Argentine League Roundup, May 9
Argentinos Juniors leapt to the top of the Argentine Clausura
standings after scoring two late goals to win 4-3 over
Independiente on Sunday and complete an incredible comeback.
The win moved Argentinos to 38 points with one round remaining, one point ahead of Estudiantes, which had captain Juan Sebastian Veron sent off in a scoreless draw with Rosario Central.
Argentinos travels to Huracan in its final match, while Estudiantes is away to Colon de Santa Fe, currently in the bottom half of the 20-team standings.
Nicolas Pavlovich opened the scoring for Argentinos against Independiente, finishing at the back post after a pass across the box from Jose Luis Calderon in the 27th minute.
Leonel Nunez equalized directly from a corner barely a minute later and Independiente took the lead with a 49th-minute header from Dario Gandin and another strike by Nunez in the 68th.
Argentinos looked beaten, but Pavlovich pulled a goal back by heading in Ignacio Canuto's right-wing cross in the 74th minute and Juan Sabia equalized with a strike into the roof of the net in the final minute of regular time.
As both sides committed players forward in search of a winner, Calderon passed to Matias Caruzzo whose deflected shot in the third minute of stoppage time gave Argentinos all three points.
"We won because we put in a lot of fight, a lot of attitude. There's still some way to go though and we've got to stay calm, manage the anxiety," said Caruzzo. "We've got 90 tough minutes to go against Huracan."
The result was bad news for Estudiantes, which could have clinched the title Sunday if it had won and Argentinos hadn't beaten Independiente.
Things started to go wrong for Estudiantes when former Manchester United midfielder Veron was sent off for elbowing an opposition player after half an hour.
Without the playmaker, Estudiantes struggled to break down the Rosario defence and will have to hope Argentinos slips up in its last match to have any chance of claiming the title.
"A player as experienced as Sebastian is difficult to replace," Estudiantes coach Alejandro Sabella said. "The players who were left on the pitch played a great match, but they just couldn't do it. We thought we were going to keep the advantage, and it's a hard knock because we are not at the top any more."
In other matches Sunday, Boca Juniors looks certain to end its miserable season in the bottom half after losing 2-1 at home against Huracan, while Banfield won 2-1 at Tigre and Atletico Tucuman was held 1-1 by Arsenal de Sarandi.
Adrian Peralta gave Huracan the lead in Boca's Bombonera stadium just before the break, but Gabriel Paletta equalized in the 50th minute. Boca had defender Juan Krupoviesa sent off in the 58th minute and Gaston Machin made the extra man count with the winning goal in the 79th.
A Ruben Ramirez penalty and a second-half goal from Roberto Battion earned Banfield a 2-1 victory at Tigre. Brian Rodriguez got a late consolation for Tigre.
Elsewhere, Luciano Leguizamon opened the scoring in the 20th minute for Arsenal de Sarandi but Juan Pereyra equalized after half time for already-relegated Atletico Tucuman.
In results from Saturday: Velez Sarsfield 4, Chacarita Juniors 1; Newell's Old Boys 6, Gimnasia 0; River Plate 3, Racing Club 0.
On Monday, Godoy Cruz takes on Colon and Lanus plays San Lorenzo.