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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