Argentina: Maidana wins it for River; League Review (+video)
Jonathan Maidana’s crucial header in the 53rd minute of the match won the latest Superclásico for River Plate against arch-rivals Boca Juniors on Tuesday. The win helped River Plate out of a bad recent spell and took los Millionarios up to eighth place in the latest Apertura standings. However the main excitement in the championship does not concern the Big Two as they are both well off the pace in the title race. With five rounds of matches to go in the first championship of the season Vélez Sársfield and Estudiantes de La Plata share the lead with thirty points each from 14 games, five points ahead of nearest challengers Arsenal de Sarandi.
Both Vélez Sársfield and Estudiantes have experienced championship success in recent years. Vélez won the 2009 Clausura title following a last-day showdown with their title rivals Huracán in which the latter gained much sympathy from neutral supporters following the way they lost the title in controversial circumstances. Estudiantes last won the Apertura in 2006 when, having finished on equal points with Boca Juniors, won a title play-off 2-1. They came close to winning the Clausura in 2010 but could only finish runners-up to eventual winners Argentinos Juniors by a single point. Now both teams have ambitions of lifting more silverware and consolidating their recent success making the most of the current situation in which River and Boca have been conspicuous by their absence in relation to the championship chase. On Matchday 14 Vélez won their fixture at home to CA Lanús by a single goal to nil thanks to Ricardo Alvarez’s 59th minute strike whilst Estudiantes slipped up losing 2-1 to CA Tigre. With five matches to go it is clear to see that there are still some potential twists to come in the championship race.
Despite the absence of the traditional two biggest clubs from the title race the Superclásico still retains its billing as the most anticipated fixture in the domestic game. River Plate hadn’t won any of these games for three years before last night but they finally chalked up a win over their eternal rivals after Jonathan Maidana’s perfectly timed header early in the second half was all that could separate the teams.
WATCH RIVER PLATE v BOCA JUNIORS HIGHLIGHTS HERE: