagnoli playing his best game in at least the last 2-3 years.


Racing 3 - All Boys 0

And Racing woke up one day...funny enough that it was without their (supposed) best player on the field, playmaker Gio Moreno.
After a normal balanced start of the game, Racing scored twice through long shots and the obvious happened: All Boys, who until then had no goals conceded, had absolutely no way of coming back from a 0-2. Not much happened in the 2nd half, only a red card for the visitors and Racing's midfielder Lucas Castro completing his hat trick with another beautiful goal after 26 passes without All Boys touching the ball.
Is this the real Racing we will see from now on ?


Argentinos Jrs 1 - San Martin 1

The other game was the draw between Argentinos and San Martin in a pretty entertaining game, especially in the last 15 minutes when Argentinos goalkeeper was sent off and his team had no substitutions left. Striker JJ Morales took his place and didn't have much work because the visitors almost didn't shot at goal.
Overall a fair result despite Argentinos playing a little better and maybe deserving the 3 points.

Round 5 continues today with 4 matches, including the Boca - Independiente derby (all times GMT-3)

17.00-- Godoy Cruz Antonio Tomba-Arsenal F.C.
17.00-- Banfield-Tigre
19.10-- Atlético Rafaela-Unión de Santa Fe
19.10-- Boca Juniors-Independiente



Saturday, March 10, 2012

Clausura 2012 - Round 5 - And we have a new leader...



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Estudiantes 1 - Lanus 0

We have a new leader of Clausura (at least for today) and it's this strange Estudiantes. Once again they showed very little football, even Lanus dominated during a part of the game and had a couple of great chances to score, but Estudiantes made good use of one of the few they had and scored the winning goal with 25 minutes left.
If it was a 0-0 or 1-1 nobody could say that it wasn't fair but it was the La Plata team again who took the 3 points and the 3rd win in a row for their 11th undefeated game (10 in the league +1 in Copa Argentina).
Lanus picked up their 3rd defeat in a row (4th including Copa Libertadores) and if they don't win next Tuesday at home vs Emelec we might start having the usual coach change rumors.

Colon 0 - Newell's 3

Newell's showed a much better face against Colon's usual home games disaster.
It was always Newell's who looked more dangerous in attack and if it wasn't for their normal lack of offensive skills they could have taken the lead earlier than the 45'+1 goal they scored.
Colon could have scored the 1-1 in a couple of good positions they had but Newell's goalkeeper Sebastian Peratta was in a very solid day and when the hosts got a red card in the middle of the 2nd half their chances to score were pretty much gone. A 2nd red card came a few minutes later and 2 Newell's goals in stoppage time to secure an important win for them, and another angry fans goodbye for the always irregular Colon.


Round 5 continues today with 3 matches (GMT-3):

17.00-- Argentinos Juniors-San Martín de San Juan
19.10-- Racing Club-All Boys
21.30-- Belgrano de Córdoba-San Lorenzo

Friday, March 9, 2012

Clausura 2012 - Round 5 Schedule


After a very entertaining Copa Libertadores week that ended with the great 4-4 between Godoy Cruz and Atletico Nacional Round 5 will start today.

Two interesting matches, Colon - Newell's and Estudiantes - Lanus will open the round that will feature a derby, Boca - Independiente, and some very important relegation battle matches like Belgrano - San Lorenzo and Union - Atletico Rafaela.

If you want to get deep information previews + tips for these and every game of Clausura, send me an email to mncarg@gmail.com and I will send you the service details, fees, and some samples.

This is the Round 5 complete schedule (all times GMT-3):

Friday March 9
17.00--Colón de Santa Fe-Newell's Old Boys
21.30-- Estudiantes de La Plata-Lanús

Saturday March 10
17.00-- Argentinos Juniors-San Martín de San Juan
19.10-- Racing Club-All Boys
21.30-- Belgrano de Córdoba-San Lorenzo


Sunday March 11
17.00-- Godoy Cruz Antonio Tomba-Arsenal F.C.
17.00-- Banfield-Tigre
19.10-- Atlético Rafaela-Unión de Santa Fe
19.10-- Boca Juniors-Independiente


Monday March 12
21.15-- Vélez Sarsfield-Olimpo de Bahía Blanca

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Copa Libertadores / Boca 1 - Fluminense 2 - The end of the undefeated streak



Boca 1 - Fluminense (Brazil) 2

It had to end one day, and it happened last night.

Boca’s undefeated streak ended in 36 games probable because this was the best team they’ve faced since that run started. Still Boca was the best team on the field, and despite some slow moments they definitely didn’t deserve to lose but poor defending killed them and put their chances of qualifying on hold because they have only 1 point after 2 games.

When Boca scored the very early 1-1 in the 2nd half it looked like they were taking control and winning the game, but a fast counter attack gave Fluminense the 1-2 and they were able to hold to it.

Anyway, they now have another streak still running: 33 in the local league, not a bad number at all.

Deportivo Quito (Ecuador) 3 - Velez 0

The other game of the night in Copa Libertadores involving Argentinian teams also ended in an unexpected defeat.

