Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Inicial 2012 - Round 11 - Who can stop Newell's ?

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Another round gone, another week where Newell's Old Boys is the only leader of Inicial and with only 8 rounds left they are looking more solid each week towards the championship.

This last weekend they were visiting 2nd placed Racing and the "match of the weekend" was everything I was afraid that it would be. Two teams that knew that there's still a lot to be played and that a draw was a nice result to continue working.
Neither risked much, neither attacked, only Racing had the best chances but all through headers off free kicks/corner kicks (one hit the post in the 1st half) so the scoreless draw was completely fair and left everybody happy but specially Newell's as they continue as the undefeated leaders of the tournament.

The weekend saw Velez getting closer after their 1-0 win at Tigre, Independiente leaving the relegation zone with their 3rd consecutive win, Belgrano failing to get closer to Newell's because of their 1-0 defeat at All Boys, but some of the bigger news of the weekend were that neither River nor Boca were able to win their games like they hoped to before meeting next week in another edition of the SUPERCLASICO.

The game that everybody is expecting will be played next Sunday and it's the first time they meet officially in 18 months (they've played a couple of friendlies last Summer) because as you know River spent last season in 2nd division, their only relegation ever.

The atmosphere at the Monumental will be of course incredible even if they are basically playing only for pride because of their not so good moment in Inicial.

Round 11 results:
Argentinos Juniors 0 - Independiente 1 
Arsenal 2 - Colón de Santa Fe 0
All Boys 1 -Belgrano de Córdoba 0
Unión 1 - San Martín de San Juan 2
Tigre 0 - Vélez Sarsfield  1
Godoy Cruz  0 - San Lorenzo 0
Racing 0 - Newell´s 0
Quilmes 1 - River Plate 0
Atlético de Rafaela 1 - Lanús 2
Boca Juniors 0 - Estudiantes 0
Round 12 Schedule (KO times in GMT-3):
Saturday October 27
14.00-- San Lorenzo-Quilmes A.C.
16.10-- San Martín de San Juan-Atlético de Rafaela
18.15-- Estudiantes de La Plata-All Boys
18.15-- Newell´s Old Boys-Arsenal F.C.
20.20-- Vélez Sarsfield-Racing Club

Sunday October 28
15.30-- River Plate-Boca Juniors
17.30-- Belgrano de Córdoba-Unión de Santa Fe
19.30-- Lanús-Argentinos Juniors

Monday October 29
18.00-- Colón de Santa Fe-Godoy Cruz Antonio Tomba
20.10-- Independiente-Tigre
Relegations Table:

Friday, October 19, 2012

Second half of Inicial 2012 starts today !!

The two great Argentina wins in the World Cup Qualifiers are in the past as we are getting ready for the 2nd half of Inicial that kicks off today with the start of the 11th round.

Only 9 to go and we'll have a key game this weekend, 1st vs 2nd meet at Avellaneda, Racing vs Newell's in a match with points in play that both teams will definitely need when the tournament ends in December.

Also Boca will try to recover from their latest struggles against Estudiantes, Velez the same at Tigre and the two recently promoted teams meet in Quilmes - River.

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(all times GTM-3)
Friday October 19
19.10 Argentinos Juniors-Independiente
21.15 Arsenal F.C. - Colón de Santa Fe

Saturday October 20 
14.00 All Boys-Belgrano de Córdoba
16.10 Unión-San Martín de San Juan
18.15 Tigre-Vélez Sarsfield 
18.15 Godoy Cruz Antonio Tomba-San Lorenzo de Almagro
20.20 Racing Club-Newell´s Old Boys

Sunday October 21
15.00 Quilmes A.C. - River Plate
17.15 Atlético de Rafaela-Lanús
19.30 Boca Juniors-Estudiantes de La Plata

Monday, October 8, 2012

Inicial 2012 - Round 10 - Half gone, Newell's still on top

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Newell's 1 - Velez 0
What a huge win by Newell's in a game that had only one goal (an almost record 26 seconds goal by Maxi Rodriguez, his first one in Argentina in more than 10 years) but should have had more because Velez had their moments where they deserved the equalizer, and Newell's dominated during a good part of the 2nd half where they were very close to the 2nd goal.
Another great result for Newell's, beating one of the best teams in the league and re-taking the lead of Inicial. They are still undefeated, only conceded goals in 2 out of 10 games and they are definitely the main candidate to win the championship right now.
Velez will have to recover from this two tough consecutive defeats and as fast as possible because they are now 5 points from the top.
River 5 - Godoy Cruz 0

