On Sunday afternoon, Newell’s Old Boys won the Clásico Rosarino away to Rosario Central for the first time since 2016. Juan Manuel García 51st minute goal separated the sides but a heroic Newell’s defensive performance propped up an emotional victory for La Lepra.
The occasion started in controversy as Central fans threw explosives onto the pitch before kick-off, delaying the start of the match by a few minutes. When things did get underway, it was the home side who had the better chances amongst a tense atmosphere with Lucas Gamba shooting just wide of the Newell’s post after 8 minutes.
Juan Manuel García was the perpetrator of the first Newell’s shot on-target after he rose high to head a ball onto the bar mid-way through the first-half. Goalkeeper Ramiro Macagno took a few hard knocks early on in the match, causing concern on the Newell’s bench, but he eventually recovered well to make an important save from Gino Infantino in injury-time at the end of the first half.
Newell’s had some shaky moments in the first half but started the second half with renewed confidence. The impressive Armando Méndez was the creator for the opening goal on 51 minutes, bombing down the line and lifting a good cross into the area. Juan Garro took it well on his chest before firing at goal but Gaspar Servio’s save fell to Juan Manuel García who made no mistake, firing into the Central net from close range. Cue wild celebrations as the Arroyito went silent.
Central wasted some decent chances to equalise in the aftermath of the goal but both Ramiro Macagno and his four-man defence had to perform heroics to stop an equaliser. Newell’s boss Javier Sanguinetti also had to bring on a number of substitutes due to the threat of a second yellow card hanging over the likes of Martín Luciano and captain Pablo Pérez.
Newell’s could have wrapped it up with 15 minutes remaining when Ramiro Sordo was put through by a gorgeous pass from fellow substitute Marcos Portillo. Sordo won the ball off a Central defender who initially collected it but when one-on-one with the keeper, he blazed his shot surprisingly and agonisingly over the bar.
Cristian Lema deserves plaudits for the win as much as goalscorer Juan Manuel García for his efforts to stop Central scoring an injury-time leveller. Throughout the match he combined with Colombian defender Willer Ditta to keep Marco Ruben and Emiliano Vecchio quiet.
The final whistle saw the Newell’s players and bench celebrate passionately in the centre-circle as Central’s fans left the stadium.
Watch the highlights of the match below.