Sunday, 14 December 2008

Argentina: Boca, San Lorenzo and Tigre To Playoff For Title After Final Day Victories

Boca Juniors, San Lorenzo and Tigre will play a mini-tournament to determine the winner of the 2008 Apertura after all three teams won their final day fixtures to finish level on 39 points at the end of the regular campaign.

Boca raced into an early 3-0 lead against Colon at the Bombenera through a double strike from Luciano Figueroa and another from Juan Roman Riquelme inside the opening half an hour.

However, Colon were determined not to lie down to their hosts and produced a spirited fightback as goals either side of half-time from Nicolas Torres and Lucas Valdemarin reduced Boca's lead to one with forty-odd minutes left to play.

Carlos Ischia's side were able to shake off their momentary nervousness to regain control as the half wore on, and finished the match in the ascendency, spurred on by the rampant support of the Boca faithful.

San Lorenzo endured a slightly more techy ending to their game away to Argentinos Juniors. Goalkeeper Agustin Orion was forced to make two good saves in the closing minutes, allowing Miguel Angel Russo's side to maintain the one goal lead they had held since Gonzalo Bergessio's 7th minute opener.

Tigre had been the first side to confirm their three points on the final day as Martin Morel's 14th goal of the campaign took them to a 1-0 victory over Banfield, in a game that finished a minute before San Lorenzo's and ten before Boca's.

Lanus had begun the day as a outside bet to take the title, but with the top three all winning, their 1-0 win over San Martin proved fruitless, as they finished two points off the leading trio in fourth.

The AFA will now be tasked with arranging a triangular tournament to decide the Apertura winners, with matches likely to take place in the eleven days between now and Christmas.

At the other end of the table, River Plate finished bottom of the league for the first time in their history following a 1-1 draw away to Estudiantes on Saturday.

No comments: