Monday, August 6, 2012

Inicial 2012 - Round 1 - San Lorenzo the only winner among the "Big 5"

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Inicial 2012 started and we already had our share of drama in Racing's penalties saved, River losing again against their light blue nightmare Belgrano, and Boca's huge defeat against recently promoted Quilmes.

Arsenal 1 - Union 0

The Clausura champion Arsenal continued where they left a month ago, but with a little more luck involved this time as the only goal of the game and first of Inicial was amusingly an own goal by Union's goalkeeper Alejandro Limia, who couldn't hold a wet ball (it has rained all day in Buenos Aires but it's not an excuse for such silly mistake) and send it right into his own net.
He redeemed later by saving a penalty just before halftime and looking solid during the rest of the game but his team mates couldn't do much besides a header that went just wide and a ball that hit the post, both in the 1st half.
The game was not much different from what was expected but Arsenal's win can be considered a fair one.

Velez 3 - Argentinos Jrs 0

Very good performance by Velez, and that one was unexpected. Very good game by their young players while Argentinos' looked awful defensively and pretty harmless in attack.
Two headers by center back Sebastian Dominguez opened a match where the hosts were always the better team and had no problem to finish it with a 3rd goal early in the 2nd half.
Maybe the 3 goals difference was too much, but it looked like Velez was playing the tournament while Argentinos was still in pre-season mode and this could be an alert for those teams with some new players that are still in formation.

Racing 1 - Atletico Rafaela 1

Classic Racing. They played better than Rafaela the whole game, conceded in the first 10 minutes, then scored very fast the equalizer...and then came the usual surprise that Racing has for us every season, a new crazy low: have two penalties saved in the same game. Definitely not the kind of debut Jose Sand was expected.
Rafaela was as lousy as expected and I liked what I saw from Racing but this is normal and as usual if they don't start winning soon those intentions to play well will end in nothing.

Colon 1 - Lanus 0

Fair win for Colon in a game pretty much as expected. They were not much better than Lanus in the first 30 minutes but once they scored the 1-0 it was all for them as they attacked much more and should have scored at least one more goal.
Lanus has time to improve, but if they played like today it will be a long semester for them.

Quilmes 3 - Boca 0

What a way to start their season after getting promoted for Quilmes !
They dominated Boca who looked tired and obviously affected by that long trip back from Venezuela. Quilmes never respected Boca and the visitors made everything even easier for them when in the 20th minute Santiago Silva reacted to a hard foul by kicking back a Quilmes player on the chest and getting a direct red card.
Boca has the Copa Argentina final on Wednesday and even though they will want to win it for sure, I know that most Boca fans don't care much about it and if next week they don't play a good game at home vs Tigre, "La Bombonera" will be a ticking bomb ready to explode claiming for their gone idol Riquelme and insulting coach Falcioni.

Newell's 0 - Independiente 0

Newell's played definitely better than Independiente and should have won, but the game was soooo boring that it's not even worth of spending more than 2 lines writing about it.
Independiente needs to improve a lot, Newell's will have to be more effective in attack.

River 1 - Belgrano 2

What a nightmare for River is Belgrano, I can imagine fans and players dreaming with this light blue jersey team that is haunting them since last year !!
It wasn't River's worst performance but they didn't score when they had the chance and conceded first through a big goalkeeper mistake (if they bought Velez's Marcelo Barovero, why coach Almeyda decided to use Daniel Vega as the regular !?!) and then the 2nd very early in the 2nd half (great finish by Carranza).
River hit the post twice and then scored back and what was a normal game became pure madness in the last minutes.
Penalty for River with 5 minutes left, Funes Mori sents it above the bar (4th penalty missed of 5 in this round !!) and goalkeeper Olave is sent off because of an "excesive celebration" (probably insulted someone). The visitors didn't have any substitutions left so they had to play the last 10 minutes (7 were added) with a field player as the goalkeeper (!!) but not even with this advantage River was able to get an equalizer.

San Lorenzo 2 - San Martin de San Juan 1

Good win for San Lorenzo, not a brilliant performance but the team showed very good potential for the future especially in offense where Jara and Stracqualursi played a good game and were always fast and dangerous. The team had very few practices together so there's huge room for improvement and especially now that ex Olimpo Martin Rolle is starting to practice with the team this week and according to today's rumors Carlos Luna, the ex Tigre striker, could sign this week as well.
San Lorenzo was the only one of the 5 big clubs that won this weekend, and the 3 points are important for the Averages table as well because they beat a direct rival and they took advantage of other teams that couldn't win. Yes, it might be too early to think about this but after what happened last season it's obvious that every point counts.
Despite the deserved defeat San Martin left a good image and they could be a tough team to beat like they were last season.

Godoy Cruz 1 - All Boys 1

Unfair draw for Godoy Cruz who was the best team on the field without any doubts and made All Boys' goalkeeper Nicolas Cambiasso the man of the match (once again).
The hosts had all the best chances to score but failed and in the end had to settle with a draw that was more useful for All Boys given the way they arrived at this game.

Round 1 ends tonight with Tigre - Estudiantes at 20.20 (GMT-3).

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