Madness and magic from Maradona’s motherland
Not for a month have we had reason to talk about goalkeepers. There’s been the a mistake here and there, the odd flap, the occasional shove or misreading of a situation, but not since Javier García’s misfortune in goal for Boca on day one of the 2011 Clausura has the debate focused on the number ones. When you have Riquelme and Messi, what else do you need to talk about, right?
This weekend changed all that.
First up came Leandro Chichizola, guardian of the River Plate goal in the absence of the injured Juan Pablo Carrizo. By rights Daniel Vega should have been the replacement, but coach JJ Lopez saw something in the 20 year old in pre-season and, even with a mistake in the ‘friendly’ superclásico with Boca, stuck by Chichi.
His faith was paid back with interest. River made their best defensive start to a season in 15 years. Chichizola set a new record as the first debutant keeper to not concede in his first four games in over 20 years.
But then came Vélez. The sight of the brawny, shiny-headed Santiago Silva bearing down on you would put the fear into most, but the pass back from Alexis Ferrero was straightforward, well placed and not too heavy.
"It is the kind of mistake every keeper makes once in his career," legendary stopper Amadeo Carrizo said shortly after the blooper. Unfortunately for Chichi it came right at the beginning of his career.
The situation for Emanuel Trípodi at Quilmes is somewhat different. A journeyman pro who spent most of the last decade in the second division and had spent the past four months on the Brewer’s bench. But after four defeats, the sub-editors’ favourite Ricardo Caruso Lombardi replaced Leo Madelón in the dugout and installed Trípodi as his keeper.
With Quilmes bottom of the relegation table and Huracán two spots above them, Monday night’s clash between the two was the very definition of a six-pointer.
Nervy play from both had the game in a predictable stalemate with just five minutes to go to the break, until Gastón Machín produced one of those kicks of the ball that is neither a pass, a cross, a shot nor an idea, it is simply a kick. As it rolled harmlessly across the area there was in all likelihood a puffed cheek or expletive up in the stand.
That was until Trípodi palmed the ball away to the waiting Roly Zarate – number 3 of the 4-brother clan, and Huracán took the lead.
The Academy hit another four and are league leaders after five rounds, meaning that many have already crowned them champions. There’s still a long way to go, but the tournament is named after the former president Néstor Kirchner, a Racing fan, so maybe it’s in the stars…
The Paraguayan Roberto Carlos
Boca lost the clásico with San Lorenzo to a wonderful strike from Aureliano Torres, which had scribes across the nation tapping into YouTube to try to work out which Roberto Carlos goal it was like. Why? He hit it with his left foot, it was from range and it had a bit of swerve on it. Take your pick.
Independiente Crisis Watch
The catastrophe is far from over, but at least all those at El Rojo have put distance between themselves and an all-time club negative record. First win in 14 matches takes the heat off…for a week.
Results Olimpo 1-0 All Boys, Tigre 1-2 Banfield, Lanús 0-0 Gimnasia, San Lorenzo 1-0 Boca, Argentinos 1-0 Arsenal, Estudiantes 0-1 Godoy Cruz, Colón 0-4 Racing, River 1-2 Vélez, Huracán 2-1 Quilmes, Independiente 4-0 Newell’s.
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