Play-offs, punch-ups and perished pigeons

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"Why use two words when you can use 20?" someone once said, I think, probably a politician. But the point was there. Sometimes overcomplicating things is good, more exciting.

Argentine football is a case in point. Well many aspects of Argentina actually. Why queue once for a drink in a bar, when you can queue to pay, queue for a ticket and then finally queue for your drink? You meet more people, have a chat and maybe spark up a beautiful friendship.

Argentine football is certainly not in the business of making life easy. There are currently three teams still fighting it out for top spot: San Lorenzo, Tigre and Boca. It would have been too easy to just settle everything on the final day of the league season, instead we have an elongated series of finals to, well, make it exciting. And no doubt it is.

So, as of today this is how it stands. All teams finished on 39 points out of 19 games, so it goes to a play-off because goal difference is not taken into account.  

Bergessio celebrates doubling San Lorenzo's lead 

On Wednesday, San Lorenzo beat Tigre in an ill-tempered play off game on a scorching day in the neutral Velez Sarsfield stadium.

San Lorenzo went ahead after 17 minutes thanks to a goalkeeping gaffe from Daniel Islas. And three minutes later poor defending from Tigre allowed Pablo Barrientes free to cross a perfect ball for Gonzalo Bergessio to power into the net.

Tigre pulled one back with a stunning header after 31 minutes, but then things got ugly. Play was stopped for six minutes when Tigre keeper Islas pushed Barrientos in the face. The referee missed it but he was finally sent off, much to the chagrin of Tigre's fans who bombarded the referee with bottles and coins to the extent that he required a police escort off the pitch.

Tempers flare after Tigre lose their keeper 

And spare a thought this Christmas for the poor pigeon who was killed during the game. At least that's Christmas lunch sorted.

So, we're left with San Lorenzo due to face Boca Juniors on Saturday. A win for San Lorenzo would hand them the title, while a draw would mean that Tigre would be out of the running, with Boca needing a win next Tuesday against Tigre to be crowned champions. Otherwise, San Lorenzo win. Got that?

"Not the pigeon, why did you have to go and kill the pigeon..." 

After Wednesday's shenanigans, it seems certain that there will be more craziness to come. There is too much at stake.

What will be interesting is if San Lorenzo draw on Saturday, leaving Boca ('friends' of Tigre) needing a win next week.

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