Again, Independiente Wins the Super-Classico of Avellaneda

Independiente – Racing is a special occasion in Argentina, the second or third biggest classico after Boca- River and Rosario Central – Newell’s. As always, the electricity surrounding the match was palpable. The atmosphere superseded the match itself on a warm, late summer day in Buenos Aires that ended with a tremendous celebration throughout the red side of Independiente’s stadium and marked another painful occasion for the masses of L’Academia. The game itself lacked sparkling pace, profoundly affected by Gabi Hauche’s send -off, Racing’s play maker. In the end, a penalty converted by Dario Gandin was enough.


The “new” Academia started the season triumphantly, with a 3-0 win against fellow relegation strugglers Rosario Central, but it’s been all down since. New players Ayala, Hauche and Bieler have boosted the club, but the deficiencies are still obvious. Coach Nestor Vivas lasted only five rounds and now the players are under the guidance of Miguel Angel Russo, previously of Velez, Boca and San Lorenzo. Russo is a good manager, but the players must perform. Racing is in big trouble, as is Central, two big clubs with massive and passionate following. There is still time for both, but every little point is now crucial. Racing have not beaten Independiente in 10 years now! No victory in the match that matters more than all others combined is a matter with so many implications.

Independiente is at the top. Three points against their greatest rival, while Velez lost to Huracan and Banfield lost to Newell’s in match-ups between the previous two seasons’ one-two. Both results, coupled with Boca and Estudiantes splitting the points, worked in Independiente’s favor. The tournament’s other revelation is Chacarita, a difficult team to beat that seems to be gaining confidence every week and may just escape the relegation zone, to the detriment of Racing and Central.

San Lorenzo got back on track, just barely, with a late goal against Tigre, although goal-scoring problems persist for “Cholo” Simeone. Not much to say about River snatching a last minute draw away at Gimnasia, rumours of Astrada’s replacement circulating furiously. It would not matter who takes over the team – River needs better players, period. Elsewhere, Lanus enjoyed a winning week-end, Colon and Rosario Central played to a draw.

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