ERIC WEIL in BUENOS AIRES: Argentina’s expanded 30-club championship has been extremely close so far despite so many teams being promoted which do not seem up to it, even if most are in the lower half of the table.
Of the 45 games so far, 23 have been decided by one goal and there were 14 draws, leaving only 8 to be decided by more than one goal. Of three joint leaders, Estudiantes and Rosario Central won their games by one goal and could just as easily have lost them.
There is less grabbing of opponents than before, but there is still some which neither referees or linesmen see. Perhaps a few more penalties are needed.
Also, missile throwers are still rife. A bottle was thrown at the Temperley president at the Racing stadium which could be just as dangerous as the previous week’s brick.
Boca Juniors coach Arruabarrena has already abandoned his idea of using two different teams for cup and league games and the club made a mistake of letting striker Gigliotti go on loan even though there are other players in his position. Boca Juniors already had half a dozen injuries, mostly muscle strains as last year.
River Plate, known for playing good football, have a poor pitch made worse by a rock recital which is not going to help the team. Club president D’Onofrio, known for some silly remarks said: “Don’t blame the concert, blame those responsible who look after the field.” As president D’Onofrio is most to blame.
The South American confederation fined River Plate only $5,500 for fireworks during their match with San Lorenzo.
Now the club are launching a campaign to stop spectators bringing fireworks into the stadium. Why a campaign is a mystery. All that is needed is a search and confiscation.
The latest is that River Plate players took aspirins, cafeína and viagra on the advice of team doctor Pedro Hansing before going to the altitude of Bolivia for a Libertadores Cup match against San José last month … and lost.