Man of the Match: Maximiliano Urruti had a goal waved off mid-way through the second, and he’d been generally frustrated as a 10-man Godoy Cruz stayed organized at the back (thanks to Nelson Ibáñez). In the 90th minute, however, Urruti was there to take advantage of the defense’s one lapse. As defenders paused, thinking Ibánez would come swallow a loose ball at the edge of his six-yard box, Urruti put home the equalizer, salvaging a point for NOB.
Packaged for takeaway:
- The first third of the game played out as you would expected a match between one of the league’s top sides and one that had one only one of eight. Newell’s had more energy, looked sharper, and as such was able to dictate the tempo of the match’s first stanza.
- That changed when Newell’s got their first scare, late in the first half. Godoy Cruz was able to play Juan Garro behind the right side of the defense, the attacker eventually putting a ball back toward the spot for Álvaro Navarro. The Uruguayan put his shot off the left post, got the rebound, but rushed a put-back that was no problem for Sebástian Peratta. Newell’s reacted like a team that’d been punched in the mouth.
- Two minutes into the second half, more disorganization on Newell’s part let to the opening goal. The back four gave a huge lane for Garro to run through, into the right side of the area. Too little pressure led to an easy through ball, the first touch a right-footed blast into the far side of the net.
- If Godoy Cruz’s late first half attack was one turning point of the match, Nicolas Olmedo’s straight red at 52′ was the second, the midfielder’s dismissal leaving the home side more than a half-an-hour to hold their lead. From that point on, Godoy almost voluntarily played on the back foot, though they were able to constantly play balls into the wide areas as a means to knock Newell’s back.
- And that’s part of the reason why the result will be so tough to take, even though Godoy Cruz played almost half this match a man down. Though Newell’s look better for large parts, Godoy Cruz was never out of control except for those few seconds at the end when the defense turned off, expecting something from Ibáñez the `keeper wasn’t prepared to deliver.
- The draw was Godoy Cruz’s sixth in nine Clausura matches, leaving them 14th at the final whistle. About to be seen out of Libertadores, Godoy Cruz could be facing a long, boring fall. Newell’s, on the other hand, are three points back of first-place Boca Juniors, though their inability to generate clean chances on Ibáñez means their attacker (which has only scored 10 in 9) will continue to be a concern.