Partidazo: Apertura 2006 - Estudiantes 7-0 Gimnasia - The La Plata slaughter

On 15 October 2006 Estudiantes de La Plata played their first Clásico Platense as the nominal home team in the municipal Ciudad de La Plata stadium against fierce local rivals Gimnasia y Esgrima de La Plata. The bottoms of the goalposts were painted red to indicate that Estudiantes were the nominal home team in the shared stadium.

What ensued was 90 minutes of torture for the Gimnasia fans, their team was hopelessly outplayed by a technically superior side, the team turned to violence and were reduced to 9 players by the end of the match by which time many of the Gimnasia fans had also turned violent, clashing with the police and stewards.

Veteran forward José Luis Calderón took many of the plaudits for his hat-trick, Diego Galván chipped in with two goals but the real star performer was Calderón's fellow forward Mariano Pavone who truly lived up to his nickname of "El Tanque" (The Tank) in this game.

The final score of 7-0 remains the biggest winning margin in the history of the La Plata derby.


Following this shameful performance Gimnasia sank into chaos, the fans sent death threats to their own players to intimidate them into losing deliberately against Boca Juniors in a vain attempt to to scupper the Estudiantes title challenge and since 2006 they have fallen down the league standings, becoming perpetual relegation candidates and narrowly avoiding relegation on several occasions.

Estudiantes gained a huge amount of confidence from their performance and went on a long unbeaten streak to eventually catch runaway leaders Boca Juniors and finish level on points at the end of the season resulting in a one off championship playoff to determine the winners of the 2006 Apertura.  Mariano Pavone bagged the decisive goal  in a 2-1 victory which gave Estudiantes their first championship in 23 years. They followed up this success by winning the 2009 Copa Libertadores.

For more great games involving South American teams, check out the rest of the Partidazo series.


  1. Nice article. That is one game that will always remembered by *both* sides in La Plata, sweetly by one and bitterly by the other.

    Wanna know a funny thing? After the game that day, Calderon stopped by his parents' house for a visit, as he used to do periodically. His father, a Gimnasia fan, did not talk to him for a couple of days after his hat-trick of that day. :-)

    Such is the passion with which this game is lived in La Plata.

  2. that game was one of the most beautiful emotions in my life .. beautiful!