BREAKING NEWS: Belgrano coach resigns

In a somewhat unexpected turn of events, Mario Gomez offered his resignation as coach of the first team this evening. It is not confirmed whether it has been accepted by the chairman. Although Gomez was never a popular figure with the majority of the fans, he managed to keep the team with a promotion chance until the last minute. If the resignation is accepted, Belgrano will have to to start looking for a new head coach as soon as possible.

There were also rumours that Belgrano's upcoming European tour is likely to be canceled due to this situation. It would be a real shame if this were to happen -not least because many European-based Belgrano fans were eagerly expectant about this possibility-, but it would probably be the right step since the new coach will need to bring in new players and offload some of the current players.

Racing Club 1 - Belgrano 0

Belgrano deserved better (Photo source: LaVoz)

Heartbreak. When you know you were so close and it just vanished. Because Belgrano played with heart, passion and discipline and dominated Racing Club during large passages of the game. Belgrano had no less than four clear goal chances and they pushed Racing to their limit but it just wasn't going to happen today. There was an agonizing moment when Bustos tumbled down and fell with the goal at his mercy. It was painfully close and yet, from that moment, you knew Racing would stay. In the second half, the Avellaneda-based team put a brave resistance and held off Belgrano spirited effort. Our boys pushed until the end but to no avail. They deserved a goal that never arrived. Belgrano will play another season in the second division but we believe every Belgrano fan will be proud of the courageous, never-say-die attitude shown by the boys. It was a real shame that Mati Suarez, the greatest talent this club has produced in the last 20 years, could not end his Belgrano career with a flourish. More to follow...

Goals: Moralez (RC)
Attendance: 50000

Promotion - Second Leg

Racing Club - Belgrano

Stadium: Cilindro de Avellaneda
Sunday, 29 June 2008, 15:10
Referee: Sergio Pezzotta
Odds: not available
Previous: Belgrano 1 - Racing Club 1
Key Players: Sava (RC), Gigli (B)
Recent History: Belgrano have only won once at Racing's ground
Prediction: Racing Club 1 - Belgrano 2

Belgrano 1 - Racing 1

Suarez was a constant threat (Photo source: LMCBA)

Belgrano will be happy after snatching an unlikely draw against a superior Racing Club outfit. Belgrano were only able to match Racing Club in the opening 10 minutes where the midfield was overcrowded and tempers were flying. But it was after a crucial moment that everything went wrong for the home team. Suarez, playing one of his best matches, raced into the box only to be brought down by the keeper. It was a penalty and a red card but the referee thought otherwise and booked Suarez for diving. Belgrano were outraged and that would prove costly for them. After that, Racing Club monopolised possession and created several chances. The opening goal arrived courtesy of Sava who kept his cool and beat Olave after a great assist by Bonet. Racing deserved their lead and they could have extended it in the following 20 minutes. Belgrano cleared twice on the line in the same play, Shaffer hit the post with Olave beaten and Sanchez forced the keeper to a great save. Only luck and the visitors' unability to make good on their chances were keeping Belgrano in the game. Gigli took to the pitch at the start of the second half. Belgrano now had Suarez and Gigli upfront and it made a difference. Although they didn't have the ball, they looked more threatening while Racing lost their momentum. Still, Belgrano didn't create much. Only a few isolated chances that were managed by their keeper. And an isolated play was all it took for Belgrano to get even. Garcia chased a ball that the Racing defender smashed against his body, the bounce going to Gigli who slotted the ball past Martinez Gullota. It was an amazing feeling and the stadium came alive. Only 15 minutes remaining and there was only time for two missed Racing chances and a missed header from Gigli. Racing felt like they had done enough to get the three points but Belgrano took one of their few chances and they are very much live in this promotion tie.

Goals: Sava (RC), Gigli (B)
Attendance: 38000

Promotion - First Leg

Belgrano - Racing Club

Stadium: Olimpico de Cordoba
Wednesday, 25 June 2008, 21:10
Referee: Gustavo Bassi
Odds: not available
Previous: Racing Club 3 - Belgrano 3
Key Players: Moralez (RC), Suarez (B)
Recent History: In the last 8, Racing won 3, Belgrano 1 and drew 4 times
Prediction: 1-1

Belgrano - Racing: It's ON!

It's confirmed: Belgrano will play home and away legs against Racing Club for a place in next year's Premier Division. Racing Club had a very poor season and the end result is that they have to validate their spot against a team with a rich history in promotion play-offs, that's us. Belgrano have only lost one out of four ties in the last 15 years.

Racing Club are one of traditional big-five from Buenos Aires and they are going through one of the worst patches in their history. In addition to the threat of relegation, the management is disjointed and fans are calling out for a return to elections and member participation. They are, however, a difficult team to play against. They have good players and their home support has carried the team many times.

Everything is ready then for the first match which will see Belgrano host Racing Club at the Olimpico de Cordoba next Wednesday at 21.10 local time.

