Monday, May 21, 2012

Clausura 2012 - Round 15 - Boca back on top...for good ?

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We are only 4 rounds and 1 game (Arsenal-Lanus play tonight) from the end of the season and Boca regained the top place of the league !!

The weekend roundup...

Racing 0 - Boca 2

Boca once again proved that they are the best team in this league, and every day with a bigger difference above others.
Not because they play brilliant football but because they are solid and they have by far the longest squad, with almost 2 complete teams full of players that could be regulars anywhere else. And if this wasn't enough until today, now they have even one more player available: striker Lucas Viatri, who had been injured for 7 months due to a torn ACL, came from the bench in the 2nd half and scored a beautiful goal to open a game that looked bound to a 0-0.
This time the victim of their reserves team was this very poor Racing who doesn't seem to find motivation to play better even if they are at home in a big derby.
Boca is again the only leader of Clausura, 1 point above Tigre and Newell's (and maybe also Arsenal if they win tonight) but they have an advantage over the others which is an easier schedule: they have two games next that should win without much trouble vs the awful Godoy Cruz and Banfield, a key game at home vs Arsenal and will visit a maybe relaxed All Boys in the last round.

Tigre 3 - Newell's 1

Huge, huge win for Tigre 3-1 vs Newell's and a deserved one overall even if they were benefited from bad refereeing in the 1st half because when the match was 1-1 they should have been left with 10 men twice as midfielder Diego Castagno had already a yellow card and made two hard fouls that should have cost him a red.
Tigre's best strength was to use their scoring chances and being very effective in attack during the 1st half. With the game 2-1 in the 2nd half Newell's had the ball posession but couldn't break Tigre's defense, couldn't find any spaces, and with few minutes left the hosts finished with a very nice bicycle kick by striker Carlos Luna who scored a hat-trick and is the top scorer of Clausura.

Velez 0 - Belgrano 1

Velez said goodbye to their championship chances using a below average reserves and young players lineup that had no ideas how to attack and couldn't break Belgrano's usual strong defense. They are now 5 points behind Boca with 4 games left and many games above them so their only hopes are now in Copa Libertadores.
The visitors just waited, scored in the 2nd half on one of their few chances and took 3 points to achieve the 50 points goal they set themselves before the season started.

Olimpo 2 - Independiente 1

Olimpo won a game to keep breathing in the Averages table even though they will very probably get relegated because they need to win every game left and hope that San Martin doesn't get more than 3 points (and they meet next week!!!) and Rafaela not more than 1 or 2 points.
They started better than this lousy Independiente that lost their 3rd game in a row but once the visitors scored the equalizer they looked in control and like they were going to win it, until more unbelievable bad defending let them score the 2-1 to win after 10 games.They live at least for another round while Independiente will be for sure in trouble in the Averages table next season.

Atletico Rafaela 0 - Colon 0

Rafaela and Colon played an entertaining game that ended in a fair scoreless draw.
The hosts looked nervous and Colon had the best chances to win it, but in the end the draw was not the worst result for Rafaela given San Lorenzo and San Martin's defeat, but next week they have a huge game, probably the most important for them this season as they will visit Tigre.
Not much to say of Colon. Their championship chances are gone and it's been another disappointing season where they've got enough points to stay safe in the Averages table but not much more.

All Boys 1 - San Martin de San Juan 0

All Boys' 1-0 win over San Martin was an intense game with both teams, and especially the visitors missing unbelievable chances to score more goals. In the 1st half, after the hosts scored, it was all for the visitors who had at least 2 or 3 very clear goal positions, some saved by Nicolas Cambiasso and others missed, but a red card changed the flow of the game.
All Boys was better in the 2nd half but as San Martin did in the 1st half, they also missed some good opportunities to finish the game, and once again they suffered in the last 20 minutes after they also were left with 10 men due to a red card.
In the end it should have been a draw but it was an All Boys win and they are now only 1 point behind Tigre and Newell's !!
San Martin lost a 2nd game in a row and fell in direct relegation. The good news for them is that next week they play at home vs Olimpo, but the bad one is that they have a tough schedule in the last 3 games: Union away, Newell's at home and San Lorenzo away in the last round.

Union 1 - San Lorenzo 0

The first half was almost all for Union, and if it didn't end with the hosts winning it was only because of a couple of poor finishes and a superb performance by San Lorenzo's goalkeeper Pablo Migliore who had some huge saves.
The 2nd half was a completely different story as it was San Lorenzo who mostly dominated it, but every cross off a free kick or corner that fell on the visitors's box had a possible goal feeling because their defense looked completely disoriented on that kind of attacks.
As minutes passed both teams looked happy with the draw until with 1 minute left Union scored a goal, and after a huge chance missed by San Lorenzo's defender Fernando Meza in the last play of the game, the hosts took a huge win that makes them climb a few places in the Averages table.
San Lorenzo is in a desperate situation. For the first time this season they are now 1 point behind Tigre (they started the season 17 points above them) and even though they will meet in Round 17, at this moment it looks almost impossible that they could be able to beat them. Right now, and if they continue like this, it could be San Martin and Rafaela's results what could decide their fate for next season.

Banfield 0 - Estudiantes 3

It only took Estudiantes 11 minutes to break Banfield's lousy defense and from there they almost didn't sweat to get a very easy 3-0 win, the 2nd in a row to end Clausura at least with some hope for the future. The game was already 2-0 and finished by halftime and the 2nd half was just to see a harmless Banfield not doing much and a relaxed Estudiantes scoring a 3rd goal.
Banfield is in a never ending free fall. They have 2 points from the last 7 games and if they are not deeper in the Averages table is only because other teams didn't win in the last games, but if they continue like this anything can happen.
A couple of numbers show this unbelievable free fall: when the season started they were 34 points above Tigre. Now this difference is only 4 points !!!

Godoy Cruz 1 - Argentinos Juniors 1

The round started with Godoy Cruz failing for the 18th consecutive time (13 in Clausura + 5 in Libertadores) to win a game. This time they were only 3 minutes away from doing it and probably deserved it because they missed enough chances to make Argentinos' goalkeeper the man of the match.
Their worst mistake was to play defensive after the 1-0 hoping to have chances on counter attacks but they didn't Argentinos dominated and scored the equalizer in the 87th minute.

The round ends tonight with Arsenal hosting Lanus at 22.10 GMT, and for now this is how the standings are with only 4 rounds left ! (I will update the Averages table after the round ends tomorrow)

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