Argentina: River leave it late to beat Tigre; League Round-Up (+video)
Seven teams tasted victory on the opening weekend of the 2010-11 Argentinian football season which took place this weekend. Amongst the winners on Matchday 1 of the new Torneo Apertura (Opening Tournament) were River Plate, who have suffered in the last two years and who need a really good season this time around if they are to avoid relegation which is determined on a three-yearly average points system. Other teams to have won this weekend include last season’s Torneo Apertura winners CA Banfield whilst last season’s Torneo Clausura (Closing Tournament) winners Argentinos Juniors went down to a surprise home defeat to Club Atlético Huracán. Buenos Aires giants Boca Juniors could only draw in their opening game of the new season.
River Plate left it late to secure their opening day victory at home against modest CA Tigre thanks to a 90th minute winner from Gabriel Funes Mori, who found himself in the right place at the right time getting on the end of an Ariel Ortega cross to spare the blushes of Los Millionarios. With no continental competition to worry about perhaps this could be the year where River Plate get back on track after what was been a terrible two seasons for them and the club’s minimum aspiration this term must be to qualify for the Copa Libertadores for next season. Defending Apertura champions CA Banfield got off to a winning start at home to newly promoted Club Olimpo but it was the visitors who took the lead as early as the first minute when Alejandro Delorte headed home to give Olimpo a shock lead. Banfield didn’t take long to recover and duly had their equalizer on 27 minutes thanks to a Walter Roldan penalty kick. The winner came just nine minutes later for Banfield when Cristian García headed home from close range following a free-kick to give El Taladro a precious three points.
Other winners on the opening weekend of the new season were Club Atlético Huracán who came from behind away at last season’s Clausura champions Argentinos Juniors. Gonzalo Vargas gave Juniors the lead after just nine minutes and it took the visitors a while to get used to the tempo of the game. But two quick-fire goals in the 67th and 69th minutes from Mariano Martinez and Cesar Montiglio respectively brought a famous win for Los Quemeros. Santiago Silva’s 35th minute was the difference as Vélez Sársfield beat Independiente in one of the “clásicos” of Argentine football while Estudiantes de La Plata (1-0), CA Lanús (2-1) and Racing Club (1-0) recorded opening day victories against Newell’s Old Boys, Arsenal de Sarandi and C.A. All Boys respectively.
Three matches were drawn on the opening weekend and one of the teams content with having to share the points was Boca Juniors. Los Xeneixes were away at CA Godoy Cruz and it was the home side who took the lead on 14 minutes thanks to Roberto Russo but the lead would only last for six minutes with Lucus Viatri levelling the scores in the 20th minute and that was the way the game would remain. Newly promoted Quilmes had a respectable start to their new campaign also drawing 1-1 against Colón Santa Fe, Estaban Fuertes looked to have given Colón victory but Juan Morales scored a stoppage time equalizer to gain a point for Quilmes. The final match of the opening weekend saw a dull 0-0 between Gimnasia y Esgrima de La Plata and San Lorenzo.
WATCH RIVER PLATE V CA TIGRE HIGHLIGHTS HERE: