Monday, December 16, 2013

SAN LORENZO IS THE INICIAL 2013 CHAMPION !!!!




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Just came back from here: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BbkXDN8CIAA78to.jpg:large and here https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BbkvtuYIAAAyBCb.jpg:large and of course you already know why.

SAN LORENZO, THE POPE'S TEAM AS SOME OF YOU MIGHT KNOW, IS THE INCIAL 2013 CHAMPION !!!!!

A ridiculous tournament had to have a ridiculous finish and that's what happened today when 3 teams that were in a MUST win situation, failed to do it.

Newell's and Lanus played a great game, specially in the 2nd half when Lanus had to come back twice and had the best chances to score a 3rd but couldn't do it. Hats off for Lanus, they were overall the best team of this semester and if they hadn't been sometimes too focused on Copa Sudamericana they could have been the champions of Inicial.
Newell's fading continued in the last game, we'll see if they can recover from this to be again the very good team they were a few months ago.

San Lorenzo was very very very nervous the whole time and still they managed to play a good 1st half where they were not given a very clear penalty and had a couple of good chances. Velez pushed in the final minutes and they were so close to win it that I'm still shaking.
The Inicial champion held to a useful draw knowing what was happening in the other match and the celebrations started after the final whistle.

As a San Lorenzo fan I'm not exactly the right person to say it, but they were a fair champion despite the very few points (it was 33 in the end, record since the short tournaments and 3 points per win started).
They recovered from some big blows like the 0-3 in the Copa Argentina final, and specially from the long term injuries of their two best strikers. 
The paid services subscribers know that I wrote when the season started (and mentioned it more than a few times during the tournament) that San Lorenzo was a team with many options in attack and I'm glad to say that I was right.

San Lorenzo gets the 12th professional league title (the club also won 3 during the amateur era, in the early 1900's) and continues with this weird trend of winning one every 6 years (1995, 2001, 2007 and now 2013 were the latest ones). I really hope that I won't have to wait until 2019 !!!
They also qualify to Copa Libertadores where they will be in group 2 according to last week's draw. Copa Libertadores is every San Lorenzo fan's dream and I can't be more excited about playing it again.

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San Lorenzo's path to the championship (in Spanish) :

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Inicial 2013 - Round 18 - Nobody wants the championship ?




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Insane situation in the last few rounds and specially this weekend, in the penultimate round of Inicial 2013.
San Lorenzo was still the only leader, 2 points above everybody else, despite the 2-2 at Atletico Rafaela (coming back from 0-2) from last week and the round started the way they dreamed it: Newell's losing again (7 rounds without a win), Arsenal losing as well (only 1 win in the last 7 matches since winning the Copa Argentina final) and only Velez getting an expected win vs the terrible Colon to get just a little closer.

San Lorenzo had everything to win the championship. A game at home against the tough but irregular Estudiantes, and they also needed Lanus not to win at home vs Boca but the good news was that Lanus was using a reserves lineup (even though they were only 2 points behind San Lorenzo) because they wanted to rest their regulars for the Copa Sudamericana finals that start this Wednesday and they have to travel to Brazil to play Ponte Preta.

What happened ?
San Lorenzo, in front of a packed stadium with 45-50.000 fans that were ready to celebrate failed to win and could only get a 0-0 draw (fair result but they had a very clear penalty not called with 5 minutes left) and watched how the other result they needed was happening a few km from there because Lanus' young lineup played a good game but drew 0-0 vs Boca.

This left San Lorenzo with 32 pts, followed by Newell's, Lanus and Velez all with 30 pts.
Only one round left, and you think this is not insane enough ?
OK, that's because you don't know that in this last round the schedule has San Lorenzo visiting Velez, and Newell's hosting Lanus !!!!

Due to Lanus commitments in Copa Sudamericana, AFA decided to move the two deciding games to Sunday December 15 while the rest of the round will be played as scheduled this next weekend.

What can happen ?
Well, San Lorenzo still has the biggest chances of winning the championship and they will do it with a win. The other 3 teams have no choice but to win.
If two teams end tied at the top place with the same amount of points then the goals difference doesn't matter and we'll have a final game played in neutral ground.
There are 4 possible combinations for this final game: San Lorenzo - Lanus, San Lorenzo - Newell's, Velez - Lanus or Velez - Newell's.

It can't get anymore exciting than this !!!!!!

Round 19 Schedule:

Friday December 6
Belgrano de Córdoba-All Boys
Racing-Godoy Cruz

Saturday December 7
Atlético de Rafaela-Arsenal
Argentinos Juniors-Rosario Central

Sunday December 8
Boca-Gimnasia (LP)
Quilmes-River
Estudiantes-Tigre

Monday December 9
Olimpo (BB)-Colón (SF)

Sunday December 15
Vélez Sarsfield-San Lorenzo
Newell's Old Boys-Lanús


Standings: 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Inicial 2013 - Round 15 - A title decider



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Plus all Copa Libertadores/Sudamericana games involving Argentine teams and a lot more!
For those not familiar with the service you can read what is it about and how it works here: http://argentinapreviews.blogspot.com.ar/2013/07/argentina-football-previews-20132014.html

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Once again I have to apologize for the lack of updates but it's been a very busy season so far (and definitely a profitable one as well) and we are only 5 rounds away from the end of Inicial but with a potential title decider this weekend.

Not much has changed among the first places in the last few weeks even though the leader Newell's could only get 2 points of the last 9 in play, because basically the same happened to the former 2nd placed Arsenal.
Since they won the Copa Argentina final almost a month ago, in an impressive 3-0 vs San Lorenzo, it looks like they relaxed too much and also got only 2 points in the last 3 games and they couldn't cut the distance they have with Newell's.

The 2nd place is now for San Lorenzo, that had a brilliant performance in the narrow 1-0 win in the derby vs Boca (they missed a penalty among many other chances) and is now only 2 points from Newell's....who they are visiting this weekend !!!

The 4th title contender is Boca because despite that defeat in their visit to San Lorenzo they are still 4 points from the top and hope to make it shorter but for this they will definitely have to improve ASAP, and will have to do it without midfielder Fernando Gago who got injured again and will probably miss the last month of competition.

Their archi-rival River is not in a better situation. Awful performances in the league and they put all their hopes in Copa Sudamericana, from where they were eliminated this week after losing vs Lanus.
The second half of 2013 was nowhere as good as they expected and it won't get any better unless they bring someone that can score goals for them.

Racing finally won (and they did it twice!), Olimpo looks bound to get relegated, Argentinos Jrs, All Boys, Godoy Cruz, Quilmes and Atletico Rafaela are among the teams that don't want to play next season in Nacional B.

Round 15 (of 19) starts this Friday with one of the relegation fight matches, but all eyes will be at Rosario on Saturday night when 2nd placed San Lorenzo visits the Inicial leader Newell's in a must win game for them and one that the top placed team of the league can't afford to lose.

Round 15 Schedule:

Friday November 8
20.15-- Atlético de Rafaela-Godoy Cruz Antonio Tomba
Saturday November 9
15.00-- Olimpo de Bahía Blanca-Quilmes A.C.
17.10-- All Boys-Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata
19.20-- Estudiantes de La Plata-Rosario Central
20.20-- Newell's Old Boys-San Lorenzo

Sunday November 10
16.00-- Belgrano de Córdoba-Colón de Santa Fe
16.00-- Boca Juniors-Tigre
18.15-- Racing Club-Argentinos Juniors
21.15-- Vélez Sarsfield-River Plate

Monday November 11
20.15-- Lanús-Arsenal F.C.


 Standings: (*Colon was deducted 6 points due to a debt they have)