Partidazo: Vélez Sársfield 1-0 Húracan, Clausura 2009

Part of the Partidozo series

Security staff at the game use their riot shields to shelter from the first half hailstorm.
On 5 July 2009, fans at the Estadio Amalfitani were witness to one of the most epic and controversial games in the history of Argentine club football. The match was the very last game of the Clausura 2009 tournament which had fatefully matched the top two sides in an end of season decider.

The hosts Vélez Sársfield were in 2nd place with 37 points having only lost one game all season. Their visitors Huracán were top of the league with 38 points,  and therefore only needed to record a draw to take their first championship title since 1973.

First Half




Ángel Cappa's Huracán team were the neutral's favourites, having played mesmerising football throughout the tournament featuring the teenage talents of Matías De Federico and Javier Pastore.

Huracán had dominated the opening exchanges, having had a goal from Eduardo Domínguez wrongly disallowed for offside. The first extraordinary event started around 19 minutes into the game when referee Gabriel Brazenas made the decision to withdraw the teams from the field when a severe hailstorm covered the pitch in large hailstones. During the interruption the Vélez ground staff used air blowers to clear the penalty areas and the teams returned to the field after a 28 minute delay, with the majority of the pitch still covered in large chunks of ice.

The TV clocks had carried on rolling through the stoppage and the game resumed on 47 minutes, with the assistant referee displaying 26 minutes stoppage time on the board. In the 52nd minute of the first half Vélez were awarded a penalty for a foul on Maxi Moralez but Uruguayan striker Hernan López's strike was saved by Huracán goalkeeper Gaston Monzón.

In the 67th minute of the first half Eduardo Domínguez came agonisingly close to opening the scoring for Huracán but his header hit the crossbar and Defederico could not follow it in. The referee finally brought an end to the first half after 73 minutes.

Second Half





In the second half Vélez continued trying for the goal they needed while Huracán launched quick fire counter attacks. The managers signaled their intentions, Vélez Manager Ricardo Gareca sacrificed a defender to bring on striker Joaquín Larrivey then Cappa removed a midfielder to bring on an additional defender to protect the point they needed to take the championship.

Late in the 2nd half the referee ignored a professional foul by Huracán defender Carlos Arano on Luis Cubero and Cubero's violent reaction, both players should have been sent off and from this point the game descended into farce with long stoppages and appeals against every one of Brazenas' poor decisions.

On 83 minutes Larrivey dived in to a challenge with the Huracán goalkeeper getting nowhere near the ball, leaving both players injured in the penalty area. A clear free kick to the defending team, yet Brazenas let the play continue, with Maxi Morales firing into the unguarded net.

As Morales raced off in celebration, the Huracán players surrounded Brazenas appealing against the goal. Brazenas was unmoved and the only action he took was to give goalscorer Moralez his 2nd yellow card of the game for removing his shirt during his celebration.

At the end of the 90 minutes the assistant put up the board for 13 minutes of additional time, due to all of the stoppages and injuries. As the 13 minutes expired several players got involved in a brawl, Brazenas again failed to take action against the offenders and after 60 minutes of 2nd half action he blew the final whistle to cue wild celebrations at Vélez Sársfield's 7th league championship.

Aftermath

As is often the case Huracán sold their two teenage talismans as well as key midfielder Mario Bolatti in the summer transfer window, De Federico departing to Corinthians of Brazil and Pastore joining Palermo of Italy. Cappa stayed on as Huracán manager but resigned due to poor results the following season. In 2010 he was chosen to take on the hugely important task of saving giants River Plate from relegation.

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

10 comments:

  1. Andy in Holland27 April 2012 16:27

    This explains why refs in South America get such stick. But it's a terrific story - it deserves to be more widely known. Thanks for bringing it to us.

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