The Apertura 2006 is finally over (is it really? Fact: there is one suspended match who nobody knows if and when will take place!). Estudiantes de la Plata were a deserved champion (although it must be said that Boca Juniors chickened it out in the end and gifted the title) and Belgrano have kept in line with their pre-season goals. With the defeat against Banfield, Belgrano finished the Apertura 2006 in the 12th position with 23 points from 19 matches. One of the objectives in the pre-season was to achieve around 25 points in each championship (the Apertura 2006 and the Clausura 2007). Belgrano were very close to achieving it and there is a growing feeling of accomplishment among fans, the players and the management alike. Another objective was to be atop of what our manager described as a "mini-League" where most teams fighting relegation are. In this matter, only Gimnasia de Jujuy performed better than Belgrano which means we are still in the driver's seat. We are currently out of the relegation zone (although just one point shy!) but things can change pretty quickly with a string of bad results. We just hope that's not the case. All in all, Belgrano played 19 matches, with 6 victories, 5 draws and 8 defeats. Other highlights include the accolade received by our coach, Mario Griguol, as the best behavior on and off the pitch and the fact that Belgrano finished as one of the top three teams in the fair play department.
Belgrano were beaten by Banfield in a quiet Sunday afternoon in the southern region of Buenos Aires. Belgrano were forced to introduce five changes, including a last-minute substitution of our goallie German Montoya. Just when it seemed that Belgrano were settling into the match, Banfield struck. Lucchetti didn't miss from the penalty spot and El Taladro went ahead. Belgrano were fortunate to draw level five minutes after another penalty kick cleverly executed by JJ Serrizuela. The initial relentless pace was followed by a fierce battle in the midfield with both teams trying to get hold of the ball. The last part of the half was evenly contested and it looked as if the teams were heading to a half-time draw. However, Jeronimo Barrales took advantage from a succession of defensive mistakes and put the 2-1 to Banfield by halftime. Belgrano took the blow and they looked out of sorts in the second half but still went forward trying to get the leveller. It was Banfield, however, who found the goal. In ther first offensive attempt of the second half, Barraza signed off the match with a clinical finish. It was 3-1 and from that point onwards, our players sensed it was not going to be their day. Banfield simply controlled possession until the final whistle and that proved to be enough to secure their victory. Photo source: TyC Sports
Goals: 19' Luccheti (BAN), 24' Serrizuela (BEL), 47' Barrales (BAN), 57' Barraza (BAN)
Man of the match (MOTM): Salvatierra (BAN)
The final game of the season has arrived and finds Belgrano in a relatively comfortable mid-table position. Belgrano will travel to Buenos Aires to square off with Banfield hoping to put the icing on the cake to an already good campaign. It is evident that the win against Boca Juniors has proved an important boost to the team and the players will certainly try to end on a high by reaching the proposed 25-point mark. Banfield have had a lacklustre campaign; they bowed out at the early stages of the Copa Sudamericana and have struggled until lately.
Belgrano news: It's all smiles and good spirit in the Belgrano camp after the huge win against Boca Juniors. Serrizuela returns after suspension but Yllana, Mansanelli and Arriola are all out with different injuries.
Banfield news: Raul Wensel has told the press this is a must-win match for them. He said he was considering several changes to the squad.
Head-to-head: Belgrano and Banfield have played 14 times in First Division matches with a clear advantage to Belgrano. Belgrano: 9 wins, 3 draws, 2 defeats. Goals: 23 (GF), 12 (GA).
Date and venue: Sunday 1oth December. Kick-off: 16.30. Stadium: Florencio Sola. Referee: Saul Laverni.
Match prediction: 2-1 to Banfield.
Tomorrow is the last fixture of this first part of the season and everybody expects Belgrano to end the Apertura 2006 on a high. The pre-season goal was to avoid relegation and the management and coaches recalled that a 25-point harvest in each tournament would be enough to achieve that goal. Belgrano has so far performed better than many of the teams involved in the relegation battle and this is another good achievement. Winning the last match would take Belgrano to 26 points in what would be a quite good performance considering the few signings we had and the difficulty that always entails going from second to first division. Everyone of us believes that Belgrano will have no trouble of staying clear of the relegation zone if the team performs at the heights they did against Boca Juniors.
The chairman of Club Atletico Belgrano has confirmed Mario Griguol as the manager of Belgrano for the rest of the season. Amidst speculation that Griguol's position was undermined by a string of bad results, it seems that the fact that Belgrano is close to obtaining the goal of 25 points grants the reigning manager the vote of confidence from the directors. Another important reason it seems that the manager knows his players well and bringing a new face to the helm may seem too risky a bet. In a meeting yesterday, Armando Perez offered Mario Griguol to continue at the helm of Belgrano and the manager accepted promptly. After the last fixture of the Apertura 2006 taking place next sunday, the manager will start planning the arrangements for the next tournament starting in February 2007. All in all, this looks as a criterious decision by the management despite previous talk of replacing the manager at the end of the Apertura 2006. In other news, our manager Mario Griguol received the award for the most correct and well-behaved manager in the Apertura 2006 given by the Referees Association. Photo Source: La Voz del Interior
I am short of words to describe this video. It's absolutely amazing that the support for a team fighting for relegation (Belgrano) put to shame the support for a team challenging for the title (Boca Juniors) who were given almost half capacity at the stadium. Just take a look at this...
And now take a look at this featuring the so-called "The best hinchada in Argentina: La 12". It is really depressing and boring. Stop all the rubbish: this team was about to win the title and their fans were totally outdone and outchanted by our fans. So Boca, what's like being beaten in the pitch and in the stands? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha...
Belgrano showed once more what a great fan base they have. Boca showed once more that their fans only rule in the Bombonera.
Amazing. Unbelievable. Awesome. Against all the odds, Belgrano defeated Boca Juniors and halted Boca's unbeaten run. In addition, the win takes the title race to the wire. Boca had expected to celebrate a new title in Cordoba dismissing Belgrano as an easy obstacle. The scene and all the preparations were in place for a Boca celebration. Fortunately for Belgrano, Boca forgot that matches are won and lost in the pitch.
As predicted, the stadium was packed and the match yielded the highest turntiles receipts so far. Boca's colourful support was more than matched by Belgrano's vibrant and noisy supporters. It was all set for a walk in the park for Boca Juniors. But as kick-off took place, the first impressions were different. Belgrano were playing with guts and incredible passion as if it was a league final. Boca were playing with a lacking and despiseful attitude. Boca had control of the ball but were not able to overcome the fierce resistance imposed by Belgrano. Time and again, Boca repeated in lateralizing and crosses that were cleared by the Belgrano defenders. They were unable to create clear chances in front of Belgrano's goal. Belgrano assumed a passive role from the outset conceding the ball to Boca but trying to take advantage from the gaps opened in the Boca midfield and defensive lines. Palacio, arguably the best forward in the league, was well controlled by Maceira and Palermo had a dreadful evening. Cardozo, Datolo and Marino were also unable to create play and the Belgrano defenders had the best of them. On the other side, Belgrano were starting to create some problems to the Boca back four with Andres Rios and Gigli. The midfield pair, Bolatti and Yllana, had a growing influence into the game and Mansanelli and Arriola were causing troubles on the wings. The first half didn't see many scoring chances and it ended 0-0. The second half was pretty similar but Belgrano decided to go for an unlikely win. Another cross from the left hand side into the box, left Franco Peppino unchallenged and after some clever footwork he put the ball past Bobadilla giving Belgrano the lead. It was pure ectasy. The Pirates, Belgrano supporters, were in heaven and they were enjoying the win and teasing Boca fans. From that moment, Boca took control of the ball and created some opportunities but they were unable to break Belgrano. German Montoya was again an important factor and the unexperienced Belgrano back four played an excellent match. The final whistle brought a sense of relief into the stands and both Belgrano players and supporters stayed for a while celebrating wildly and joyously after the match finished. It was another chapter of the rich history between these two clubs. Another heroic match for Belgrano. Another frustration for Boca. David defeated Goliat...
This is why I love being a supporter of this club. It's because of the mystic, the heroics, the popular roots, the inner strength, the passion and the support. We don't care if we win or lose. We don't care if we play well or suck. We don't care if we win leagues or battle relegation. We just care about supporting our team at every single moment. We ask our players to give their all. We, as supporters, also give our all. Photo Source: La Voz del Interior
Goals: 60' Peppino (BEL)
Man of the match (MOTM): German Montoya (BEL)
I am away for international duty which means I am supporting the national tennis team in the Davis Cup. That means I am in Moscow for the next few days. I will be coming back to updating the info about Belgrano (and hopefully my next post is going to be about the great victory against Boca Juniors) as soon as I am back.
The clash of the tournament is here. Belgrano de Cordoba, back into the First Division. Boca Juniors, contending for another title. Belgrano, the greatest and long-suffering fans. Boca Juniors, the "Jugador Numero 12". Belgrano, a blend of sacrifice, heart and team spirit. Boca Juniors, a blend of personality, stars and winning attitude. Belgrano, el Gigante. Boca Juniors, la Bombonera. Belgrano, a great future. Boca Juniors, history in the making. That is what is all about. All the tournament comes down to this match. A win will give Boca the title. A defeat or a draw will give Belgrano pride and vital points. Certain to be a full house at the Olimpico de Cordoba, meaning huge turntile receipts and a great atmosphere. These two teams have produced memorable matches in the past and we all hope this won't be the exception. In the photo above, two giants and legends of each club, Diego Maradona and Luis Fabian Artime salute each other.
Will Belgrano let Boca run away with the title? Or will we beat them in a classical David and Goliat fashion? Whatever it is, Boca won't have it easier next weekend. That, my friends, is for sure. Match preview, odds and prediction later during the week.
Belgrano were held to a draw by Lanus at the Olimpico de Cordoba. Belgrano had most of the posession but were again unable to find a way to overcome the defensive tactics implemented by Lanus. Belgrano started brightly keeping and passing the ball and trying to push Lanus towards their goal. Once Lanus settled in most of the action took place in the midfield and soon it all became a dull and unattractive affair. Proof of that was that there were almost no shots at the goals and both goalkeepers had a quiet evening. The wet pitch due to the heavy rainfall didn't help matters either. Lanus were more active during the second half and they had chances to open the scoring during the first minutes. The match became more open and Belgrano found spaces for the break. Still, the feeling was that the match was heading for a goalless draw. Unexpectedly, and when Belgrano were in control of the match, Claudio Graf found himself in a scoring position and the efficient striker put the ball away from German Montoya. Belgrano protested an (evident) uncalled foul to JJ Serrizuela who was defending the play to no avail. Shock in the stadium. But it was then when Belgrano fuelled by its people chanting loudly under the heavy rain decided to try and put some justice in the scoresheet. Belgrano pushed and hustled (yeah, without ideas but with a lot of guts and heart) and the leveller came our way after a corner headed home by Mario Bolatti. It was in fact an own goal but the referee, adding to his list of awful decisions, gave it to the star Belgrano midfielder. There was little else until the close of the match. JJ Serrizuela was sent off and both teams seemed happy with the draw. A draw is a draw and a point it always useful. At last, I got the prediction and the score right! A perfect prediction he he! Photo Source: TyC Sports
Goals: 81' Graf (LAN), 87' Bolatti (BEL)
Man of the Match: Gaston Turus (BEL)
Belgrano had a difficult week trying to recover from the last defeat. First, the manager held long talks with the players. Later in the week, it was the chairman who addressed the squad. Everyone agreed that a lot of positives came out of those talks. Belgrano host Lanus at the Olimpico de Cordoba and the overall feeling is that another defeat may cost the manager his job. The match against Lanus is crucial and Belgrano need a win to end the Apertura 2006 in a safe mid-table position. Lanus have been performing well of lately and they have performed excellently in away matches having lost only one match in the whole tournament.
Belgrano news: The manager has decided to introduce 6 changes! That's more than half a team! Turus replaces Peppino (suspension) while the other 5 changes are due to poor form. Ernesto Maceira (19 years) will make his debut.
Lanus news: Hoyos is a doubt. If he plays, Lanus will repeat the formation.
Head-to-head: Belgrano and Lanus have played 17 times in First Division matches. Belgrano: 5 wins, 5 draws, 7 defeats. Goals: 15 (GF), 17 (GA).
Date and venue: Sunday 26th November. Kick-off: 16.30. Stadium: Olimpico (Cba). Referee: Daniel Gimenez.
Match odds: BEL (17/10) ; DRAW (9/4) ; LAN (29/20)
Match prediction: 1-1
If you are a fan of music, chances are you've become acquainted with the name Elefant. The band is fronted by Diego Garcia who is not only a fan of Belgrano but a lifelong member. Born in Detroit to Argentine parents his family registered him as a Belgrano member soon after his birth. He has been a devoted fan ever since and he was spotted recently in a match in Buenos Aires (first thing in the morning he checks Argentine football results!). Elefant have become a household name in the NYC musical scene and Diego Garcia is reaping the benefits. A few months ago, they performed at Niceto Club in Buenos Aires. This clip features the song The Clown from their last album The Black Magic Show and the drummer is wearing a Belgrano's jersey! (yeah, I know you can't see it but it's true...first-hand info). Check it out...
With only three fixtures to go the Apertura 2006 is drawing to a close. The title race is only down to Boca Juniors and Estudiantes de La Plata, with Boca most likely winning their third League in a row. The battle for relegation (which is decided at the end of the season 2006/07) will certainly involve several teams the most likely being Godoy Cruz, Quilmes, Nueva Chicago, Colon, Argentinos Jrs., Gimnasia de Jujuy and Belgrano. On a positive note, Belgrano has performed better than all these other teams boasting 19 points in 16 matches played. The remainig fixtures are: Lanus (H), Boca Juniors (H) and Banfield (A). Most fans would be happy to go into the break with 23-25 points and that involves winning a couple of these matches. On the other hand, not reaching 20 points would leave us in a difficult situation for the Clausura 2006. Following the last defeat against Colon, chairman Armando Perez went public and gave some hints about the next steps. He said there needed to be some changes and hinted that they may even involve the manager (although he gave a vote of confidence to Mario Griguol). He also suggested that there will be a reduction in the number of players at the end of the Apertura 2006. Perez said there were no news in the stadium expansion plans. When asked about whether a new manager will be taking up de reins, he hinted that was a possibility and in that case Mario Griguol would rejoin Belgrano's youth divisions. Speculation is rife about potential managers and Claudio Borghi, Nelson Acosta, Oscar Malbernat, Leonardo Astrada are but a few names thrown into the mix. Whatever the truth about these rumours, it is clear that some things will need to change for the good if Belgrano are to play their way out of the relegation zone. It is a good sign that the chairman is determined to turn things around. Photo Source: La Voz del Interior
Belgrano lost another important match and life is becoming increasingly difficult for both the manager and the players. Belgrano had a good chance of getting something out of this match given the poor performances of Colon but instead they turned in an awful performance. Colon controlled the ball most of the time and created plenty of scoring opportunities. Two times they hit the crossbar, a couple more times our excellent goallie made outstanding saves and they constantly threatened Belgrano's goal. Even when the first half ended goalless, it looked like Colon should have gotten a goal or two. They got the deserved lead ten minutes into the second-half when Enria scored from close range. Andres Aimar was a big hope but was disappointing and never looked like creating play. Neither did the substitutions introduced after half-time. Colon sealed their victory after Ramirez got on the scoresheet 15 minutes from the end of the match. The defenders, usually solid, looked completely out-of-sorts and the midfielders could almost never get hold of the ball. The forwards were never assisted and were never able to pose a serious threat for the Colon defenders. Another good performance by German Montoya meant Belgrano did not suffer an embarrassing defeat. Franco Peppino was sent off for Belgrano who will need to improve greatly if they are to get to the 25-points target set by the manager. There are only three fixtures left and the powerful Boca Juniors is coming to visit us in two-weeks time. We are still in with chances and I am sure we'll scrap our way to the needed target. Photo Source: TyC Sports
Goals: 55' Claudio Enria (COL), 75' Ruben Ramirez (COL)
Man of the match: Claudio Enria (COL)
Belgrano have a must-win match against Colon de Santa Fe. Belgrano will look to shake off the disappointing defeat in the last fixture against Gimnasia de Jujuy and try to come up with the goods against Colon. It is another vital match for Belgrano's obective to escape relegation. Colon have been performing very poorly this season and they find themselves in the bottom two of the league. Color were tipped to be struggling this season but they have indeed become involved in the relegation battle and are targeted as a direct rival by Belgrano. Both teams were beaten in the last fixture.
Belgrano news: Cervera is out for the remaining of the Apertura with a knee injury. The manager Mario Griguol leaves the formation unchanged and is looking for Cervera's replacement. Andres Aimar (Pablo Aimar's brother) and Cesar Mansanelli are the most likely. The manager has also tried some changes upfront.
Colon news: Rumours were heard during the week about the resignation of the manager. Also, there were reports of several players at odds with Julio Falcioni. Conditions are not the best in Colon's camp but some journalists gathered that the manager plans to implement a decidedly attacking formation against Belgrano.
Head-to-Head: Belgrano and Colon have faced each other a tota of 12 times in First Division games with a clear advantage to Colon (we hope to turn that around). Belgrano: 3 wins, 3 draws, 6 defeats. Goals: 11 (GF), 14 (GA).
Date and venue: Sunday 19th November. Kick-off: 16.30. Stadium: Brigadier Lopez (Colon). Referee: Rafael Furchi.
German Marcelo Montoya has been linked with Italian giants Milan AC by some footie news agencies. If these rumours were to be true and Milan AC are indeed observing our goallie, these would be amazing news both for our Montoya and Belgrano. We have already mentioned the praise Montoya has been receiving of late and this speculation confirms the positive remarks. Milan AC are looking for some signigns to fight off the potential of a relegation threat and they have hinted that a young goalkepper is part of their plans. Have a look at these links where the rumours where first heard. Photo Source: La Voz del Interior
http://actumilan.football.fr/2006/11/15/2-toujours-des-noms (in French)
http://milanelcuore.forumcommunity.net/?t=4564317 (in Italian)
http://www.mercafutbol.com/noticias.asp?nt=22817&ct=372 (in Spanish)
Belgrano were unlucky to go away empty handed against Gimnasia de Jujuy last Sunday at the Olimpico de Cordoba. The match resulted as was expected with Belgrano taking the initiative and Gimnasia de Jujuy defending and waiting for the counter. Belgrano created some good chances in the first half but were denied an opening goal mostly due to poor finishing. Only in the last 10 minutes of the half, did Gimnasia attempt to put some more men in attack but they didn't cause much troubles for the Belgrano back four. The second half was a similar story with Belgrano trying to break the deadlock with more guts and passion than ideas. Another succesion of chances came an go for Belgrano who found an inspired Gimnasia goalkeeper. Belgrano introduced some changes only for nothing really to change and the game seemed heading for a goalless draw. But Gimnasia got more than what they deserved when in an isolated counterattack Dario Gandin scored a nice goal after a perfectly timed move. Belgrano then tried to avoid the defeat by going forward but lacked the cutting-edge you need to win matches at this level. The match was followed by a 25.000-strong crowd. Belrano are now lying perilously close to the relegation zone and the team should do very well in the last four matches in order to go confident into the summer break. Photo Source: Portal Celeste
Goals: 82' Dario Gandin (GEJ)
Man of the match (MOTM): Jose Valdiviezo (GEJ)
Belgrano look to consolidate their form after their recent win against Quilmes. The next fixture is against Gimnasia de Jujuy and the match will take place at the Olimpico de Cordoba stadium. Although both teams are currently avoiding relegation, they will be in the hunt for vital points to steer away from the drop zone. Belgrano are trying to stop a run of 4 home matches without a win and give the fans something to cheer about. Gimnasia will try to continue their positive run but they will certainly take a draw at the Olimpico. Both teams secured important victories in their last fixture. Match Prediction: 2-1 to Belgrano.
Belgrano news: It was a quiet week for the Belgrano camp without major news. The manager has named an unchanged squad for the match against Gimnasia de Jujuy. He was happy with the way the 4-4-1-1 worked out and hopefully he will be proven right again.
Gimnasia de Jujuy news: Mario Gomez, the manager of Gimnasia de Jujuy, has decided not to introduce any changes to the team. Both Medero and Gandin are available and will start in the bench.
Head-to-Head: Belgrano and Gimnasia de Jujuy have faced each other 13 times in First Division matches. Belgrano:5 wins, 3 draws, 5 defeats. Goals: 17 (GF), 15 (GA).
Data and venue: Sunday 12th November. Kick-off: 16.30. Stadium: Olimpico de Cordoba (Belgrano).
Argentine football is a joke. Period. The wonderful game that football once used to be is now marred by a mix of rigged fixtures, paid referees and violence from barras bravas. It no longer matters who wins the League. The latest development in this ongoing scandal took place last night when Gimnasia LP hosted Boca Juniors to complete the match suspended some weeks ago (Boca trailed Gimnasia LP 1-0 after the first half). The remainder was divided in two halves of 22 minutes each and right from the beginning there was the feeling of something strange. An outrageous penalty decision was given to Boca Juniors in the first minute. Boca levelled the match and went ahead just a few minutes later. Journalists were commenting on the evident lack of effort from Gimnasia players who looked as if they didn't care. Had Gimnasia went on to win the match they would have granted their biggest rival Estudiantes LP a wonderful opportunity to challenge for the title. In the end, Boca turned the match around by winning 4-1 (yes, four goals in 45 mins!). Amidst rumours of incentive money bein paid to Gimnasia players in exchange for losing the match, there were news about a serious threat made by Gimnasia barras to the players if they won the match. The players admitted to have been threatened but the match was played anyway. Boca stays top of the league 4 points clear but there is a feeling of uneasiness all around the football world. More developments will follow from this and a suspension of the League is likely. Shameful and disgusting.
Our star goallie, German Montoya, keeps surprising everyone with his performances. German is not only loved by Belgrano fans but is also being hailed as one of the best goalkeepers in the Argentine league. His last performance against Quilmes was top of the class being granted a 10-mark by most pundits and selected in the team of the week. The Quilmes manager, former goalkeeper Esteban Pogany, said: "He was outstanding. It was arguably the best perfomance by a keeper this season". Other Quilmes players also commented on his performance:"He is the reason Belgrano won the match. I hadn't seen a performance like that in a long time" said Quilmes' goallie Damian Grosso. "It was impressive. He's won a lot of points for them" said Julio Moreyra. Other pundits highlight the role of Montoya in helping his team getting valuable points. It has also been suggested that he is being closely followed by the national coach Alfio Basile. The reasons for his success: outstanding reflexes, hard-work and determination. He is a class act and his inclusion in the national squad is just a matter of time. Photo source: La Voz del Interior
How many teams in the world can beat that? Stories like these deserve to be told. It's been more than 6 months now but that day Belgrano reminded the football world why it is special.What a day. It was not playing against Boca or River. It was not even First Division football. It was not Champions League or Copa Libertadores. It was the last game of the season in the underrated Nacional B, the second division of Argentine Football. Yet, around 10.000 fans travelled more than 750 kilometres to support the team in its bid to win the title. The game took place at Ferro CO football ground and both home fans and journalists were absolutely astonished at this incredible turnout. It was crystal clear who had the larger crowd that day -the away team, my beloved Belgrano. We won the game, but were narrowly beaten to the title by Nueva Chicago. Yet, after the obvious disappointment, the fans kept chanting and cheering as few clubs in the world would do. A few weeks later, Belgrano would win the promotion to First Division after defeating Olimpo in both the home and away legs. Here is a short clip where you can enjoy part of the fiesta pirata in the terraces. Oh boy, that's passion...
Belgrano fought their way to a much-needed victory against Quilmes, El Cervecero. The game started very lively and two goals came within the first five minutes. The home side got their noses in front after Bustos Montoya scored from a questionable position. Indeed the linesman had his flag up but the referee confirmed the goal. Belgrano were able to draw level shortly after when Bolatti headed a cross past the Quilmes goal. After the emotions, the initial pace reccedeed and the match became hotly contested in the midfield with both sides creating a few good chances. If Quilmes were keeping the ball it was Belgrano who were looking dangerous in the counter. And it was Belgrano who had the half-time lead after Ezequiel Arriola capitalized on some sloppy defending by Quilmes. And it could have even been worse for Quilmes had Cervera not missed a sitter at the end of the half. The match was open and Quilmes went out all guns blazing in the second half. It was a bit of surprise then when Paolo Frangipane scored the third for Belgrano and that seemed to put the game away. However, it looked like Quilmes could score at any minute and they finally found a glimmer of hope after Diego Torres narrowed the losing margin. With the score 3-2 for Belgrano, Quilmes tried hard to find the leveller without success and this was mainly due to the monumental performance of our keeper, German Montoya. Belgrano celebrated a great victory against a direct rival in the relegation battle and they now look forward to facing Gimnasia de Jujuy at the Olimpico de Cordoba. Photo source: La Voz del Interior
Goals: 1' Bustos Montoya (QUI), 4' Bolatti (BEL), 29' Arriola (BEL), 46' Frangipane (BEL), 58' Torres (QUI)
Man of the match (MOTM): German Montoya (BEL)
After three consecutive defeats, it is time for the team to recover. And the next match is against a direct contender in the relegation battle, Quilmes Atletico Club. It is vital for Belgrano not to lose this match and it would be a great boost for the morale of the team if we could just snatch a win. It is going to be tough, fiery and ugly. But a win is a win. And we need it badly. Quilmes had been playing horrible until late when they have strung a run of good results. Belgrano is currently 11th and Quilmes is bottom of the pack. Match prediction: 0-0.
Belgrano news: The manager is clearly unhappy with the past performances and decided to change tactics and players (yet again). The new tactic will be a cautious 4-4-1-1 in a bid to keep a clean sheet. One tactical substitution sees Walter Bustos replace Matias Gigli while the other changes are in order. Mansanelli is replaced by Jorge Cervera due to poor performances while upfront Andres Soriano is replaced by the more experienced Mariano Campodonico. Finally, JJ Serrizuela is back at right back after injury replacing Gaston Turus.
Quilmes news: Jose Chatruc is suspended and will be replaced by Sebastian Rusculleda.
Head-to-head: Belgrano and Quilmes have played only 6 times in First Division tournaments. Belgrano: 2 wins, 2 draws, 2 defeats. Goals: 5 (GF), 5 (GA).
Date and venue: Sunday 5th November. Kick-off: 16.00. Stadium: Jose L. Meizner (Quilmes).
Belgrano were beaten by an efficient Arsenal de Sarandi team adding to the recent poor run of results. More than 25.000 supporters enjoyed a bright start of the game with Belgrano taking the best part of it. Arsenal took their time to adjust but after this brief dominant spell by Belgrano, they always looked the better team. Two very good chances were cleared by the excelent Belgrano's keeper, German Montoya, who is being increasingly acclaimed for his recent performances. The half ended goalles but it was Arsenal who looked like deserving to be in front. Their reward came shortly after the break when Arsenal found the deserved goal after a good move was finished by a cool volley from Mauro Obolo. Encouraged by their supporters, Belgrano tried to find a way to find the equalizer but even with three forwards on the field their efforts were in vain. Belgrano had the possession of the ball but lacked any ideas to find a way trough. Arsenal were the better team and got a deserved win. Belgrano played probably the worst game of the season but there is still time to get back to winning ways. Next up is an all-relegation battle against Quilmes.
