Saturday, December 12, 2009

And So, It Comes Down To This

It's do or die time, the last round. Banfield leads the Apertura by two points over Newell's Old Boys. Because of that, for the first time during the current championship two matches in the top division will be played at the same time in Argentina, Sunday at 5 pm local time. Rolando Schiavi will probably miss Newell's match against San Lorenzo due to a thigh injury, Machuca is expected to take his place. Here's our expected line up:

Sebastián Peratta
Alexis Machuca, Juan Insaurralde, Facundo Quiroga
Nahuel Roselli, Hugo Barrientos, Lucas Bernardi, Leonel Vangioni; Mauro Formica
Jorge Achucarro, Joaquín Boghossian

San Lorenzo goalkeeper has stated that they will be motivated going into the match against Newell's, and they will not be an easy opponent. All the better then, as Newell's have a tendency to play better against such opponents.

Meanwhile, Banfield's coach Julio Falcioni has blasted Newell's complaints about referees, stating that they had done so sense the 6th round. While Newell's coach Roberto Sensini did lodge a petition to the AFA regarding the way referee Pablo Lunati handled the match against Arsenal, that was during the 16th round. Sure, fans had made complaints earlier than that, and certainly any fan with any sense would complain any time his team has a match assigned to Javier Collado, but that's all part of being a sports fan.

Sensini had also earlier in the season proclaimed that his team were not quite yet worthy of being champions. On the other hand Falcioni has come out and started talking about how his team is oh so much better than every other team in the league. It's like his team has already laid claim to the title. He's lucky that Boca Jrs has nothing to play for but pride, and, from what I've read, will be sending out less then their best side. Unfortunately for him and his team, when Boca have done this earlier in the Apertura they have played their best futbol.

Below are the scheduled referees for the final matches.

Argentinos Juniors-Huracán, Cristian Faraoni.
Lanús-Independiente, Carlos Maglio.
Newell´s-San Lorenzo, Héctor Baldassi.
Boca-Banfield, Diego Abal.
Tigre-River, Néstor Pitana.
Racing-Chacarita Juniors, Jorge Baliño.
Vélez-Rosario Central, Pablo Lunati.
Atlético Tucumán-Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata, Sergio Pezzotta.
Godoy Cruz-Arsenal, Saúl Laverni.

In the end, no matter what happens, Newell's have had a very successful Apertura. They've done far better than anyone could have expected, and qualified for the Libertadores. They are Champions in the hearts of La Lepra faithful, regardless of what tomorrow brings.

No comments: