Pizzi's charges could not find a way past San Martin and stay in the Nacional B, while the Cuervo downed Instituto 3-1 and confirmed their survival after a tortuous season
Ricardo Caruso Lombardi's San Lorenzo side were in the driving seat for Sunday's decider against Instituto, who were hoping to follow the example of Cordoba rivals Belgrano in unseating one of the Primera's biggest clubs. Two second-half goals from Uruguayan striker Carlos Bueno, however, had put the Cuervo in the driving seat as they took a two-goal advantage to the return leg in Buenos Aires.
A 1-1 draw was ultimately enough to ensure the club would not suffer the same fate as River Plate in 2011. There was a brief worry for the home side when Diego Lagos fired Instituto into the lead midway through the second half, but Nestor Ortigoza struck back to leave the final score at 3-1 on aggregate.
Rosario giants Central, meanwhile, were condemned to a third consecutive year in the second tier as they failed to overturn a dogged San Martin in either leg. Over 180 minutes, the Canalla found no way through the San Juan side's defence, and the 0-0 aggregate score meant that, as the team from the higher league, San Martin retained their status without the need for penalties or extra time.
Central coach Juan Antonio Pizzi, famous for his spell as a player with Barcelona and the Spain national team, could not hide the fact that missing out on promotion was a devastating blow for himself and the side.
"I have already made a decision [whether to stay or not] and I will tell the fans what they need to be told. I cannot talk about anything else, this is the saddest day of my life as a coach," the dejected former Universidad Catolica boss explained to reporters at the final whistle.