Madness and magic from Maradona’s motherland
Today: Two reportedly stabbed at River game, small teams continue to shine, full weekend results, and an amazing goal of the weekend.
Violence continues at River
After a well-deserved break (they were fighting all last season), River Plate's hooligans returned on full form with widespread fighting before and throughout their win against Gimnasia of Jujuy, that reportedly culminated in two stabbings.
Factions of River's powerful barra brava Los Borrachos de Tablón have been at war for well over a year to take control of this well-organised group which earns hundreds of thousands of pounds mainly through the sale of drugs, the resale of tickets, extortion of players and control of River's gym facilities.
Many are also on the bank roll of River's administration – barra boss Alan Schenker was reputedly paid more than £50,000 a year to clean the pool. The war between Los de Oeste (those of the West Terrace) under the command of Adrián Rosseau and those faithful to the brothers William and Alan Schlenker war has lead to the death of one young barra member, Gonzalo Acro, on August 8 2007, shot outside a gym in Buenos Aires.
Acro was a friend of Rosseau, who blames Schlenker for the organisation of the assassination. Schlenker was arrested along with six other barra members, but only the Schlenker brothers remain behind bars after a judge threw out the proceeding against the rest due to 'irregularities' in the collecting of evidence.
On the terrace the fight continues to gain control of the central terrace, a symbolic part of the stadium, the owners of which run the lucrative Borrachos del Tablón. It is a story that exposes how the Argentine barra bravas function and will be considered more soon.
River Plate 2 Gimnasia 0
Apparently some football was also played. And, in fact, the problems on the terrace are no longer so newsworthy. This may be a good thing. In a superb match, River played a solid, but not flawless, game against the side from Jujuy.
Their two goals were both scored from set pieces, including a wonderful free-kick from Matís Abelairs. And pretend you are right in the middle of the crowd here.
Small teams shine
Last season was a great one for the smaller teams of Argentine football and, if the first weekend of games is anything to go by, this season looks like following suit. Here are the results:
Boca Juniors 1 Central 1
Riquelme failed to inspire his team to a win, despite them being ahead for most of the game. But the 85th-minute equaliser from Central's captain Kily González deserves a point in itself.
San Lorenzo 0 Newell's Old Boys 2 see highlights
Not even the confidence of having Andres D'Alessandro on the squad could help this big team beat Newell's Old Boys.
Estudiantes 2 Banfield 1 see highlights
Veron's team from La Plata just managed a win against Banfield from the southern suburbs.
San Martin 2 Argentinos Juniors 0
Despite a massive AR$50 price for the terrace place (normal price is AR$24) thousands considered it money well spent against Maradona's former team.
Lanús 1 Independiente 0
The party continues for the winners of the Opening season as they beat Independiente with a 'goalazooooo' by Gioda, an Independiente player.
Arsenal 2 Huracán 0 see highlights
'Arsenal beat the English' claimed the headline in the paper, in reference to Huracán's popular chairman Babington (as Argentine as a gaucho).
Vèlez 4 Colòn 3 see highlights
A hugely entertaining goal fest at the Vèlez stadium.This is what Argentine football is about: free, attacking, skilful and audacious.
Tigre 2 Gimnasia 1
Another good win for the second placed team last season.
Racing 1 Olimpo 1
Racing didn't play like a team in crisis. They may not have been totally convincing (Olimpo aren't the most successful team in Argentine football), but they showed they have a solid fanbase willing to support them through the highs are lows. Just have a look at this.
Goal of the weekend
And the winner is Newell's Santiago Salcedo for his solo effort against San Lorenzo.
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