By Rex Gowar
BUENOS AIRES, May 6 (Reuters) - Boca Juniors equalised six
minutes into added time to snatch a last-gasp 2-2 draw at
Atletico Rafaela and cling to the lead in the Argentine
championship on Sunday.
Striker Nicolas Blandi salvaged the point for Boca with an
overhead kick from a corner in a dramatic climax to the match in
Santa Fe province.
Boca have a key Libertadores Cup match in Chile in midweek
and fielded several young reserves including Blandi, who could
have put Boca two up early in the second half but for a penalty
save by Guillermo Sara.
"It was a very important match for us youngsters who don't
get to play regularly," Blandi told broadcasters Futbol Para
Striker Pablo Mouche put Boca ahead after half an hour with
a shot between Sara and the near post from the left at the end
of a lightning counter-attack.
Defender Fabricio Fontanini headed the equaliser for Rafaela
on the hour and, when the match looked like ending in a 1-1
draw, Boca substitute Enzo Ruiz gave away a penalty for handball
in the fourth minute of added time.
Striker Dario Gandin converted the penalty with his seventh
goal of the championship but the drama did not end there with
Boca fighting back to regain their point.
Champions Boca have 25 points from 13 matches and now share
the lead in the Clausura standings with Newell's Old Boys, who
were 2-1 winners at Olimpo.
Racing Club beat Estudiantes 2-0 in the stand-out match of
the weekend as young trainer Luis Zubeldia continued to
mastermind their recovery from a disappointing spell under
former Argentina coach Alfio Basile.
"In Argentine football these days it's very important to
score the first goal, fortunately we got it," Zubeldia told a
news conference, pointing to a trend in the domestic game where
teams scoring first generally secure at least one point.
Defender Lucas Aveldano put Racing ahead late in the first
half with a neat backheel through a packed penalty area after a
free kick from the right.
Colombian Gio Moreno, coming on in the second half, scored a
peach for the second with a lobbed finish over Argentina
goalkeeper Mariano Andujar in the final minute.
Estudiantes holding midfielder Rodrigo Brana was sent off
five minutes from time for a second booking.
Former Paraguay coach Gerardo Martino's young Newell's side
bucked the trend by coming from a goal down for their 2-1
victory in Bahia Blanca.
Lanus, another of the three Argentine sides in the knockout
phase of the Libertadores Cup, went ahead after six minutes at
Godoy Cruz in Mendoza and won 1-0.
Velez Sarsfield, among the Libertadores favourites, fell
behind to Argentinos Juniors at home on Saturday and ended up
(Reporting by Rex Gowar; Editing by Nick Mulvenney)
Borussia Dortmund's Mario Gotze ruled out of Champions League final against Bayern Munich
Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini will leave the La Liga club at the end of the current season
Stoke City and manager Tony Pulis part company by mutual agreement after seven years
Andy Carroll pulls out of England's friendly internationals against Ireland and Brazil
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
He's here, he's there, he's...
The cost of Premier League away travel
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010