BUENOS AIRES - Velez Sarsfield scored twice
in the final seven minutes to beat Banfield 2-0 at home and open
a four-point lead in the Argentine Clausura championship on
Velez, Clausura champions in 2009, have 27 points from 13
matches with Godoy Cruz, who won 3-1 at Newell's Old Boys on
Friday, second on 23. Olimpo, 2-1 winners at Huracan on
Saturday, and River Plate are a point further back.
Right-back Fabian Cubero beat the offside trap to tap in a
rare goal in the 38th minute and put Velez ahead. Substitute
David Ramirez volleyed the second in added time.
"It was the moment to open a good lead over the rest," said
midfielder Ricky Alvarez, who has been in superb form for
Argentina's best club side.
"No, we're not tired, I think the will, humility and
commitment of this team overcomes that," Alvarez told reporters
when asked whether also playing the Libertadores Cup was taking
a toll on Velez, who are in the quarter-finals of South
America's elite club competition.
River had been expected to hold the lead for at least 24
hours but went down to a shock 2-0 home defeat by All Boys on
Sunday a week ahead of the "superclasico" away to arch-rivals
Boca, recovering from a poor start to the championship, won
2-0 at Argentinos Juniors to extend their unbeaten run to four
World Cup striker Martin Palermo, who had gone 10 matches
without scoring, hit his third in as many matches to put Boca in
front, stooping to head a rebound at knee height through the
keeper's legs for another freak goal in his varied repertoire.
Boca climbed to 10th on 18 points with six matches to go in
one of the tightest ever Argentine league championships.
They are ahead of Estudiantes on goal difference after the
champions drew 0-0 at Lanus, their 10th match without a win in
the league and Libertadores Cup from which they were eliminated
by Paraguay's Cerro Porteno on penalties in the round of 16 last
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