Stoppage Time – International Football Blog

Argentina: Another Surprise Champion in the Clausura (+video)

Posted in South America Football by peterbein on May 17, 2010

The Argentinian domestic championship has had its fair share of surprise champions in recent years and the crowning of Argentinos Juniors on Sunday is another fine example of just how open the league has become in the last couple of seasons. After unexpected successes for Estudiantes de La Plata, Lanús and Banfield in the various Argentine championships since 2005-06 Argentinos Juniors, who were last crowned domestic champions in 1985, held out over the challenge of Estudiantes by winning their final game of the 2009-10 Torneo Clasura (Closing Championship) season 2-1 against Huracán.

Estudiantes, defending South American champions, needed to win their final game against Colon de Santa Fe and hope that Juniors slipped up in their final match but it wasn’t to be. Goals from Juan Mercier in the 23rd minute and Facundo Coria with thirteen minutes of the match remaining gave Argentinos Juniors a two goal cushion which was then reduced by half due to a late strike from Huracán’s Alan Sánchez. At the same time Estudiantes easily won their game in Santa Fe by 4-1 with the league’s top scorer Mauro Boselli helping himself to a hat-trick. For Argentinos Juniors it is only a third championship success in the club’s history after winning the 1984 Metropolitano and 1985 Nacional titles while Estudiantes’s season continues with a Copa Libertadores quarter-final second leg against Brazilians Internacional who hold a 1-0 first leg advantage over los Pincharratas.

Other issues to be decided on the back of the Torneo Clausura were the places for Copa Sudamericana later this year as well as at the bottom of the league. Before Matchday 19 kicked off five out of six places in South America’s second cup competition had been decided with Banfield, Argentinos Juniors, Estudiantes de La Plata, Newell’s Old Boys and Independiente already assured of their participation in the tournament which begins in August. The final day provided some drama as Vélez Sársfield and Lanús played their respective matches against Rosario Central and Independiente. Vélez appeared to have slipped up by drawing their game 0-0 which would see Lanús take the final place with a win but they, too, bottled it losing 1-0 to a late Ignacio Piatti goal. This meant that, in the aggregate table of Apertura and Clausura championships used to determine Sudamericana entrants, Vélez had 61 points compared to Lanús’ 60 points.

At the bottom of the table the two automatic relegation places were known a couple of games ago as Chacarita Juniors and Atlético Tucumán have occupied the bottom two spots in the averages table for some time. There were two places in the promotion/relegation play-offs to be decided and after the days games the unlucky couple to face a season extending set of games against clubs from the second division are Gimnasia de La Plata and Rosario Central.

Watch the Argentinos Juniors Highlights and trophy ceremony here:

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