Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Final 2013 - Round 3 - Independiente dominates the derby, River/Lanus stay perfect

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Perfect week for Independiente, the best they had in a very long time as they won the huge Avellaneda derby 2-0 vs Racing and for the first time in 21 rounds they are out of the relegation zone (at least temporarily).
Few times I've seen a team play a big derby with less attitude than Racing. Independiente scored after only 3 minutes and just cruised through the rest of the game watching like the harmless Racing couldn't even take a shot at goal.
Two defeats in three games for Racing as fans start to lose the little patience they had on coach Luis Zubeldia.

The two leaders of the tournament will remain perfect for one more week.
Lanus had to work more than expected to beat a Velez team full of reserves due to their Copa Libertadores commitments but in the end got a very deserved 1-0 win.

River won vs Tigre one of the craziest games in a very long time.
Down 0-1 with 5 minutes left and having a very poor performance it looked like their streak was over, until out of nowhere they scored 3 goals in less than 10 minutes to complete an amazing comeback and stay at the top of the league tied with Lanus.

At this point is no longer a surprise to see Boca struggle not only in defense but also in attack. They played at All Boys and the only reason why they didn't concede a goal in the 1st half was thanks to goalkeeper Oscar Ustari who had some great saves but he couldn't to much in the 2nd half and Boca lost their first game of Final 2013.

Argentinos Jrs is in a free fall and after the 1-2 defeat vs Arsenal lost their coach, Union took another step forward towards relegation in their defeat vs Quilmes, San Lorenzo drew for the 4th consecutive week and Belgrano took their first win of 2013 in the last minute vs Colon.

Round 3 results:

Argentinos 1 - Arsenal 2
Estudiantes de La Plata 1 -San Lorenzo 1
Unión de Santa Fe 0 - Quilmes 3
All Boys 2 - Boca Juniors 0
Lanús 1 - Vélez Sarsfield 0
Independiente 2 - Racing Club 0
Atlético de Rafaela 1 - Godoy Cruz 2
Belgrano 2 - Colón 1
River Plate 3 - Tigre 2
San Martín de San Juan 1 - Newell’s 1

Round 3 goals:

Round 4 will start next Friday and will feature some very interesting games: the most important one is the derby between San Lorenzo and one of the leaders, River while the other leader, Lanus, will visit a Racing that must put the lost derby behind them. Also a very important game for the relegations table, Quilmes - Atletico Rafaela and Juan Roman Riquelme could be back for Boca as they host Union.

Round 4 schedule:

Friday March 1
19.10-- Quilmes A.C.-Atlético de Rafaela
21.15-- Newell's Old Boys-Belgrano 

Saturday March 2
17.00-- Colón de Santa Fe-Estudiantes de La Plata       
20.15-- Arsenal F. C. -Independiente 

Sunday March 3
17.00-- Godoy Cruz Antonio Tomba-Argentinos Juniors       
17.00-- San Lorenzo de Almagro-River Plate    
18.00-- Racing Club-Lanús  
19.10-- Tigre-All Boys  
20.15-- Boca Juniors-Unión de Santa Fe      

Monday March 4
21.15-- Vélez Sarsfield-San Martín de San Juan  


Averages Table:

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Final 2013 - Round 2 - Lanus wins again, how far can they go ?

Another huge win for Lanus, a 3-0 at Newell's who were resting a few important players due to their Copa Libertadores commitments, and 3 very important points that not many teams will get at Rosario.
7 goals, 0 conceded for the best team so far of Final 2013 as they started the tournament looking like a major candidate to win the championship.
Of course, it's too early and they are not alone at the top because River and their narrow 1-0 win with a nice goal by world cup champion David Trezeguet vs Estudiantes also puts them at the top of the standings.

Boca's coach Carlos Bianchi had enough of watching his team conceding freely in the first games of the semester and decided to change half team, putting a strong defensive team but with little offensive intentions.
The result ? An awful 0-0 at Tigre who tried to win it but couldn't get through Boca's defensive tactics.

What a win for Independiente!
First surprise of the tournament, they end their bad streak in the most unexpected match. Of course, they didn't deserve it at all.
The game started pretty balanced, Velez started to play better when defender Julian Velazquez got a 2nd yellow for a very hard fouls in midfield. It was all Velez after that (final ball possession was 64%-36% for Velez), and in Independiente's first attack, right before halftime, they get a corner from where they scored a ridiculous and great goal by defender Cristian Tula (he chipped the ball almost unintentionally).
The 2nd half was also all Velez, I'm not sure if Independiente even had a shot at goal, but as minutes passed they started to look tired and with poor accuracy in their passes.
Independiente is still in relegation zone, but now only a couple of thousandths behind San Martin, and they cut the difference with San Lorenzo to 9 points.
Velez will have to start worrying a little bit of the way they are playing because not even in their win vs Argentinos they were convincing enough, and they have a definitely must win in Copa Libertadores this week, plus they will visit Lanus in round 3.

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Round 2 results:

Racing Club 2 - Argentinos Juniors 0
Godoy Cruz 2 - Unión 1
San Lorenzo 0 - Belgrano 0
Colón 1 - San Martín de San Juan 1
Vélez 0 - Independiente 1
Tigre 0 - Boca 0
Quilmes 2 - All Boys 1
Newell’s 0 - Lanús 3
River Plate 1 - Estudiantes 0
Arsenal 0 - At. Rafaela 0

All the goals of Round 2:

Lanus and River are the only leaders and the 3rd round that starts on Friday looks pretty exciting.
The two games that stand out are the HUUUUUGE Avellaneda derby between Independiente and Racing, and a meeting of two of the best teams in Lanus - Velez, but we also have River - Tigre, and Union - Quilmes in a big relegation "final".

This is the full round 3 schedule:

Friday February 22
19.10--Argentinos Juniors-Arsenal de Sarandí
21.15--Estudiantes de La Plata-San Lorenzo

Saturday February 23
17.10--Unión de Santa Fe-Quilmes
19.15--All Boys-Boca Juniors
20.15--Lanús-Vélez Sarsfield

Sunday February 24
17.00--Independiente-Racing Club
17.00--Atlético de Rafaela-Godoy Cruz Antonio Tomba
18.00--Belgrano de Córdoba-Colón de Santa Fe
20.15--River Plate-Tigre

Monday February 25
22.15--San Martín de San Juan-Newell’s Old Boys


Averages Table: