Estudiantes win comes at a cost as Veron suspended for title showdown

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There are just two rounds to go in the Apertura 2010 - by next Monday it’ll all be over. The title might be decided midweek, if Vélez fail to beat Huracán and Estudiantes beat River on Wednesday. In the meantime, round 17 looked roughly like thiss…

Olimpo 1-1 Arsenal

Latino pop guru Luis Miguel had been due to ‘sing’ at Olimpo’s stadium, so the fixture was pushed forward. Luis then decided that he’d ‘sing’ at Vélez instead, by which time the game had already been moved. Soon the most un-noticed fixture of the season had been and gone.

All Boys 2-1 Banfield

All Boys' home form has been as good as league title challengers Vélez and Estudiantes, with seven wins from nine games. For a newly-promoted side it is a remarkable achievement, which couple with the way they have been playing, has been applauded by all. The same cannot go for their midfielder Hugo Barrientos, however, who opened up Rubén Ramírez’ face with his elbow.

Racing 2-0 Gimnasia

Guiding Racing out of the depths of mediocrity this season has been the Crouch/Riquelme/Guti-esque genius of the Colombian, Gio Moreno. For once, however, it was Gabriel ‘The Demon’ Hauche who stole the headlines with a quite brilliant finish for his 6th goal of the season and keep the Academy in the hunt for Libertadores qualification.

Estudiantes 3-1 Argentinos

Estudiantes have managed to make it to the final stage of the season at the top of the table with no out and out ‘No.9.’ Injuries left them without a target man. Had Martín Palermo scored Gata Fernández’ header on Saturday, however, it would have been labelled a classic No.9’s goal. We would have spoken about the dying species that is the born goalscorer.

Instead The Pincha got on with things and back from a goal down to stay top, but there was bad news. Verón picked up his fifth yellow card (judging by TV replays, for breathing) and will miss the trip to River and the crunch-down with Matías Almeyda.

Colón 1-2 River

Almeyda had been rested for the visit from Estudiantes, we were told, but for the first time this season River played well without their warrior in midfield. Erik Lamela scored a golazo - for his part it was a decent finish, but it was the build up which made it. A series of intricate one-twos…. you can tell its Cappa’s team. What? Oh, he was sacked.

Mariano Pavone scored the 93rd minute winner to take River even further from relegation trouble.

San Lorenzo 0-0 Newell’s

There are presidential elections at San Lorenzo next week, making the atmosphere somewhat tense. ‘Whoever wins will have to put a team together quickly,’ warned coach Ramón Díaz, who added that ‘we all want to be challenging for silverware.’ Unless we see Messi, Drogba, Sneijder and Xabi strutting their stuff in Boedo in the near future, Ramón will be gone.

Tigre 3-1 Huracán

Allegations of Tigre coach demanding money from his players in order to play had dominated the headlines last week, but the Tiger’s players went out to prove their support for the man in the dugout, albeit against a very poor Huracán. Foreign commentator’s nightmare, Denis Stracqualursi grabbed a brace, and now has nine goals to his name.

Godoy Cruz 0-4 Vélez

Godoy Cruz coach Omar Asad played in the Vélez shirt last week when he turned out for his former club against Milan in a re-run of the Fortress’ 1994 Intercontinental win.

There were no suspicions of his side rolling over to help Vélez challenge for the title, however, not when the steamroller Santiago Silva is playing as he is. The Uruguayan centre forward added a two more to his tally, making him the season’s top scorer with 11 while Vélez kept within touching distance of the title.

Boca 1-0 Quilmes

Within four minutes we’d had two bookings and Boca had hit the bar. We were in for a classic. Sadly, it didn’t materialise. The one-goal margin flattered Quilmes enormously, but also spoke volumes about how far off Boca are from finding their stride.

Lanús 0-0 Independiente

The final match of the weekend was a somewhat Spanish affair, kicking off at gone 10 in the evening and not letting those at the game return home before 1am, if they were lucky. Independiente put out a reserve side as they prepare for Wednesday’s Sudamericana Final second leg, so expecting them and us to focus on this match was asking a bit much.

You can catch all the goals, right here