The last few weeks have been eventful for the Argentinian national football team. The international break saw Lionel Scaloni’s side beat Venezuela 3-0 and draw 1-1 with Ecuador. In addition, the Qatar 2022 World Cup groups were drawn with La Albiceleste set to face Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Poland. But it is now time to get back to domestic action as the Copa de la Liga returned for Fecha 8. Before each game there were tributes honouring those who fought in the Falklands War on the 40th anniversary of the conflict.
Late goals keep Racing’s unbeaten run intact
A flurry of late goals saw Fernando Gago’s side pick up where they left off before the international break with a victory over Sarmiento; their fourth consecutive victory in the Copa de la Liga.
¡Final! ¡Ganó #Racing! 👏
Con una reacción fantástica en la segunda mitad, el equipo torció el rumbo del juego y goleó 4 a 1 a @CASarmientoOf en el Cilindro 💪
⚽ Copetti en dos ocasiones, Chancalay -de penal- y Correa.
— Racing Club (@RacingClub) April 2, 2022
Verde were ahead on the 32th minute as Julián Brea cut inside and curled his shot past Gastón Gómez.
Just before half-time the referee Fernando Rapallini awarded Racing a penalty for handball. However, VAR which was making its debut in Argentine football this weekend recommended to Rapallini that he checked his decision on the monitor at the side of the pitch and he subsequently overturned the spot kick.
On the 58th minute Sarmiento were down to ten men as Guido Mainero was sent off for a foul on Tomás Chancalay who looked like he was through on goal.
Despite La Academia’s dominance they finally were level on the 72nd minute as Enzo Copetti headed in from a Facundo Mura cross.
Racing were then awarded a penalty which stood this time and Chancalay slotted it in to give his side the lead on the 84th minute.
In added time the victory was sealed as Copetti scored again with a header this time from a Chancalay cross. Javier Marcelo Correa then fired in an unbelievable golazo from outside the box to complete a 4-1 rout.
TODOS JUNTOS 💙💪 pic.twitter.com/akNB5Yuy4v
— Racing Club (@RacingClub) April 3, 2022
Although the match was far from straightforward for Racing they did dominate the play with 77% possession and 28 shots to Sarmiento’s 2.
River flowing again
Following the disappointment of losing the Superclásico last time out, River Plate returned to winning ways with a victory over Defensa y Justicia at the Estadio Norberto Tomaghello.
The first half saw Enzo Fernández hit the crossbar with a superb effort from outside the box. The midfielder did not let coming so close get to him and on the 40th minute his powerful strike gave the away side the lead.
Defensa came close in the second half with Raúl Loaiza effort cannoning back off the post. Marcelo Gallardo’s side then doubled their lead when Santiago Simón curled his shot into the bottom corner on the 63rd minute.
On the 71st minute Walter Bou lobbed the ball over Franco Armani and into the net. The referee initially ruled it out for offside. But VAR concluded that he was in fact onside and the goal stood.
Anyway the goal was too little too late and River held on for a 2-1 victory. A scoreline which was a fair result with Los Millonarios edging the stats with 62% possession and 17 shots to Halcón’s 10.
Arsenal spoil Boca’s party
Despite victory in the Superclásico just before the break, Boca Juniors could not make it three wins from three. They were held by a defiant Arsenal Sarandi at La Bombonera.
Luis Vázquez fired in a spectacular effort into the top corner to give the home side the lead on the 34th minute.
Luis Vázquez with an absolute golazo yesterday against Arsenal 🎯
— Boca in English | Podcast 🏆 (@CABJ_English) April 3, 2022
On the 62nd minute Damián Pérez’s free kick hit the post and the rebound was put in by Sebastián Lomonaco to level the score for Los del Viaducto.
With the help of VAR, Marcos Rojo won a penalty for Xeneizes. He duly converted to put his side back in front on the 74th minute.
Arsenal responded immediately with Lomonaco’s pinpoint cross finding Cristian Colman who headed in the equaliser just a minute later.
– A que no podés hacer un gol sacando del medio de visitante 😌
– Dejánoslo a nosotros que podemos 😎
No conseguimos la filmación del equipo cuando sacó del medio 😅 pic.twitter.com/kXeBi3NHkY
— Arsenal Fútbol Club (@ArsenalOficial) April 3, 2022
The match ended 2-2: not the result Boca – who were celebrating 117 years of the club – would have wanted.
Sebastián Battaglia will be disappointed to have given away two leads. In a match where Boca dominated possession with 73% possession Arsenal had more shots; 12 with 4 on target compared to Boca’s 8 with just 2 on target which shows regardless of how much of the ball you have when the final whistle blows what matters is what you have done with it.