Highlights: Argentine Primera División, Apertura 2010 - Fecha 14

Former Boca Juniors player Jonathan Maidana
scored the only goal of the game.
The delayed and most anticipated Superclásico in years was the last fixture of round 14. The game was called off last week after all domestic football was canceled following the death of former President Néstor Kirchner. It was further delayed because River Plate's Estadio Monumental was booked up over the weekend with a concert performance from the Jonas Brothers. The game took place on Tuesday night and with River Plate in the relegation places and managerless after the sacking of Angel Cappa last week, Boca Juniors must have been looking forward to this trip to the Monumental like never before.

The game itself was not the greatest spectacle of football ever seen, but with both sides in the bottom half of the table (River in 11th & Boca in 13th) nobody expected much more than a battle of attrition. River Plate were the better team in the first half with Erik Lamela, Ariel Ortega and Mariano Pavone all looking good. Boca Juniors looked subdued, Riquelme was clearly struggling for form after only recently returning from an 8 month injury layoff and Boca were giving the ball away far too many times in their own half.

Riquelme was withdrawn at the beginning of the 2nd half and watched on forlornly from the bench with an icepack on his ankle for the rest of the game. River Plate started the 2nd half as they had ended the first with a well saved free kick from 18 year old Erik Lamela and a strong penalty appeal for handball. The breakthrough came from an unlikely source, River Plate centre back and former Boca Juniors player Jonathan Maidana rose unchallenged to head in from a corner 8 minutes into the 2nd half.

After the celebrations died down and the hundereds of flares went out the game settled down again with River Plate understandably sitting back more defensively, yet they had the majority of the remaining chances on the counter attack with the young attacking lineup of 18 year old Erik Lamela and 19 year old substitute Rogelio Funes Mori looking dangerous.

The 1-0 win for River Plate put an end to their 7 match winless streak, moved them out of the bottom half of the table, gave them their first league win against Boca Juniors in over 3 years and a winning debut for manager and club legend J.J. Lopez. Time will tell whether Boca Juniors manager Claudio Borghi can survive this defeat.

The rest of the action
The opening fixture of the round saw Colón record their third consecutive win, after a 1-2 away victory against Hurcán. Cólon's rich vein of form gives the impression that they really have taken in their stride the loss of their manager to Independiente last month.

 The next two games of the round were 0-0 draws, relegation strugglers Gimnasia earned a creditable 0-0 draw away at Banfield, equaling their best run of results this season (a win and a draw). The next 0-0 draw was between what are probably the two smallest teams in the division, Arsenal will be disappointed to have dropped more points to lose touch completely with the title race. All Boys will be fairly pleased with an away point which keeps them well away from the relegation places for the time being.

Ricardo Alvarez celebrates his goal that
took Vélez to the top of the Primera División table.
On the Saturday leaders Estudiantes went down to a surprise 2-1 away defeat to Tigre leaving the championship race wide open. Tigre were the better team in the first half and deserved their halftime lead. However they suffered two early blows in the second half, losing Román Martínez to a second yellow card only 2 minutes after the restart and conceding the equaliser 4 minutes later. Estudiantes should have then taken control of the game but they never really looked like winning and when their ten man opponents broke away to score their second Estudiantes never looked like responding either. In fact Tigre could easily have had a couple more on the counter attack too, hitting the post, forcing several saves and desperate interceptions late in the game, an attacking approach epitomised by this play from 20 year old substitute Rúben Botta.

The following day Vélez Sársfield duly won their game against Lanús to join Estudiantes at the top of the table on 30 points. Vélez looked nervy at times but they eventually broke through with a second half goal from Ricardo Alvarez to give them a 1-0 win. The game was Lanús' 4th consecutive defeat and manager Luis Zubeldia's last game in charge of the club, he leaves them in the bottom half of the table but in 3rd place in the promedios table behind only the two league leaders Estudiantes and Vélez.

Quilmes & Godoy Cruz played behind closed
doors at Banfield, hence the rows of
empty green seats in the background.
Until last week it would have been possible to feel sorry for Quilmes fans, who had endured seeing their team go 13 games without a win. Then last weekend some  of them stoned their own players and vandalised their cars after their defeat to Gimnasia.

As a result their game against Godoy Cruz was moved to a neutral stadium and played behind closed doors. Without their fans, the Quilmes players pulled off their first win of the season with a 92nd minute goal from Miguel Caneo for a 2-1 result.

Beigning champions Argentinos Juniors have got over their jittery start to the season to record their 3rd consecutive win with a 1-0 victory against San Lorenzo which moved them into the top half of the table for the first time this season. San Lorenzo on the other hand are going in the opposite direction after managing only one win in their last seven games. Argentinos goal goal was scored by 20 year old Nicolás Blandi, the first goal of his career.

In the weekend that Quilmes got their first win, Olimpo earned their first draw and their first away point of the season after an injury time equaliser from 2nd half substitute Carlos Salom earned them a 1-1 draw against Independiente. Olimpo are still in the automatic relegation zone but they will soon escape if they can keep the improved form that they have shown in their last 4 games.

In Sunday night's late game Racing Club won their first game at Newell's Old Boys in 5 years with two goals in the last few minutes of the game. At 5' 6" (1.68m)  Gabriel Hauche was an unlikely figure to score an 89th minute header and 3 minutes into injury time Pablo Lugüercio scored another to give Racing Club a famous victory.

Huracán 1-2 Colón
Banfield 0-0Gimnasia La Plata
Arsenal Sarandí 0-0 All Boys
Tigre 2-1 Estudiantes
Quilmes 2-1 Godoy Cruz
Argentinos Juniors 1-0 San Lorenzo
Independiente 1-1 Olimpo
Vélez Sársfield 1-0 Lanús
Newell's Old Boys 0-2 Racing Club
River Plate 1-0 Boca Juniors

For more South American football highlights, including the Brazilian league, the pick of the rest and international tournaments:

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