Newell’s Old Boys missed the chance to go top of Zona A in the Copa Binance after falling to a 1-0 defeat to Unión in Santa Fe on Saturday afternoon.
The game was decided by a penalty that was awarded by VAR, one week after the technology was introduced to Argentine football for the first time.
Newell’s looked the stronger side in the opening quarter but chances were few and far between. The returning Julián Fernández had a weak header saved on 8 minutes before Nicolás Castro fired over from inside the box two minutes later.
Unión improved as the half went on and Macagno had to save from both González and Calderón to keep it scoreless. Nico Castro had the best Newell’s chance of the half from a free-kick just before half-time, forcing a save from Mele at the far-post from a looping effort over the wall.
Unión ended the half strongly and Machuca should have had El Tatengue ahead but for a scuffed shot from close range which Macagno dealt with easily.
The turning point of the game came after an hour when Julián Fernández mistimed a challenge in the box on Luna Diale. Referee Fernando Rapallini initially waved play on before deciding to consult VAR after the ball went out of play.
On review at the sideline, having watched the challenge a number of times, Rapallini pointed for a penalty and Gastón González made no mistake from 12 yards, sending Macagno the wrong way.
From there on, Sanguinetti introduced five substitutes over a short period to try and change the game and it was late into injury-time when Newell’s finally worked a genuine chance to equalise. Djorkaeff Reasco took the ball well in Unión’s half before playing it in behind the defence for Nazareno Funez. Funez, with a clear sight of goal, took it first-time and rattled the post, with the ball ricocheting out for a corner.
Newell’s couldn’t force another opening and the game finished in bizarre fashion with the referee blowing it up prematurely before ordering a restart with Unión already celebrating the victory on the pitch.
The Santa Fe side took all three points to move ahead of The Lepers in Zona A.
Watch the highlights of the match below.