Monday, 1 December 2008

Argentina: Riquelme Double Puts Boca Within Touching Distance Of Title

Two goals from influential playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme took Boca Juniors to victory over Racing Club on Sunday, keeping them two points clear of the chasing pack with just two games left to play in the Apertura championship.

Boca created the better chances in the opening half at the Bombonera, but it wasn't until the last ten minutes of the half that they finally got the opener. Riquelme played an exquisite through-ball to Luciano Figueroa, who was upended inside the area by Racing goalkeeper Pablo Migliore. Riquelme made no mistake from the spot, calmly slotting home to put the home side ahead.

Racing were not likely to keel over without a fight, and so it proved when they equalised just before the break. Maxi Moralez swung in a corner from the right and Franco Sosa rose to head home the leveller.

The second half began in a similar pattern to the first, as Boca piled the pressure on their opponents goal, although this time they got their reward much earlier. A hurried clearance inside the area saw the ball loop up into the air into the path of Riquelme, who volleyed the ball expertly into the bottom corner of the net to restore Boca's lead on the hour mark.

Racing offered little in the way of a goal threat in the remaining half an hour and Boca were able to comfortably hold onto their lead and claim a vital three points that puts them within touching distance of the Apertura crown.

Tigre are now Boca's primary challengers for the title as a Carlos Luna double helped them come back from a goal down to defeat bottom side River Plate 3-1 on Sunday. Diego Cagna's side are just two points behind the league leaders, although San Lorenzo could join them on 33 points if they are victorious in their rescheduled game with Huracan on Tuesday.

A torrential downpour caused the abandonment of the original fixture between the two sides, and they will resume with sixteen minutes on the clock, Huracan one goal to the good, but a man down following the sending off of Javier Pastore.

Sebastián Blanco scored a second half winner to keep Lanus' outside hopes of the title alive with a 2-1 victory over Arsenal, leaving them four points off the top.

Full Results:

Independiente 0-1 Banfield
Gimansia La Plata 1-0 Colon de Santa Fe
Gimansia de Jujuy 1-0 San Martin
Lanus 2-1 Arsenal
Tigre 3-1 River Plate
Argentinos 0-0 Rosario Central
Boca Juniors 2-1 Racing
Newell's Old Boys 1-0 Velez Sarsfield
Huracan P-P San Lorenzo (Huracan lead 1-0 with sixteen minutes played)
Godoy Cruz - Estudiantes (to played Wednesday 10th December)

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