Strange game and result. Velez played better in the 1st half and had enough chances to get the lead, they made the game slow paced so the altitude didn’t affect them much.

But a bad called penalty in last minute of stoppage time changed the game. To make it worst they defended bad on a free kick and in the 3rd minute of the 2nd half the game was 2-0. From there it was impossible for Velez to recover and they ended losing a game they had pretty much under control.

They still look in very good pace to qualify, with 6 points in 3 games.

Copa Argentina also continued this week.
River advanced to Round of 16 after beating Sportivo Belgrano (Torneo Argentino A, 3rd division) 2-0, while the still coach less Independiente became the first of the "Big 5" teams to get eliminated after losing 2-0 vs Belgrano.
All teams used mixed and young players lineups for this new competition.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Clausura 2012 - Round 4 - De Jong style


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Round 4 ended on Monday with Olimpo last second win against Rafaela.

Olimpo 2 - Atletico Rafaela 1

Great and deserved win for Olimpo to end Round 4.
They were a lot better than Rafaela in the 1st half and the 1-0 lead they had was absolutely fair, but in the last minute they conceded through a penalty kick and had to settle with the 1-1.
The 2nd half was more balanced and as minutes passed it looked like they were both happy enough not losing...but in the 4th minute of 5 added a long ball came into Rafaela's box and a defender sent a flying kick (Nigel De Jong style) right into Olimpo's striker chest. Very clear penalty and Olimpo took 3 extremely important points.
Rafaela loses for the 2nd week in a row in the last minute (last week was 0-1 at home vs All Boys) and they are now very close to the promotion playoff places, only 2 points above Union and they meet next week !


Round 5 starts next Friday and we will have Boca in another derby, at home vs Independiente (probably with an interim coach) and the other leader, Tigre, will visit Banfield.
In the relegation battle we'll have the key Atletico Rafaela - Union game and San Lorenzo visiting Belgrano.

This will be the round 5 schedule, with one game with KO time to be confirmed:

Friday March 9
21.30-- Estudiantes de La Plata-Lanús
TBC-- Colón de Santa Fe-Newell's Old Boys

Saturday March 10
17.00-- Argentinos Juniors-San Martín de San Juan
19.10-- Racing Club-All Boys
21.30-- Belgrano de Córdoba-San Lorenzo

Sunday March 11
17.00-- Godoy Cruz Antonio Tomba-Arsenal F.C.
17.00-- Banfield-Tigre
19.10-- Atlético Rafaela-Unión de Santa Fe
19.10-- Boca Juniors-Independiente

Monday March 12
21.15-- Vélez Sarsfield-Olimpo de Bahía Blanca


Standings:



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

Clausura 2012 - Round 4 - Tigre on two fronts



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Sunday's schedule had 2 good derbies under 35-40 degrees of heat, and Tigre joining Boca at the top of Clausura while they try to avoid relegation at the same time !

Tigre 1 - Lanus 0


What an important win for Tigre. With this win now they are only 3 points below San Lorenzo and if they continue like this it will be only a matter of time until they are above them.
Anyway, they probably didn't deserve to win this game and a draw would have been fair, but they are on a roll and if there is something that resumes this crazy Argentine football is this: Tigre is one of the leaders of Clausura (with Boca) and at the same time they are in a direct relegation place !!! Only in Argentina !!!


San Lorenzo 0 - Boca 2


Sad day for a San Lorenzo fan, but there's no shame about accepting that Boca was a fair winner.
The visitors played overall better and even though San Lorenzo had the ball, they had no idea what to do with it.
The game looked headed for a 0-0 draw unless someone made a mistake... and it was San Lorenzo who did it.
Boca is one of the leaders of Clausura, their undefeated streak is now 36 games while San Lorenzo's future looks as bleak as it ever did as now they are only 3 points above the direct relegation places.


Union 2 - Colon 2

The other derby of the round was intense and hot, helped by the almost 40 degrees temperature at Santa Fe.
It looked like Colon had everything under control as they took an early 2-0 lead, and with Union's recent past of almost 8 games without scoring a goal they didn't to have much chances, but out of nowhere they scored the 1-2, the 2-2 came only a couple of minutes later and they almost win it in the end, but it was an overall fair draw.


Arsenal 0 - Racing 0

It's unbelievable that Arsenal didn't beat Racing, but a brilliant performance by the visitors goalkeeper Sebastian Saja saved his team from another defeat.
The hosts were much better, had some big chances in the 1st half but they failed to score. In the 2nd half Racing balanced the game and had a few occasions to score, but it was always Arsenal the better team on the field. Both remain winless and not far from the bottom of the Averages table.
Racing is a ticking bomb ready to explode like their neighbors Independiente did on Saturday.

Round 4 will end today with a key game for the relegation battle between Olimpo and Rafaela that will kick off at 21.15 (GMT-3).

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Free Preview !!! Union - Colon today


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UPDATE: Colon got an early 2-0 lead and everything looked perfect, but they relaxed too much and out of nowhere Union scored twice in a few minutes in the 2nd half for a 2-2 final score.
Bad luck, but the recommended bet was VOID.

