Sunday, December 5, 2010

Libertadores Dream Slipping Away?

What can I say? It was a bright and sunny day in Buenos Aires, a beautiful day for futbol at San Lorenzo's Nuevo Gasómetro. The match that I just witnessed, however, was dull as could be. San Lorenzo 0 Newell's Old Boys 0.

Sure, both teams had a few chances, but fewer than a handful each. No last minute heroics were to be found, as Newell's continue to struggle to find the back of the net. They have only scored 13 times over the course of 17 matches in this Apertura, and if not for their solid defending they would be much further down the standings than their current seventh place. By the end of the 17th round, that could well be eighth place as Lanús could well jump past them with a win that in all likelihood they will get when they host domestically struggling, but Copa Sudamericana Finalists Independiente.

With the draw Newell's creep back with in one point of Racing Club, who won beat Gimnasia La Plata 2-0 on Friday, for a spot in the 2011 Copa Libertadores. That final qualification spot could disappear, however, should Independiente come from 2-0 behind in their home half of the Copa Sudamerica Final against Brazilian team Goiás.

Adding to the difficulty for Newell's to even have a chance of qualifying for the Libertadores is the fact that Mauro Fórmica received his fifth yellow card today, and thus with have to miss the midweek match at home against Olimpo de Bahía Blanca. Sure, Olimpo should be beatable, especially with the game being played at the Estadio Marcelo Bielsa... but only if La Lepra can find a way to score. That is not something that Newell's have been doing enough of this season.

No comments: