Newell’s Old Boys ended the Liga AFA season with a controversial defeat away to San Lorenzo on Sunday evening.
La Lepra took the lead after just five minutes after Juan Garro crossed for Francisco González to score his first professional goal for Newell’s from point-blank range. All hopes of building on the lead were dashed soon after when Mariano Bíttolo received a straight red card for dissent on 18 minutes. Bíttolo looked to have said something to linesman after blocking a cross and the linesman alerted referee Fernando Espinoza, who immediately dismissed Bíttolo.
Franco Escobar, who will join LAFC of the MLS in early 2022, gave away a penalty for a kick after the half-hour mark and Néstor Ortigoza converted to bring the home side back into it. Against all odds, Newell’s actually took the lead with 10 men on 41 minutes when Julián Fernández got to a breaking ball and fired a vicious volley into the bottom corner.
The lead was short-lived though and Franco Di Santo squared things up for San Lorenzo just before the break.
Di Santo got his second and the final goal of the match a minute into the second-half when he rose high to head the club from Boedo in front from a header.
Alan Aguerre made some good saves in the second-half to ensure the lead stayed at just one goal but any hope of clawing something from the game was put to bed when Newell’s were reduced to nine men on 86 minutes, Diego Calcaterra receiving his marching orders for a second yellow card. The referee, who came under the spotlight after the game for an inconsistent performance, showed a yellow card to Calcaterra, restarted the game and then stopped it again after realising he had given the young defender a yellow in the first-half also, meaning he was now due to take an early bath.
Newell’s finish a disappointing campaign in 19th position with 28 points from 25 games. With a new manager tipped to be appointed imminently, and the recent retirements of Maxi Rodríguez and Ignacio Scocco, a fresh dawn for Newell’s Old Boys seems to be on the horizon in 2022 and it can’t be much worse than the trials and tribulations of the previous year.
Watch the highlights of the match below.