Clausura 2012 - Round 4 - The most stupid goal ever !!


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Three games continued Round 4 on Saturday, and you don't want to miss the own goal that gave Estudiantes the 3 points:


San Martin 0 - Estudiantes 1


I can't explain why Estudiantes won, you have to see it for yourself:


If you can't believe that own goal, I can't either and it has to be one of the most stupid own goals ever. No chances of this being fixed in case you ask yourself that. San Martin can't lose any points and the ones they lost in this game could be missed when the season is over.
The host did enough to deserve a draw without a doubt but Estudiantes is undefeated and definitely in a lucky run, so better watch out because if they start playing better they are championship material, and for now they are leaders with Velez and All Boys, all with 8 points.


All Boys 0 - Velez 0

Not much to say about All Boys - Velez scoreless draw. There will be worst games for sure, but this one didn't left much either.
All Boys started better moving the ball around and had a couple of good chances, but Velez balanced it after the 30th minute and could have won it as well.
Fair draw, no doubts.


Independiente 1 - Argentinos Jrs 3

Argentinos needed only some concentration and good use of their scoring positions to get 3 easy points in a match that was interrupted 30 minutes due to floodlight failure.
Before this interruption the game was 0-1, and when the lights came back Independiente's goalkeeper Hilario Navarro made an unbelievable mistake and gave the visitors the 0-2.
Awful Independiente again (well, at least they scored their first goal of Clausura), 4th defeat in a row (first time they start a tournament with 4 defeats in a row since 1956) and it was almost obvious that this team gave up on their coach, and their coach, Ramon Diaz, gave up on them. After the game, as it was absolutely expected, he resigned and it's the 4th team that will change coach after only 4 rounds!

Round 4 continues today with 4 matches, including 2 BIG derbies, San Lorenzo - Boca and Union - Colon (as always, KO times in GMT -3):

17.00-- San Lorenzo-Boca Juniors
17.00-- Unión de Santa Fe-Colón de Santa Fe
19.10-- Tigre-Lanús
19.10-- Arsenal F.C.-Racing Club

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Clausura 2012 - Round 4 - Friday Games


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Two games opened Round 4 on Friday:

Newell's 0 - Belgrano 2

The round started with a very good win by Belgrano as Newell's is quickly going back to the hopeless mode they had in 2011.
Not only they were almost harmless in offense as usual (their best chances came when the game was already 0-2) but now they've added a fragile defense, that made mistakes like last week @ Boca.
Belgrano was far from a great team of course, but they knew how to use Newell's mistakes on their advantage, scored 2 goals in the 1st half and took the 3 points with almost no sweat.
The game almost doesn't end because of some fights between Belgrano and Newell's fans (they were very angry) but things calmed down and they were able to finish it.
Odds kept moving down on Newell's all day showing that the market not always is right.


Banfield 1 - Godoy Cruz 1

This time there was no luck for Banfield, who overall played better than Godoy Cruz. They showed some intensity in the 1st half but Godoy Cruz scored the 0-1 through a great counter attack, and when they were supposed to start controlling the game, it was Banfield who had the ball most of the time. The 2nd half was basically all Banfield, and when the 1-1 came it was long overdue.
The hosts were not a football machine of course and they had few good scoring positions but they looked more focused and dangerous all the time, especially when Godoy Cruz got a red card with 20 minutes left. Banfield kept trying but the visitors held to the draw and got point that was basically useless for both teams.
The odds movement here was insane on Banfield without a real reason. Godoy Cruz +0.25 was even available at 2.00 before the game !!

Saturday will feature 3 more games of this 4th round of Clausura (KO times in GMT-3):

Saturday March 3
17.00-- All Boys-Vélez Sarsfield
19.10-- Independiente-Argentinos Juniors
21.10-- San Martín de San Juan-Estudiantes de La Plata

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Clausura 2012 - Round 4 - Derby Round


After a week that included Messi's hat trick @ Switzerland and 3 Copa Argentina matches (Velez and Arsenal advanced to Round of 32 and Boca to Round of 16 after beating lower division clubs), Round 4 of Clausura 2012 will start tomorrow.

The highlight of the round should be the two derbies to be played on Sunday, San Lorenzo - Boca and the Santa Fe derby, Colon - Union, a city of 500k habitants divided between two teams.

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This will be Round 4 schedule (all times in GMT-3):

Friday March 2
19.10-- Newell's Old Boys-Belgrano de Córdoba
21.15-- Banfield-Godoy Cruz Antonio Tomba

Saturday March 3
17.00-- All Boys-Vélez Sarsfield
19.10-- Independiente-Argentinos Juniors
21.10-- San Martín de San Juan-Estudiantes de La Plata

Sunday March 4
17.00-- San Lorenzo-Boca Juniors
17.00-- Unión de Santa Fe-Colón de Santa Fe
19.10-- Tigre-Lanús
19.10-- Arsenal F.C.-Racing Club

Monday March 5
21.15-- Olimpo de Bahía Blanca-Atlético Rafaela