A bizarre Colon equaliser robbed the Cuervo of a vital three points and kept them in the promocion, while Boca returned to winning ways and Racing enjoyed their Bahia Blanca stay
Argentina Clausura Results:
|Friday MARCH 16
||Saturday MARCH 17
|Lanus v Argentinos Juniors
||0-1||Tigre v Estudiantes||1-1
|All Boys v Godoy Cruz||1-1
||Union v Velez Sarsfield||3-3|
||Independiente v Belgrano||2-0
|Olimpo v Racing Club||0-3
|Sunday MARCH 18
|San Lorenzo v Colon||1-1|
|San Martin (SJ) v Boca Juniors||0-1||
|Newell's v Rafaela||1-0
|Arsenal de Sarandi v Banfield||1-0|
|San Lorenzo fans and players exploded in anger on Sunday afternoon after being held to a draw in the Nuevo Gasometro, after a bizarre refereeing decision from Diego Abal prompted the ire of the Cuervo faithful.
The home team, still fighting against relegation, could not have asked for a better start to the clash. Colon legend Esteban Fuertes was the first player to find himself on the wrong side of the referee, when after 30 minutes he saw red for a raised hand. San Lorenzo took immediate advantage, and before the first half came to an end were one up thanks to Adrian Bastia's own goal.
Leonardo Madelon's team appeared on the way to a crucial three points, before Abal took centre stage. Both teams stopped for a supposed offside from Federico Higuain, who nonchalantly crossed in the box for Ariel Garce to steer in. To everyone's surprise, however, Abal pointed to the middle of the pitch and sanctioned the goal, provoking joy from the visitors and serious disturbances from the home crowd, a section of whom tried to enter the dressing rooms at full time.
The team came from memory, and the result did too as Racing recorded their second consecutive 3-0 triumph at the expense of an Olimpo team who look ever closer to Nacional B football next season.
Playing with an unchanged team for the first time in over 20 games, Alfio Basile's outfit struggled at the outset but were gifted control of the match when Olimpo were reduced to 10. Cristian Villanueva tangled with Federico Santander on the floor, and a less than vicious strike to the Paraguayan striker's face was spotted by the linesman and resulted in Villanueva's marching orders.
It was in the second half, however, that La Academia made their dominance pay. Teo Gutierrez opened the scoring after an exquisite ball over the top, before a neat volley by Gabriel Hauche extended the visitors' advantage. Gutierrez then turned provider, breaking free on the right before squaring for Lucas Castro's fourth goal of the season. Racing move to eighth in the Clausura after a difficult start, and are unbeaten in the last three matches.
|San Martin (SJ)
|Apertura champions Boca closed the gap on Tigre to one point at the top of the Clausura standings, as they toiled and struggled but finally secured a narrow victory over the plucky Sanjuaninos.
Having lost two of their last three fixtures, the away side needed to impress to maintain their hopes of back-to-back title wins; although due to Copa Libertadores commitments coach Julio Falcioni decided to rotate his squad, with Juan Roman Riquelme sitting out Sunday's encounter. The Xeneixe suffered in front of goal, making plenty of chances that were squandered by misfiring pair Pablo Mouche and Santiago Silva.
The winner finally arrived 20 minutes from the end. San Martin were stretched by a fluid passing move, and a impeccable ball from Cristian Chavez was converted by Walter Erviti. There was no way back for the hosts, and Boca have a week to rest tired legs before continuing their assault on the Clausura title.
|Best of the Rest
|A pulsating match in Santa Fe saw Velez Sarsfield surrender the chance to move top of the pile, as they were held to a 3-3 draw by Union. After going behind early the Fortin rallied, and goals from Juan Manuel Martinez, Ivan Bella and Fede Insua put them 3-1 to the good. Union were not finished, however, and struck twice in the last 25 minutes to rescue a point.
The other top of the table clash of the weekend also ended in stalemate. Estudiantes took the lead through Mauro Boselli to give them hope of overtaking Tigre at the top, but Diego Morales struck back to ensure a 1-1 tie and a share of the points. Independiente, meanwhile, continued their renaissance after the dark days of the Ramon Diaz era. Last week's 5-4 victory over Boca was followed by a rather more straightforward triumph; Belgrano were dispatched 2-0 thanks to goals from Ernesto Farias and Fabian Monserrat.
Elsewhere, there was more misery for Lanus as they slipped to a fourth straight league defeat; this time at the hands of Argentinos Juniors, albeit with a team weakened by Copa Libertadores commitments. The Grana slip to 14th in the Clausura, while Argentinos move into the top half.
|The Good, the Bad & the Ugly...
|Hero of the Week
Signed as a goalscorer by Miguel Angel Russo, Racing Club's Colombian star Teo Gutierrez has been showing another facet of his game in recent weeks. Playing as the most withdrawn member of a three-man attack in the absence of injured Gio Moreno, the Cafetero has showed all his creative instincts to become a brilliant enganche, setting up as well as scoring against Olimpo.
Zero of the Week
It will be a good while before Diego Abal feels happy taking to the streets of Boedo and Bajo Flores after a nightmare mistake on Sunday. Both teams had stopped following a clear offside, but the referee decided to overrule his linesman and allow a bizarre Colon goal against San Lorenzo; and the bumbling official was forced to leave the pitch with a police escort as fans showed their discontent with the decision.