Goals: 47' Mauro Obolo (ARS)
Man of the match (MOTM): Carlos Casteglione (ARS)
After the disappointing performance against Argentinos Jrs., Belgrano have a great opportunity to redeem themselves when they host Arsenal de Sarandi. Belgrano are currently in a two match losing streak but they are still in a good position in both the League and Relegation tables. Arsenal have been the surprise package of the season and may even end up challenging for the title. Both teams come from previous defeats in their last games. Match prediction: 2-2.
Belgrano news: Some changes were expected after the previous defeat. The manager replaces the current 4-4-2 for 4-3-1-2 and two up-and-coming players get their place into the team. Paolo Frangipane, replacing Raul Gordillo, will be the man in charge of creating play in the midfield and Andres "Pollo" Soriano will replace Mariano Campodonico upfront.
Arsenal news: Ruiz replaces the injured Grabriel Loeschbor and other changes are likely due to player exhaustion.
Head-to-head: The teams have never faced each other in official tournaments.
Date and venue: Sunday 29th October. Kick-off: 16.00. Stadium: Olimpico de Cordoba.
It was the second straight defeat for Belgrano and this one hurt. It was going to be a difficult match but Belgrano made it more difficult for themselves. In what was one of the hottest days of the season, both teams started slow without creating many chances. It was obvious that the extreme heat was affecting the players and although Argentinos Jrs. had the better chances in the half both keepers made good saves to keep the score level. It seemed that the match was headed for boring draw when Argentinos Jrs. suddenly broke the deadlock with two goals in the space of two minutes shortly after the break. First, Leonel Nuñez received after a poor clearance and slammed the ball into the net with a powerful shot. One minute later, Sebastian Carrera benefited from sloppy defending after a fast break and coolly slotted the ball past Montoya. It was now a very difficult task for Belgrano who introduced changes to try to pull the two goals back. Paolo Frangipane scored a wonderful goal from long range and from then on it was an open match with Belgrano trying to find the leveller and Argentinos Jrs. looking for the killer blow. Belgrano had two very good chances to score but they were neutralized by the Argentinos Jrs. keeper. Belgrano didn't have a good game and although they are still in a safe mid-table position, there is a growing concern over the poor play of the team. We hope all these concerns are washed away when we face Arsenal de Sarandi at the Olimpico de Cordoba. Belgrano supporters were again to be applauded with more than 1000 fans travelling all the way to Buenos Aires and creating the usual feisty atmosphere in the terraces.
Goals: 46' Leonel Nuñez (ARG), 48' Sebastian Carrera (ARG), 61' Paolo Frangipane (BEL)
Man of the match (MOTM): Franco Niell (ARG)
Belgrano travel to Buenos Aires to face Argentinos Juniors. "El Pirata" will try to recover from defeat in the last game against Racing Club and the best way to do this is to get a win against a direct rival in the relegation battle. "El Bicho" will try to get a much-needed win after a sucession of bad results. Continue reading...Belgrano are currently performing quite well in away games so we hope this will continue. Match Prediction: 2-1 to Belgrano.
Belgrano news: Serrizuela is out injured. The manager Mario Griguol has not yet decided who will replace him (Turus or Mansanelli appear the most likely).
Argentinos news: De Muner (out, suspension) will be replaced by Barzola. Quinteros is back into the squad after three weeks.
Head-to-head: Played 27 times. Belgrano: 12 wins, 8 draws and 7 defeats. Goals: 35 (GF), 28 (GA).
Date and venue: Sunday 22nd October. Kick-off: 16.00. Stadium: Argentinos Juniors, Paternal.
Well, our unbeaten run at home is over. Belgrano lost a game they had for the taking. The first half had relatively few chances for each side. Racing had more of the ball while Belgrano were trying to get going. It seemed as if the teams were heading level to the interval but an amazing goal scored by Moralez changed the game. Moralez was a constant threat to our defenders and midway through the half dribbled past two players and scored a screamer from outside the box. Belgrano suffered a blow and it took a few minutes for them to bounce back. After half-time, Racing had a very good opportunity to finish off the match but German Montoya produced a brilliant save. After that incident, everything was for Belgrano. Supported by a solid defense, the midfield started pushing forward and creating some good plays. Arriola, Gigli, Soriano and others were agonizingly close but the goalkeeper and the posts denied the deserved leveller time and again. It seemed as if wasn't going to be our night. Belgrano fought until the last second but were unable to find the net. The match was followed by a rapturous crowd at the Olimpico de Cordoba.
Goals: 18 ' Maximiliano Moralez (RAC)
Man of the match (MOTM): Gustavo Campagnuolo (RAC)
Belgrano host Racing Club at the Olimpico de Cordoba. Both teams are enjoying good runs and it is expected to be an entertaining match. Racing need the win if they are to close the gap on the leaders while Belgrano need to keep getting vital points if they are to stay clear of the drop zone. As always, a large crowd is expected. Match Prediction: 1-1.
Great away win for Belgrano! The manager had a plan in their visit to Rosario against Newells Old Boys: to steal a win. And they did just that. Newells dominated the match from start to finish, they had the control of the ball, they created the chances, and they deserved to win the match. But Belgrano profited from the only chance they had in the first half and they were 1-0 up by halftime. The second time saw a determined Newells side and a fierce resistance by Belgrano. In the end, Belgrano were able to deny Newellsl and got a very important win in a difficult stadium. There were some clashes between the supporters and the police were very harsh in dealing with the incidents.
Goals: 44' Franco Peppino (BEL)
Man of the match (MOTM): Franco Peppino (BEL)
Belgrano travel to Rosario to play against Newells Old Boys. We have had some good results at their stadium in the past and we all hope we can get a good result. The match will be played next Sunday at 16.00 in Rosario. Large crowds are expected to travel to Rosario to support the team. Newells will miss three of their more important players who are away on international duty. Belgrano make three changes and see Andres Yllana make his debut for the team. Match Prediction: 2 - 0 to Belgrano.
Well, it was a very tough match for Belgrano. River Plate have tremendous quality in their squad and they showed some glipses of it through the match. The first half was almost completely dominated by River Plate creating good scoring opportunities. River found the opening goal through Gallardo who coolly executed from the spot. Things were from bad to worse for Belgrano after JJ Serrizuela was sent off after a late tackle. River had many chances to put the match away but they missed too many chances and faced an inspired Belgrano's keeper, German Montoya. The opening of the second half saw a similar story with River trying to get that second goal and Belgrano struggling to match its rival. Belgrano fought its way back in to the match with a spirited and combative display supported by a feisty crowd. It was Arriola who scored a nice goal in the dying minutes of the game and made the crowd go nuts. Belgrano had levelled the match with 10 men and with just few minutes left. There were a few more chances for both sides but no team was able to snatch a winning goal. In the end, Belgrano didn't play a great match. But we were able to get a good draw because Belgrano is like that: we fought until the last minute and supported the team all along. Photo source: La Voz del Interior
Goals: 25' Marcelo Gallardo (RIV), 86' Ezequiel Arriola (BEL)
Man of the match (MOTM): German Montoya (BEL)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4etFSAOX184 (Highlights of 1st half)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFvR0NVqi-8 (Highlights of 2nd half)
We are going to beat River Plate. This is my feeling and also my prediction and is also shared by my fellow fans. The match will be played at a packed stadium on Sunday. We are going to teach River Plate a lesson. The game will be played at the Olimpico de Cordoba. Match Prediction: 1-0 to Belgrano.
Every now and then I will post about some of our famous fans. This first post is dedicated to Rodrigo "El Potro" Bueno a very popular singer loved by the masses. In his heyday, he made the whole country dance and was never shy of claiming to be a Belgrano supporter. He was often spotted in the stadium among the fans chanting and supporting our team. Sadly, he is no longer with us but his soul wanders around every time Belgrano play. This short video goes to his memory. Enjoy a few pictures and a taste of his music (NOTE: Be patient and wait until the end of the video where he appears in full Belgrano gear!)
It was a difficult away fixture against Velez and we came up short. Belgrano did not have the best performance and Velez played a solid match. The first half saw Velez dominate the game through a good display of their two wingers. Lucas Castroman was a constant threat and although he missed a penalty he opened the scoring with an excellent header. Belgrano came out strong for the second half but their efforts were not enough. It seemed as though we were finding too difficult to create scoring chances. All was ended when Velez scored the second goal after a quick counterattack. Belgrano host River Plate in the next fixture. What a good opportunity to get back to winning ways!
Goals: 29' Lucas Castroman (VEL), 81' Ivan Moreno y Fabianesi (VEL)
Man of the match (MOTM): Lucas Castroman (VEL)
Highlights of the match to follow...
It is well known that our stadium (pictured above) needs to be expanded. Firstly, because we love to play in Alberdi. And second, because we need to have a stadium in accordance to the calibre of clubs we are likely to face in the present and in the future. This year both Boca and River are visiting us and next year we may well host Palmeiras, Colo Colo or America. Our chairman Armando Perez, has delighted the fans by stating that the stadium is going to be expanded in the near future. Although no official date has been set for the starting of the works, the feeling is that the stadium should be ready for the next year. These are very good news for Belgrano!
Image source: www.stadionwelt.de
Belgrano is up against Velez Sarfield this Saturday. The match will be played at Estadio Jose Amalfitani. Our coach Mario Griguol has decided to include Jorge Cervera into the squad replacing Mariano Campodonico who is suspended. A very good number of Belgrano supporters (as is always the case) is expected to travel to Buenos Aires to cheer the team. Match Prediction: 1-1.
Hey guys, check this out. This video will show you one of the reasons why we are one of the biggest and most popular club in Argentina. Make sure your audio is on and I assure that, even if you dont understand the chants, the emotion you feel is unique. UN-BE-LIE-VA-BLE !!! Please let me know your comments and thoughts.
In what was a predictably close match, Belgrano were unable to capitalize the chances they had to win the match. It was an even match that saw Belgrano had the upper hand in the first half while Nueva Chicago had some good chances to win it all in the second half. All in all, the result was a fair reflection of the match. The result places Belgrano in fifth position in what is so far a very good campaign that is being praised by commentators. Next up are Velez in Buenos Aires.
Goals: 35' Mariano Campodonico (BEL) , 52' Cesar Carranza (NCH)
Man of the match (MOTM): Cesar Carranza (NCH)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0U14mv9nLzI (Click for highlights. Audio in Spanish)
A crucial game. Belgrano against Nueva Chicago at the Olimpico de Cordoba. Two teams that are currently enjoying a good start will square off in what promises to be a very tight affair. The match will be played in a packed stadium (as is always the case when Belgrano plays home) and we all hope for a win (even if we score a goal with the knee in extra time!!!). Match Prediction: 3-1 to Belgrano.
Come on boys!!!
These are our official shirts. The main shirt is all light blue. I just love the color of this shirt and I think it looks very nice on a football pitch. The alternative shirt is black with light blue (or cyan) details. The current sponsor is Lotto but talks are being held with other sponsors at the moment. Dont they look nice? Yes, they do. And when you put on one of these, you become one of the Pirates.
If you like them and would like to have your own official Belgrano shirt, go to Planeta Activo (in Spanish but they ship internationally). They stock a large range of footie products and of course Belgrano official merchandise.