Promotion hopes

We're going to promote, f**k yeah

Belgrano players celebrate the victory (Photo source: La Voz)

Okay, let's not get ahead of ourselves!!!. First, we gotta know who we'll play against. It's either Racing, Colon or Olimpo. The rival will be decided next Sunday when the last round of the Clausura is played. The first leg will be played in Cordoba and Belgrano will have to travel for the second leg. It's also worth pointing out that the Premier Division team has the advantage: given equal results in both legs, they will avoid relegation and deny Belgrano promotion.

But we are hopeful. Belgrano have played several promotion matches in the past with great success and we know what it takes to win at this stage. Form and history do not matter. It's to come out there and give our all. We hope the players will be able to do it and we may be celebrating the return to top-flight football by the end of this month.

Defensa y Justicia 1 - Belgrano 2

Belgrano produced a miraculous recovery from 1-0 down in the first half to earn themselves a hugely important 2-1 victory with late goals from Suarez and Gigli. The victory means that Belgrano ended fourth in the tournament and will play two promotion legs to contend for a place in the top flight. More to follow...

Round 38

Defensa y Justicia - Belgrano

Stadium: Norberto "Tito" Tomaghello
Saturday, 14 Jun 2008, 13:30
Referee: Leandro Bottoni
Odds: 2.25 (H), 3.25 (D), 2.8 (A)
Previous: Belgrano 3 - Defensa y Justicia 0
Key Players: Sabadia (DyJ), Suarez (B)
Recent History: Belgrano won 4 and drew 2 out of the last six
Prediction: It's all or nothing. Belgrano to win 2-0

Belgrano and Anderlecht agree friendly date

It's official. According to Belgian media reports, Anderlecht and Belgrano will meet in a friendly match on the 16 July 2008. This will be the first time these two teams have faced each other. The match is part of the arrangements involved in the Suarez transfer deal and is one of three matches to be played by Belgrano in their European tour.

Belgrano will spend 15 days in Europe as part of their pre-season preparations and are likely to be based in Belgium (location still to be confirmed). No one has confirmed yet whether Suarez will play for Belgrano --wouldn't it be sweet if gives us one final stellar performance against Anderlecht?- or not. In other words, whether we have a chance of putting in a decent performance or be in for a really tough time.

Belgrano 1 - Nueva Chicago 1

The players show their frustration (Photo source: LMCBA)

Belgrano proved yet again unable to take their chances to record a much-needed win and had to settle for a draw against the relegation-threatened Nueva Chicago. With this result, Belgrano are now in 6th position and they not only need a win in the last round but also a combination of results if they are to reach either the 3rd or 4th spot. It's a long shot, but this is Belgrano. Nothing is lost yet. More to follow...

Goals: Suarez (B), Boderone (NC)
Sent off: Farias (B)
Attendance: 18000

Round 37

Belgrano - Nueva Chicago

Stadium: Olimpico de Cordoba
Saturday, 07 June 2008, 15:10
Referee: Federico Beligoy
Odds: 1.67 (H), 3.25 (D), 5 (A)
Previous: Nueva Chicago 1 - Belgrano 3
Key Players: Olave (B), Zermatten (NC)
Recent History: Nueva Chicago won 5, drew and lost only 1
Prediction: It's a MUST WIN game. I say 1-0

San Martin (T) 2 - Belgrano 0

San Martin celebrate a goal (Photo source: LMCBA)

It was always going to be a tall order against the leaders at their home ground but Belgrano must have left disappointed knowing that they had everything to win the match and yet they let it slip from their hands. The first twenty minutes saw Belgrano produce the best chances against a solid but ineffectual San Martin. Suarez and Gigli were a nightmare for the San Martin defenders and it was Suarez who was brought down in the area prompting the referee to signal to the spot. Penalty to Belgrano. Gigli stepped up but his weak effort was stopped by the goalkeeper. The match changed after that incident and San Martin felt revitalised starting to circulate the ball in the midfield. Belgrano took another blow when Maidana was shown a second yellow for a clumsy foul and got the marching orders. And to make matters worse, Campodonico, a former Belgrano striker, unleashed a fierce drive that rushed into the net. San Martin went close to scoring another but luckily for Belgrano the half ended only 1-0. Belgrano had to reshuffle for the second half and that they did but they gave up on any attacking intent. They just sat back trying to deny San Martin and hoping to launch the occasional break. That break never looked likely to arrive and it didn't. San Martin were conceded a penalty near the end making it 2-0 but the match had been over for a long while by then.

Goals: Campodonico (SM0, Ibanez (SM)
Sent off: Maidana (B), Berza (B)
Attendance: 29000

Round 36

San Martin (T) - Belgrano

Stadium: Estadio La Ciudadela
Monday, 02 June 2008, 21:00
Referee: Javier Ruiz
Odds: 2.05 (H), 3.3 (D), 4.3 (A)
Previous: Belgrano 2 - San Martin 3
Key Players: Campodonico (SM), Suarez (B)
Recent History: In 17 games, Belgrano won 6, lost 5 and drew 6
Prediction: San Martin 1 - Belgrano 1