Argentina Clausura Results:
|Friday FEBRUARY 25
||Sunday FEBRUARY 27|
|Belgrano - Union||1-0||Racing Club - Banfield||1-2
|Rafaela - All Boys||0-1
||Godoy Cruz - Tigre||0-2|
|Velez Sarsfield - Arsenal de Sarandi||3-2|
||Boca Juniors - Newell's Old Boys||2-0
| Saturday FEBRUARY 26
||Monday FEBRUARY 28|
|Colon - Olimpo||3-1||Lanus - San Martin (SJ)||1-3
|Estudiantes - Independiente||2-0||
|Argentinos Jrs - San Lorenzo||0-1
|Tipped as title candidates before the season, that eventuality is looking less likely for Racing every week as Alfio Basile's men slipped to a second defeat in their opening three matches, and continued their winless start to the new campaign.
Everything looked to be going La Academia's way, when after just two minutes Teofilo Gutierrez hit home from the penalty spot to give them the lead. Banfield received their own chance from 12 yards, however, and though Sebastian Saja did well to save opposite number Cristian Lucchetti's effort he could do nothing to stop Andres Chavez from converting the rebound.
One man up following the expulsion of Banfield's Bustamante, Racing pushed hard for the winner but could not break down a stout defensive effort and they were not helped by a brainless red card for goalscorer Gutierrez. And their woes were compounded deep into injury time when a Taladro free kick found Hernan Rodrigo Lopez, who headed home to hand Banfield their first win of the season.
||Newell's Old Boys
A rejuvenated Boca discovered their best form after two goalless draws, as they cruised past Newell's at La Bombonera to claim joint custody of the Clausura summit.
Despite the absence of defensive titan Rolando Schiavi, ruled out for the meeting with his former club through injury, Boca were solid at the back and looked the better team throughout the first half. They struck just before the break, when Dario Cvitanich smashed home from close range to hand his side the lead.
Both teams had chances in the second period, but it was Boca through Juan Roman Riquelme that guaranteed all three points. With 10 minutes to play, the talismanic No. 10 hit a trademark free kick which left goalkeeper Peratta standing and further confirmed the commitment of the Xeneixe to repeat their Apertura triumph.
|If the situation at Racing Club is disappointing, the atmosphere three blocks down the road at Independiente is downright pitiful. A third straight Clausura defeat left the Rojo at the bottom of the table and increased the pressure on struggling coach Ramon Diaz.
Estudiantes took the lead midway through the first half, thanks to a stunning effort from Gaston Fernandez. The former Racing and River Plate star carved the Independiente defence wide open with a solo run, before sliding the ball past goalkeeper Hilario Navarro.
The away team had no answer and defeat was sealed 10 minutes from the end with another impressive goal. Substitute Guido Carrillo met perfectly a corner from the left and his bullet header flew past Navarro to give the Pincha their first win of the campaign.
|Best of the Rest
|Godoy Cruz were upset on their own turf by relegation strugglers Tigre, who maintained their unbeaten start to the season to take a share of the Clausura summit. Carlos Luna and Leandro Diaz were both on target in a 2-0 victory for the visitors, who nevertheless continue in the automatic drop zone. A goal from Nahuel Benitez, meanwhile, eased the pressure at San Lorenzo as the Cuervo recorded a first win of the season away at Argentinos Juniors.
Colon were another side who looked impressive over the weekend, as Olimpo were dispatched 3-1 in Santa Fe. But the biggest shock of the round came in southern Buenos Aires. Title candidates Lanus were outclassed by San Martin de San Juan, falling to a surprise 3-1 defeat at home to end their 100 per cent start to the season.
|The Good, the Bad & the Ugly...
Hero of the Week
Already established as one of the very best players in the Argentine Primera Division, Augusto Fernandez gave yet another display of his class at the weekend. The Velez midfielder scored twice and was man of the match in Liniers, as his side recorded a thrilling 3-2 victory over Arsenal de Sarandi.
Zero of the Week
The Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde sides of Teo Gutierrez's character were both on display in Avellaneda. Having opened the scoring with an ice-cool penalty, the Colombian blotted his copybook with a senseless sending off, nonchalantly kicking the ball out of Cristian Lucchetti's hands while already on a yellow card.
Scrapper of the Week
"Come here and I'll fight all of you!"
Racing coach Alfio Basile, has never shied away from confrontation, and at 68 years old and having recently undergone throat surgery the veteran showed no fear in squaring up to fans who had gathered to insult his players as they entered the team bus. Coco was nothing if not sympathetic to their feelings, however, admitting later that they probably were right to barrack his charges.