Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Point Well Earned

When you go into an away game against a team that is a mere point behind you in the standings you should be happy with any points that you can walk away with. When you hold them to a 0-0 draw while fielding a team made up of a couple of regulars, a bunch of players who usually on the bench at the start of the match, and a defender making his first appearance for the first team? I, for one, am more than happy with Newell's Old Boys point away to Godoy Cruz.

The only disappointing thing in this game (other than the ineffectiveness of forwards Luis Rodriguez and Sebastián Taborda) is that midfielder Cristian Díaz had a wonderful opportunity called back for offsides. The replay showed quite clearly that he was not, and while he did place a rather nice shot into the back of the Godoy Cruz net Sebastián Torrico, to give the devil his due, may have been able to make the save had the referee not blown his whistle.

Godoy Cruz also had a goal called back, but that was on a clear attempt to emulate Maradona by handing the ball into the net. Instead of being awarded the goal David Ospina Ramírez "Hand of Man" was spotted by the officials and resulted in referee Germán Delfino carding the midfielder for his effort.

For the night it was only shot that got by Sebastián Peratta, though he did mishandle one shot. The rebound was bounced off the post, and so the clean sheet was maintained. His performance otherwise was nothing short of brilliant which would make him the easy pick for man of the match, but I'm reserving that for another player.

In my opinion the man who deserves that accolade is one Carlos Vaca, making only his third appearance for the first team. Not only did he did he handle a tough assignment of playing along Franco Dolci as Newell's double fives in place of Lucas Bernardi and Diego Mateo, but it was his passing ability that lead to many of the offensive forays into Godoy Cruz territory for La Lepra. He even had a chance to score himself, but put the shot wide.

With the point Newell's have solidified their fourth place position in the Apertura with 22 points. They are now eight points back from leaders Estudiantes, who trounced Lanus last night 3-0. Banfield, River Plate and San Lorenzo could jump up with in a point of Newell's with wins tomorrow. Third place Arsenal de Sarandí are only two points ahead of Newell's after a 2-2 draw away to Racing Club.

Up next, it's off to Ecuador for the second leg of the Copa Sudamericana Quarterfinal against LDU Quito.

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