Conspiracy theories are not hard to come by in the Argentinean Superliga, but especially so when one late raincheck went in Boca’s direction
This weekend could have been the one that Boca Juniors wrapped up the Superliga but Godoy Cruz’s victory on Friday promised to drag it out for at least another week and early on Sunday morning, a contentious postponement meant that the lead at the top remains at just three points.
The amount of rain that fell on Buenos Aires and the wider area was certainly enough to put pay to the weekend’s football but referee Facundo Tello announcing 30 minutes before kick-off that the pitch in La Plata was good, only to retract that 15 minutes later, drew suspicion.
Boca’s unhealthy influence at the AFA and the club’s obvious want for the game to be postponed ahead of their critical Copa Libertadores match in midweek has led to some alleging that Tello’s change of heart came from above (and not the big rainclouds).
De un lado la cancha de Colegiales, ayer, para jugar ante Platense la definición de la B Metro y la @afa dijo "se juega". Del otro la de Gimnasia, hoy, para jugar ante Boca, y la @afa dijo "se suspende". Inentendible. Inexplicable. ¿Por qué @tapiachiqui? pic.twitter.com/yl0GhcHfSG
— Loana (@Loana84) April 29, 2018
Argentinian football loves a conspiracy but things are certainly made easier for the tinfoil hat brigade when the officials so swiftly change their opinions and several matches with far worse pitches across the leagues went ahead.
The decision that morning was also taken that Racing Club’s fixture against Arsenal at 8pm later on Sunday would also be postponed. The decision so far in advance (bizarre for Argentinian football) led to further suspicions that it was simply an act to legitimise the call in La Plata.
Boca will now play Gimnasia just before the final weekend and could have the title won by then.
Godoy Cruz are away to Argentinos Juniors this weekend and despite their victory over San Martín closing the gap to three points, only another win will do on Saturday. Boca have a must-win game in Barranquilla on Wednesday in the Libertadores before hosting Unión on Sunday where if El Tomba have lost, Boca will effectively be champions without kicking a ball.
Regardless, it has been a tremendous season for Godoy Cruz as they have their place in the 2019 Copa Libertadores confirmed after Talleres slipped to defeat against Unión. La T, title challengers only a few weeks ago, are now on the outside looking in after Huracán, Independiente and San Lorenzo complete the top five.
The race for Libertadores qualification and Copa Sudamericana places is all the drama the Superliga can offer up in the final two rounds with relegation already sealed.
Unión’s 3-0 win over Talleres, in-form Defensa y Justicia chalking up a fourth straight win against Rosario Central and Belgrano edging past Colón mean River Plate are currently outside those six available spots.
But with four points separating seventh down to thirteenth, qualification will go to the wire.
And finally, while we know which four teams will be leaving the Superliga, the identity of the two promoted clubs is still up in the air. The B Nacional season came to an end on Monday but nothing separates Almagro and Aldosivi so a title decider is required to provide the one automatic promotion spot.
An eight-club playoff follows to decide the second as the Superliga cuts again down to a more sensible 26 for next term.
— Superliga Argentina (@argsaf) May 1, 2018