There is one word that defines River's last two performances: effectiveness. They must be close to 100% in these last two games !
After 5 minutes played they couldn't find the ball and Godoy Cruz had already hit the bar on a long shot, but 5 minutes later they were leading 2-0 on a good play finished by Martin Aguirre, and a brilliant free kick from Leonardo Ponzio who shot at goal when everybody was expecting a cross for a header. 
Not much happened for the rest of the 1st half, only Godoy Cruz hitting the bar again in the last minute. History repeated itself in the 2nd half: Godoy Cruz pretty harmless but trying to get a goal, and suddenly River scored twice in 3 minutes to definitely finish the game. The 5th one came a few minutes later, a beautiful lob from outside the box by Carlos Sanchez.
Belgrano 3 - Boca 1
One point in the last 3 games for Boca, who misses Riquelme more and more every week.
They played the first 20 minutes like if they were the Boca of some months ago and scored a nice 1st goal, but once Belgrano scored the equalizer they went back to the normal awfulness they've shown lately.
After only 50 seconds in the 2nd half Belgrano scored the 2-1, a red card and a 3rd goal not much later finished the game and we'll have two weeks where every football show about TV will talk about when is Falcioni leaving, that the players don't like him, fans neither, etc, etc, etc.
Another solid performance by this dangerous Belgrano, do they have enough to fight for the championship ??

Colon 0 - Racing 1
Third consecutive win for Racing, and the third one without conceding a goal, after their late 1-0 win at Colon. It's difficult to say how deserved it was because it was a very balanced game, but in the end it was Racing who scored so there's not much to argue.
Both teams looked always too scared to risk, knowing that a draw was good enough when there are 9 more games left, but coach Luis Zubeldia put Mauro Camoranesi in the last minutes like he's been doing lately and this "closer" role fits the veteran perfectly. He gave a great assist and a beautiful finish by young Luciano Vietto gave his team the 3 points.
Other Round 10 results:

Lanus 2 - Union 0
Argentinos Jrs 0 - Tigre 0
San Martin de San Juan 2 - All Boys 1
San Lorenzo 0 - Arsenal 0
Estudiantes 2 - Quilmes 1
Independiente 2 - Atletico Rafaela 0

We are now past the middle of the tournament and we'll have a break for the internationals (Argentina plays vs Uruguay on Friday and visits Chile the following Tuesday) with Newell's as the only leader with 22 pts, followed by Racing with 20p, Belgrano has 19p, and Velez and Boca 17p. 
The top 3 are at their best moment of the season and the last 2 will need to recover soon.
Estudiantes and Godoy Cruz with 16p + River and Colon with 15p will need a big winning streak to cut the 6/7 points difference that at this moment looks like a huge one.

In the Averages table we have Union, Quilmes and Independiente in the three relegation places, but with today's win Independiente is now only 1 point behind San Lorenzo. Anyway, remember that relegations are decided next June, but of course every point they fail to win now could be a headache in a few months.


The 11th round will be played in two weeks and it doesn't have kick off times yet. Oh, and in the 12th round we'll have the River - Boca Superclasico !

There is one game that definitely stands out in the next round: 1st vs 2nd, Racing vs Newell's.
Boca will host Estudiantes, River visits Quilmes, Union - San Martin and All Boys - Belgrano are other important games.

Friday October 19
Argentinos Juniors-Independiente
Arsenal F.C. - Colón de Santa Fe

Saturday October 20
Racing Club-Newell´s Old Boys
Tigre-Vélez Sarsfield
All Boys-Belgrano de Córdoba
Unión-San Martín de San Juan

Sunday October 21
Godoy Cruz Antonio Tomba-San Lorenzo de Almagro
Quilmes A.C. - River Plate
Boca Juniors-Estudiantes de La Plata
Atlético de Rafaela-Lanús
Standings :

Averages Table: