COPA DE LA LIGA 2021
Gimnasia (LP) 2
Newell’s Old Boys 1
🏟️ Estadio Juan Carmelo Zerillo, La Plata
Germán Burgos tasted defeat for the first time as Newell’s manager as second-half goals from Johan Carbonero and Matías Garcia helped Gimnasia to a 2-1 win despite Luciano Cingolani pulling one back with 20 minutes to play.
In the opening minutes of the game, Alan Aguerre had to be at his very best to prevent an early goal for El Lobo. He paid the price for his bravery, saving from Eric Ramírez after just four minutes when Negri lost the ball deep into the Newell’s half but needing treatment after a collision. Four minutes later, the lively Johan Carbonero got in behind the Lepra defence and looked odds on to score. Aguerre rushed out, saving the Colombian’s shot with his feet and blocking the rebound again with his legs. Aguerre once again needed medical attention having given everything in the tackle but was thankfully well enough to continue.
Gimnasia dominated possession in the first-half but lacked any real attacking potency. Newell’s were happy to sit back and absorb the pressure from the home team and defended well in general when called upon.
Carbonero continued to look the most dangerous for Gimnasia while the Newell’s wide players Alexís Rodríguez and Ramiro Sordo tried to carry the ball down the flanks on a few occasions but were easily dealt with by El Lobo.
It took Newell’s 52 minutes to finally get the chance to hit the target and when they did, Rodrigo Rey got down well to save a Lema header from a Maxi set-piece. Moments later, Gimnasia opened the scoring in bizarre fashion when Johan Carbonero raced into the box. Carbonero, before getting the chance to shoot, seemed to trip himself up and with a stroke of luck, the ball escaped both Facundo Nadalín and Alan Aguerre to roll into the Newell’s net. Carbonero celebrated but it wasn’t clear how much he knew about it.
Germán Burgos reacted immediately by bringing on Ignacio Scocco and Luciano Cingolani to inject some energy into the attack. However, it seemed in vain when Gimnasia extended their lead via Matías Garcia’s 62nd minute long-range half-volley that travelled through a crowded box, wrong footing Alan Aguerre before hitting the net.
With Germán Burgos staring a first defeat as Newell’s manager in the face, he was offered a lifeline just four minutes later when a sublime Diego Calcaterra pass found the onrushing Luciano Cingolani. Cingolani made no mistake with his finish when faced with an oncoming Rodrigo Rey, placing the ball stylishly into the bottom corner for his second professional goal in the red and black of Newell’s.
Cingolani’s goal gave Newell’s a huge amount of momentum and the introduction of Manuel Llano and Brian Aguirre provided further youthful energy. Both were involved straight away, Aguirre with a shot on target followed up by a yellow card for the eager Llano.
Gimnasia’s best player Carbonero continued to remind the Newell’s defence that he was still on the pitch and nearly put the game beyond doubt on 78 minutes but for Franco Negri’s last ditch clearence.
In the final ten, Newell’s pushed high up the pitch in search of a leveller, even playing Cristian Lema as a centre-forward, but it wasn’t to be.
Germán Burgos will be disappointed to lose for the first time as La Lepra coach but the last 20 minutes of the game backed the call for more youth to be trusted in attack, with Aguirre and Cingolani more effective than Alexís Rodríguez who has started a number of games under Burgos without making any sort of impression.
Focus now turns to Thursday and another game for La Lepra, in the Copa Sudamericana against Libertad of Paraguay, before the big one on Sunday, the Clásico Rosario against Rosario Central.