Belgrano managed to get an important point in its visit to Godoy Cruz. The game was very contested from the beginning with both teams looking to secure vital points in the fight against relegation. Godoy Cruz started stronger and they made an early breakthrough 5 minutes into the game when Enzo Perez scored after a gruesome mistake from Arriola. Belgrano was rocked by this early goal and the next 20 minutes saw Godoy Cruz dominate the game creating a few good chances. It was then when Belgrano started to take control of the game fuelled by the growing influence of its midfielders particulary Bolatti and Manzanelli. It wasn't long until the deserved goal came our way and it was through a beautiful header by Mariano Campodonico who played from the start for the first time. The first half came to a close leaving the match wide open for the second half. Godoy Cruz came out all gunz blazing but it couldn't break a spirited Belgrano's defense. Each side had their chances to break the deadlock but in the end the draw was a fair reflection of the proceedings of the match. It was a good point for Godoy Cruz which scored their first goal in six matches and it was also a good point for Belgrano which keeps the team in a top-6 position in the League table and in safe position in the relegation table.
Goals: 5' Enzo Perez (GOD), 36' Mariano Campodonico (BEL)
Man of the match (MOTM): Mario Bolatti (BEL)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaFkPYeDYWY (Click for highlights. Audio in Spanish)
Big match today for Belgrano. The kickoff is at 16.30 (Argentine time) and the match takes place at the Estadio Mundialista in Mendoza, Argentina. Belgrano are currently enjoying a three match unbeaten run and a win today would put the team in a very good position in the Torneo Apertura. Match Prediction: 2-1 to Belgrano.
Come on boys!!!
Soy Celeste (in Spanish)
Portal Celeste (in Spanish)
Women Squad (in Spanish)
La mitad mas uno (in Spanish)
Juan Daniel Caceres (in Spanish)
Argentine Football Association
Futbol de Primera
In general, sports media suck so badly that I am not going to give them the privilege. For the Argentine sport media, oh well...
TECH STUFF AND TOOLS
Belgrano edged Gimnasia y Esgrima (La Plata) in a closely fought match in front of a large crowd at the Estadio Olimpico de Cordoba. The result took a definitive turn when Belgrano scored in the first half through a superb free-kick from Jose Luis Serrizuela. While Gimnasia had a few scoring chances in the end of the first half, Belgrano could and should have put the result beyond doubt in the second half. No less than 4 scoring chances were missed in the second half in which Gimnasia saw a man sent off. The win places Belgrano in a very expectant position with 10 points in 5 games. Next up is Godoy Cruz from Mendoza.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOFhhB8qWF8 (Click for highlights. Audio in Spanish)
These are several pics of our stadium. It is called El Gigante de Alberdi ("The Giant of Alberdi") where Alberdi refers to the historic neighbourhood that plays host to the iconic monument. The stadium was officially opened on the 17th March, 1929. It is the oldest stadium in the city of Cordoba and one of the oldest all-concrete stadia in the country. Surrounded by the traditional neighbourhood of Alberdi, it stands tall overlooking the Suquia river. Because of the limited capacity (around 28.000), Belgrano is often forced to play at the Olimpico de Cordoba which is better suited to accommodate the massive Belgrano fan base. Currently, there are plans for a refurbishment and expansion of the Gigante.
A brief note about the election of the language. It may seem a bit odd to find a blog supporting an Argentine club written in English. My intention is to post in English most of the time, although eventually I may post links or articles written in Spanish. Two reasons are behind my decision to post in English. First, I would like to introduce and make known the club I support to an international community. Second, I wanted to if not innovate at least be original in the way I support my club. Having said this, I will naturally accept comments and other posts (and suggestions) in both English and Spanish. You know as they say, footy vanishes cultural barriers. So we may hope for a strong supporting to our club, whether in English, Spanish or Esperanto.
This blog is dedicated to my beloved team: Club Atletico Belgrano, or CAB, or simply, Belgrano. Belgrano is a club from Cordoba, Argentina whose existence dates back to 1905. The club supports a diverse range of disciplines although football has been almost exclusively its main activity. Belgrano has undoubtedly the largest fan base in Cordoba and one of the largest in Argentina. The supporters are usually known as Los Piratas (The Pirates) or Los Celestes. The name of the blog (which translated into English would make something like The Pirate Ship) makes reference to the previous name and is often recalled when the team goes out to the football pitch to play. Throughout a century-long history, the club has had its ups and downs. In the last few years, however the club has been going through a new process which has seen its fortune improve both on and off the pitch. Wait a minute...You may think this is the same old story with all clubs in the world so why you should even bother to become a supporter let alone read about Belgrano? Because of this: our mystic. In due time I will tell stories here that will surprise you. I will let you feel that mystic. You will see how many times we were battered, dead and buried and yet we managed to come out on top and grow stronger. This would not have been possible without the extraordinary and marvelous dedication of every single one of us: Los Piratas. This is why Belgrano is different. The mystic is intact and growing ever stronger. Let me share the past, present and future of this fantastic club with all of you.
Stadium: Chateau Carreras
Match: Promotion Play-Off
Belgrano: Jorge Sodero; Angel Cortes, Jose Flores, Enrique Nieto, Marcelo Flores; Victor Heredia, Lucio Alonso, Roberto Monserrat; Juan Spallina, Luis Ernesto Sosa, Omar Herrera. Coach: Jorge Guyon. Subs: Jose Ducca, Marcelo Avalos, Norberto Fernandez, Miguel Rutar, and Sergio Barboza.
Goals: Alonso (x2), Herrera, Monserrat
Photo source: DaleBelgrano