Spitting incident mars Argentine kick-off

BUENOS AIRES - A spitting incident involving Juan Roman Riquelme and a paltry total of 14 goals in nine matches heralded the start of the Argentine season at the weekend.

Riquelme went to take a corner towards the end of Boca Juniors' 0-0 draw at Olimpo's small ground in Bahia Blanca and was spat at by a fan through the perimeter fence.

"People are used to doing this in our country and nothing surprises [you]," the creative midfielder told reporters.

The 33-year-old, still one of the outstanding players in the league, also complained about the state of Olimpo's pitch.

"I don't think you can get a good match in this ground... the match was bad. Neither side did much to win it," said Riquelme, a member of the Argentina team that reached the 2006 World Cup quarter-finals.

"When you can't win, you have to not lose."

Estudiantes, without Juan Sebastian Veron who is still short of fitness after foot surgery in May, were held 0-0 at Newell's Old Boys in Rosario.

There were also four 1-1 draws including Saturday's match at Godoy Cruz in Mendoza where champions Velez Sarsfield came from a goal down to dominate the second half and equalise through substitute Ivan Bella.

San Lorenzo had the better of their home match against Lanus but conceded a first-half goal to Uruguayan Mario Reguerio and squandered a string of chances before losing 1-0.

Colon scored twice in three minutes for a 2-1 win at Arsenal and promoted Atletico Rafaela stunned Banfield 2-0 away on Friday night with two goals from former Independiente striker Dario Gandin, back from a spell with Necaxa in Mexico.


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