Argentine League Wrap, Mar 27

Juan Roman Riquelme scored from a soaring second-half free-kick on Sunday to give Boca Juniors a 1-0 victory over Colon, the club’s first win after three straight losses in a terrible start to the Argentine Clausura season.

Riquelme scored in the 61st minute from a 30-meter free kick, which found the far corner beyond goalkeeper Diego Pozo.

In other Sunday matches, Independiente drew 1-1 with Banfield, Tigre and Godoy Cruz drew 2-2 and Velez defeated Arsenal 3-0.

”The results have not been going our way,” Riquelme said. ”Today we needed to win and we had luck to do it. This was very important for us and let’s see if we can do it again next week at home.”

Boca’s new coach, Julio Cesar Falcioni, made five changes Sunday to his starting team, but the best player on the field was Riquelme, who missed four of the first five matches due to injury. Riquelme returned to the lineup last weekend and was effective again, though Boca’s attack failed to create many chances.

The victory gives Boca’s only seven points in seven matches – with only three goals – but should take some of the pressure off Falcioni. His club was rated the favorite by many when the season began.

Despite Boca’s slow start, the Clausura is wide open and could be won by a dozen clubs. Estudiantes beat All Boys 3-0 on Friday to lead the standings, two points above San Lorenzo and Olimpo. Racing, River Plate and Banfield are three back, while Argentinos Juniors, Godoy Cruz and Velez Sarsfield are four points off the pace.

Eduardo Tuzzio scored in the seventh minute for Independiente and Cristian Garcia equalized for Banfield in the 42nd.

Mariano Donda and Alvaro Navarro scored first-half goals for Godoy Cruz, with Tigre equalizing from two second-half goals by Denis Stracqualursi.

Santiago Silva, Juan Manuel Martinez and Ricardo Alvarez scored in Velez’s easy victory against Arsenal.