Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Do You Believe In Miracles?

Some where there is a fan of Vélez Sarsfield saying his team was tired from playing a midweek Libertadores match. An excuse. Some where a Vélez fan is wishing he had not bet his team would easily beat Newell's Old Boys. A regret. Some how Newell's not only managed a 1-0 away victory, but did so with out even allowing one shot from a rival player. A fact.

I watched Vélez beat Deportivo Quito 1-0 last Thursday. I had hoped it would be a difficult game so that Newell's would have an easier time when they entered the match in José Amalfitani Stadium on Monday night. That did not happen.

That still did not keep Newell's from dominating play. The midfield was like a swarm of bees... while they did not win every challenge they did force turn overs, continued to make quick passes, keeping the ball moving.

Late into the match the score was still 0-0, and I would have been happy with the single point. Hernán Pellerano and his team mates had other plans. They kept pressuring for a goal, and finally one came. It was 35 seconds into injury time when Pellerano made his way deep into the enemy's penalty area to volley the ball off the crossbar, dropping just over the goal line for the games only goal. That is the first goal for Pellerano for Newell's. Ironically he started his career with Vélez.

Here are the best of the highlights. Note that the only one belonging to the home team is a failed attempt at a Hand Of God...

While I am not yet ready to call Gerardo Martino a savior, this win was certainly a miracle I could never have envisioned. The fact that after going through the Apertura with only one win, and now Newell's have tucked three straight wins under their belts? The fact that seven games into the Clausura we are only two points from league leaders Estudiantes?

Yes, Martino has the team playing well, but to be a savior, in my eyes, we must continue to win, and above all else avoid relegation come next year.

Up next Newell's will play host to Racing Club. Dare I ask for a fourth win in a row for my birthday weekend?

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