Thursday, May 31, 2012

Copa Argentina - Boca does it again

It looks like there's no way to stop Boca, despite what lineup they use.

Tonight they were with most of their B team and played against the leader of Nacional B (2nd division) Rosario Central who rested a couple of players as well, and the leader of Clausura advanced to the semifinals of Copa Argentina after a penalty shootout that ended with Juan Manuel Insaurralde's shot.

The regulat time had been 1-1, where the 2nd division team (almost for sure one of the teams that will promote back to 1st division) scored with a header in the 1st half to take the lead, but conceded with 15 minutes left a goal by Nicolas Blandi that put a fair draw in the final score.

This was the 3rd time in 4 games played in this competition that Boca advances on penalties because they also drew 1-1 vs Santamarina de Tandil (Torneo Argentino A, 3rd division), Olimpo and beat Central Cordoba (Primera C, 4th division) 2-0 in the Round of 16.

The semifinals of Copa Argentina will be played this Sunday, as usual on neutral ground and only 1 leg that would be decided on penalties if it ends in a tie.
The most expected game will be of course the derby between River and Racing, one of the oldest of Argentinean football.
Both games will feature a 1st division team vs a 2nd division team (KO times in GMT-3):

16.30 -- Boca vs Deportivo Merlo
19.00 -- Racing vs River

The date of the final is not set yet, and it could depend if Boca is one of the finalists and how far they go in Copa Libertadores where they will play the 1st leg of the semifinals vs Universidad de Chile in 2 weeks.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Clausura 2012 - Round 16 - Taking a break

Round 16 finished today with 2 games and now we go into a 2 weeks break before the last 3 rounds of the season.

Estudiantes 1 - Arsenal 1

Boca found another reason to celebrate a little more with Arsenal's 1-1 draw, a fair result in a very balanced game against Estudiantes.
The visitors scored the opening goal early in the game through a bad called penalty kick and right before halftime Estudiantes got the deserved equalizer in an entertaining 1st half. Both had chances to win it in the 2nd part, especially a big one for Arsenal's midfielder Juan Pablo Caffa with only a couple of minutes left, but Andujar saved the hosts.
Arsenal is now, tied with Tigre, 3 points behind Boca but they still depend on themselves to win the championship because remember that they will visit the leaders in the 18th round, but before that they will play at home vs Argentinos Jrs, and in the last round also at their stadium they will host Belgrano.

Colon 0 - Velez 2

Velez kept their chances alive with a good win at Santa Fe, but in my opinion the 5 points that separate them from Boca (and with 3 teams in between them) is too much with only 3 games left.
Both teams had good chances, but Colon's defense looked wide open since the beginning of the game and Velez was always dangerous on their counter attacks.
Colon could have scored while the game was tied and if they didn't it was obvious that sooner or later Velez was going to punish them on a counter attack because during the 1st half they only lacked accuracy on the finishes of those chances, and that came early in the 2nd half.
The hosts had no answers and the visitors finally finished it on another counter attack almost in the end.


Time for a break in Clausura due to the World Cup Qualifiers that will be played this next weekend.
Actually, there will be 2 rounds played, one in each of the next 2 weekends, but Argentina is not playing in the second one (there are 9 teams so there is one free each round) and the team will play a friendly at New Jersey, USA, vs Brazil but Clausura will be played during that weekend.
If you want to check the schedule and current positions, you can do it here:


Meanwhile... we will have Copa Argentina this week.

Boca - Rosario Central will play this Wednesday they last Quarterfinal game, and next Sunday the winner will play vs Deportivo Merlo in one semifinal and the derby River - Racing will play the other one so we'll have the finalists, but there's still no date set for that game (if Boca qualifies it could depend on how far they go in Libertadores).


Copa Libertadores Semifinals have confirmed dates.

Boca - Universidad de Chile will play on Thursday 14/6 and Thursday 21/6 (at Buenos Aires first), and Corinthians - Santos will play on Wednesday 13/6 and Wednesday 20/6.


Round 17 of Clausura still doesn't have dates or kick off times for now, but this is the list of games and as you can see there are some huge ones, especially Tigre - San Lorenzo, Banfield - Boca and Union - San Martin:

Velez vs Atl. Rafaela
All Boys vs Estudiantes
Arsenal vs Argentinos Jrs
Olimpo vs Lanus
Banfield vs Boca Juniors
Godoy Cruz vs Belgrano
Newell's vs Independiente
Racing vs Colon
Tigre vs San Lorenzo
Union vs San Martin

Standings :

Monday, May 28, 2012

Clausura 2012 - Round 16 - Miracles do happen !

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Please, don't ask me to be objective today because I came only a few hours ago from the stadium where I lived one of the most unbelievable days ever as a football fan.

San Lorenzo 3 - Newell's 2

San Lorenzo was dead. Completely dead.
After the first 15 minutes of the game where San Lorenzo had been better (and had a clear penalty not called) Newell's scored twice, the 1st one a great goal, the 2nd one thanks to a huge mistake by San Lorenzo's defense. The hosts looked dead at halftime and few times I've seen the fans (including myself) so depressed. Nobody had any hopes, not even strength to insult the players as usual.
The halftime talks were about a miracle, it looked like the only way to recover from this and we all knew it was not going to happen.
And the miracle happened. Only 10 minutes into the 2nd half the game was 2-2 and San Lorenzo in control of the game started missing chance after chance (at least 3 or 4 very clear ones) while Newell's couldn't understand what was happening but they had no other choice than to attack because the draw was not good enough for their championship hopes.
When all the 22 players on the field were really tired after such game and it looked like the draw was going to be the final result, the cherry on the cake came with the 3-2 in the 87 minute.
Simply unbelievable, I can't remember watching so many people crying (some were already crying since halftime with the game 0-2) and hugging...definitely I day I will remember forever.

Here's a the must watch video of the last goal :

Atletico Rafaela 1 - Tigre 1

The other key relegation game of Sunday was a very entertaining one as well, and the final 1-1 was definitely a deserved score.
Both had equally chances to win it, both goalkeepers saved their teams more than once and both shared a point each. That draw looked good with San Lorenzo losing, or drawing, but in the end it wasn't a good result for neither of them.
Tigre finishes the round back in direct relegation zone, 1 point behind San Lorenzo, and Rafaela is now tied with San Martin in one of the promotion playoff places what means that if the season had finished today they would have to play a playoff game in neutral ground to see who plays the playoff and who is save !
Banfield joins the party as well, now only 2 points behind San Lorenzo and in the next round the host Boca, while the game everybody will be watching Tigre - San Lorenzo, definitely a HUGE FINAL.

Boca 3 - Godoy Cruz 0

Boca...what can I say about them. They've made it so easy that it looked like a training session. Godoy Cruz was barely dangerous and when Boca scored the 2-0 before halftime the game was simply over. With All Boys and Newells defeats and Tigre's draw Boca is now 3 points above everyone and the only team that seems to have a chance to fight for this championship is Arsenal, but they definitely need to win today vs Estudiantes.

San Martin de San Juan 3 - Olimpo 2

What a win for San Martin, not only because of what the 3 points mean for them but also because of the confidence boost that a result like this might give them.
They started as expected attacking more, but the visitors has a very effective night and very early in the game scored the 1st goal that was the final result in the 1st half.
The 2nd didn't start much better for San Martin and they conceded a 0-2 that looked like the final nail in the coffin because they were not showing any reaction. But...there's a reason why Olimpo is deep down in the Averages table. Once they conceded the 1-2, it was almost all San Martin, the hosts pushed forward as much as they could and got the 2-2 that looked like the final score until the 2nd minute of stoppage time when they made a very silly penalty that gave the hosts the 3-2.
Olimpo is finally mathematically relegated as we knew it was going to happen since many rounds ago, while San Martin leaves (at least for this round) the direct relegation zone.

Lanus 1 - All Boys 0

Lanus took the 3 points playing a little better than All Boys, not a lot but enough to claim a fair win. All Boys looked like they have probably already overachieved in this semester and their chances of fighting for the championship are seriously hurt with this defeat so maybe they could relax a little bit from now on.
But unfortunately no one will be talking about football in this match: a fight between two groups of Lanus "Barras Bravas" before the match (probably fighting for the power and dirty business involved) ended in a shooting and one of them died while others were injured. Another sad moment of Argentinean football.

Argentinos Juniors 1 - Banfield 0

Argentinos - Banfield was more balanced than expected. Each team had 1 red card and 1 penalty, but the difference was that Banfield's was saved, and Argentinos scored the winning goal from it.
The hosts' red card was really a silly one. Goalkeeper Luis Ojeda received the ball from a defender, and try to dribble past a defender...the result was a lost ball, and then he tackled the Banfield striker.
Lucky for him his replacement saved the penalty, Banfield received a red card a few minutes later and his team won it with a penalty in the 2nd half.
Besides this moments of the game, the rest was simply awful and painful to watch.
Banfield is into even deeper trouble in the Averages table and their schedule is not getting any easier because next week they will play at home against Boca and very probably with a different coach because Eduardo Acevedo will most likely resign in the next hours.

Belgrano 0 - Racing 1

Belgrano-Racing wasn't much different. Two teams without any ideas, playing dull football and never able to make 3 consecutive passes.
The result was a game that should have been a scoreless draw, but ended in an away win because Gio Moreno (yes, the player that was threatened with a gun this week) had a second of brilliance and scored after dribbling on a ball he received from a corner kick.
With the 0-1 it would have been expected to see Belgrano attacking, but besides a long shot that hit the bar they didn't do much more.

Independiente 0 - Union 0

The last game of Sunday was the scoreless draw between Independiente and Union.
It wasn't the classic boring 0-0, but it wasn't anything special either. Both have their moments in the 1st half but as minutes passed in the 2nd part Independiente was happy not to concede a goal after awful defending in the last few games, while the draw was a good result for Union as well.


Round 16 will end today with 2 matches before we go into a break because next weekend there will a round of World Cup Qualifiers in Southamerica (KO times in GMT-3):

18.10 -- Estudiantes - Arsenal
20.30 -- Colon - Velez

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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Free Preview !!! Argentinos Jrs - Banfield today !!!

