The match had three points at stake that helped both of them improve their perspective: Lanús needed them for pride – they are last in their group – and to try to play in the next Copa Sudamericana. For Racing it meant not losing the chance to qualify for the quarterfinals of the League Cup and also seeking qualification for international competition. But the one who got the looks was José Sand who was going to play his last game in La Fortaleza.
If there was a way that the withdrawal of Pepehistoric goalscorer of Lanuswill remain in the background, the two center backs of the Granate They were in charge of finding her. Because when the first half had not yet finished, the local team had an unusual moment in which they lost two players, had a penalty against them and received Racing’s second goal.
Due to a VAR review, Lanús first lost Jose Canale for a nudge Roger Martinez in the area, which determined the penalty. While waiting for the shot, the Colombian received another elbow, this time from Cristian Lema and the referee Fernando Rapallini He had to turn to the screen again and again he got the red one.
The first half couldn’t have ended in a worse way for Lanús. Racing managed to open the scoring with a goal from Baltasar Rodríguez. A great goal that allowed him to play the game with greater calm than his rival. Because the boy from the Academy received the ball in his field and advanced to the rival crescent, from where he took a barbaric shot to score the first goal of the match.
The second stage was a challenge for Lanús. Coach Ricardo Zielinski He had to dismantle the midfield and the offense to complete the line of five in the back and a midfield of three to contain Racing, which not only won, but had a two-player advantage.
In that context, Sand entered his farewell match on the Lanús field as an active player. The Russian put him in place of Laucha Acosta and he served as a striker when he could get loose. Pepe could do little or nothing. He scored more than in his entire career.
Racing seemed to put its foot on the brakes. He could have taken on a decimated rival and respected it. So much so that with nine players, Granate managed to reach the opposing goal. On the counterattack, the Avellaneda team finished wearing down Lanús, who did not diminish his efforts.
When Racing regained control of the ball and circulated it, the game was over for Lanús. The Academy, with 11, played at a trot, touching the ball and looking for spaces. He always had the rebounds and he tried not to risk and at the same time shout out the third.
Lucas Acosta, the goalkeeper, ended up being essential for Lanús not to fall by a greater difference. Firstly because he deflected it just enough when Juan Nardoni scored a cross from Emiliano Vecchio. Later, when he blocked the rebound from Anibal Moreno.
The party no longer mattered to the people of Lanús. The public was there to say goodbye to an idol. Last in zone B and with the possibility of qualifying on the last date to the next Sudamericana by the general table. After the final whistle, then, came the moment – the only one of the night – that mattered more than the game.
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