Velez beat Arsenal to stay top in Argentina

BUENOS AIRES - Velez Sarsfield scored at the end of each half to beat Arsenal 2-0 on Saturday and retain top spot as the Argentine Clausura championship passed the halfway mark. Uruguayan Rodrigo Lopez put Velez ahead when he collected Gaston Diaz's cross from the right and fired in from close range on the stroke of halftime. Joaquin Larrivey had a penalty saved by Arsenal goalkeeper Cristian Campestrini in the 71st minute but Velez made sure of the points when Leandro Coronel capitalised on an incisive pass from Roberto Nanni in the 90th minute. Velez, unbeaten after 10 games in the 19-match campaign, lead by one point from Colon, who beat Independiente 1-0 on Friday. Lanus, third with 18 points from nine games, host Tigre on Sunday which also features the Boca Juniors-River Plate derby. Racing Club eased their relegation worries by beating Banfield 1-0 to notch their third successive win. Adrian Lucero scored the winner in the ninth minute after a one-two with Pablo Luguercio to lift Racing to seventh. Racing, one of the country's most popular teams, are 16th out of 20 teams in the relegation standings which are decided over three seasons. The bottom two go down while the 17th and 18th teams play off against second division sides.