The Free Preview sponsored by is here !!

Download here:

The game is the match between Argentinos Juniors and Banfield that kicks off at 23.15 CET !

My bet is Argentinos Juniors (-0.75) at 2.05+ or the home win at 1.80+

Good Luck !

1-0 win for Argentinos, not an easy one but the free preview and recommended tip delivers again ;)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Clausura 2012 - Round 16 starts tonight ! (plus Copa Libertadores and Copa Argentina Update)

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Copa Libertadores Quarterfinals finished this week and while one of the Argentinean teams advanced, the other was eliminated on a penalty shootout.

Fluminense 1 - Boca 1 (Boca advances on a 2-1 agg)

Boca is the first team in semifinals of Copa Libertadores thanks to a very late goal by Santiago Silva, when the series looked bound to finish in a penalty shootout.
Boca's performance wasn't good at all and if Fluminense would have been at full strength (with Deco and Fred especially) the story could have been different, but I don't think any Boca fan cares about this.

Santos 1 (4) - Velez 0 (2) (Santos advances on the penalty shootout after both legs finished 1-0)

Bad luck for Velez who played an almost perfect series, had to play 45 minutes with 10 men due to the red card to goalkeeper Marcelo Barovero and still held the dangerous Santos scoreless for 170 minutes. The Brazilian team advanced on the penalties shootout, but was absolutely disappointing and will need to improve a lot because I can't see them winning Copa Libertadores for a 2nd year in a row playing like this.

Copa Libertadores semifinals will start in 2 weeks, and we'll have the two Brazilian clubs left in the competition, Corinthians - Santos playing each other, while Boca will play against Universidad de Chile, the Copa Sudamericana 2011 champion and a great team, that advanced on penalties after 1-1 in both legs vs Libertad from Paraguay. First leg will be at Buenos Aires in 3 weeks.
All series have been extremely tight, all decided by penalties shootouts or late goals so at this point looks very difficult to predict who will win it the competition.


We also have the 3rd Copa Argentina team in semis and it's Nacional B side Deportivo Merlo, who beat Tigre 2-1.

Boca - Rosario Central will play next Wednesday the remaining Quarterfinal game and the winner will meet Deportivo Merlo, while the other semifinal is the derby Racing - River.


Round 16 of Clausura starts tonight with another key game for the relegation battle against San Martin and Olimpo, and this is the complete schedule (all KO times are GMT-3):

Friday May 25
19.10--San Martín de San Juan-Olimpo de Bahía Blanca

Saturday May 26
16.10--Lanús-All Boys
18.15--Argentinos Juniors-Banfield
20.20--Belgrano de Córdoba-Racing Club

Sunday May 27
15.00--Atlético Rafaela-Tigre
15.15--San Lorenzo-Newell´s Old Boys
19.15--Boca Juniors-Godoy Cruz Antonio Tomba

Monday May 28
18.10--Estudiantes de La Plata-Arsenal F.C.
20.30--Colón de Santa Fe-Vélez Sarsfield

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Clausura 2012 - Round 15 - Arsenal joins the party

Round 15 ended on Monday, and we now have only 4 rounds left in the season !!

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Arsenal 3 - Lanus 1

Arsenal won as expected to end the round only 1 point behind Boca and join the group of teams fighting for the championship.
Lanus was better only for 15 minutes, until the conceded the 1-0. From there Arsenal dominated, scored the 2-0 and didn't look much in trouble throughout because when Lanus got the 2-1 with a (bad called) penalty, they scored the 3-1 that was the result at halftime.
With Lanus looking completely unmotivated Arsenal just cruised through the 2nd half to grab their 3rd victory in a row and continue undefeated at home.


On Wednesday we'll have the 3rd Quarterfinal game of Copa Argentina, a pretty uninteresting match between Tigre and Deportivo Merlo (Nacional B team). The hosts will use mostly reserves while Merlo is playing for nothing in 2nd division so they will very probably use the best they have.

The remaining Quarterfinal game (to be played on 30/5) is Boca - Rosario Central, while we have one semifinal set: the derby River - Racing.


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Round 16 will be played next weekend, then we will have a break for the World Cup Qualifiers, and later the 3 last round plus the promotion playoffs in the first days of July.
Rafaela - Tigre and San Martin - Olimpo will play huge games for the Averages table, San Lorenzo - Newells is another one very important as well.

(all times GMT-3)
Friday May 25
19.10--San Martín de San Juan-Olimpo de Bahía Blanca

Saturday May 26
14.00--Argentinos Juniors-Banfield
16.10--Lanús-All Boys
20.20--Belgrano de Córdoba-Racing Club

Sunday May 27
15.00--Atlético Rafaela-Tigre
15.00--San Lorenzo-Newell´s Old Boys
19.15--Boca Juniors-Godoy Cruz Antonio Tomba

Monday May 28
18.10--Estudiantes de La Plata-Arsenal F.C.
20.30--Colón de Santa Fe-Vélez Sarsfield


Averages (Promedios) Table ( :