14 August 2014 03:28
Godoy Cruz and Independiente opened the Argentine Primera Division season with resounding wins, while River Plate drew.
After the opening round was suspended following the death of football association president Julio Grondona on July 30, the season got underway on Friday with Godoy Cruz accounting for Banfield 3-0.
Claudio Ezequiel, Ruben Ramirez and Luis Jerez were on the scoresheet for the home side.
Newly promoted Independiente were also 3-0 winners, downing Atletico Rafaela on Sunday thanks to goals from Federico Mancuello, Francisco Pizzini and Juan Lucero.
As for River Plate – crowned champions of Argentina in May after winning the Torneo Final – they were held to a 1-1 draw by Gimnasia La Plata in a thrilling finish on Sunday.
Godoy Cruz opened last season with defeat but they had no such trouble this time around as they disposed of Banfield at the Estadio Malvinas Argentinas.
Carlos Mayor’s men made the perfect start when Ezequiel made a driving run into the penalty area and fired a thunderous volley past Banfield goalkeeper Gaspar Servio following Diego Rodriguez’s cross in the 12th minute.
Godoy Cruz doubled their lead in the 35th minute after Sergio Lopez whipped a low free-kick across the six-yard box for Ramirez to poke home from close range.
The result was put beyond doubt after 58 minutes thanks to Jerez, who volleyed a corner into the roof of the net.
It was an identical scoreline at the Estadio Libertadores de America as Independiente made light work of Atletico Rafaela.
Mancuello got the ball rolling a minute shy of the half-time interval, turning two defenders before firing the ball into the bottom corner.
Independiente were two goals ahead nine minutes into the second half, albeit fortuitously, after Atletico Rafaela keeper Esteban Conde failed to keep hold of substitute Pizzini’s powerful strike.
Lucero capped the performance with a goal of his own 15 minutes from time, playing a one-two with Claudio Riano and poking the ball past Conde.
There were sensational scenes at the Estadio Ciudad de La Plata as Gimnasia La Plata and River Plate both scored in injury time to earn a share of the points on Sunday.
Teofilo Gutierrez thought he had scored the winning goal for River Plate in the 91st minute, only for Pablo Vegetti to equalise in the 11th minute of additional time.
In other results, Racing Club and Rosario Central were both 3-1 victors.
Gabriel Hauche netted a brace and former Inter striker Diego Milito was also on target as Racing Club defeated Defensa y Justicia, while Rosario Central scored three second-half goals as they overcame Quilmes.
Teenage debutant Mauricio Tevez was the hero as Newell’s Old Boys upstaged Boca Juniors 1-0 away from home.
On Monday, Arsenal prevailed 2-1 at home to Estudiantes and Velez Sarsfield were 1-0 winners at Tigre.
Lanus edged Belgrano 1-0 on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, San Lorenzo’s home fixture against Olimpo was postponed due to the club’s participation in the Copa Libertadores final second leg.