Chacarita Juniors, Estadio Chacarita Juniors

Chacarita Juniors, as the name doesn’t suggest, are based in Villa Maipú in the Gral. San Martín partido of Greater Buenos Aires, just outside the west of the city. The club used to be based in Chacarita, with a rivalry against Atlanta of Villa Crespo, but moved as long ago as 1945.

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The story goes that Chaca fell behind on their rent. The wealthy owners of Atlanta, whose stadium was located within 100m of Chaca’s own, offered to buy put the lease. It was an offer that couldn’t be matched by the current tenants and thus they were exiled out of the city boundaries while Atlanta expanded their stadium onto the former Chacarita territory.

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Los Funebreros (the undertakers), so-called due to their original proximity to a large cemetery, do have one premier title to their name. They won the 1969 Torneo  Metropolitana with a famous 4-1 victory over River Plate. They played in the Primera as recently as 2011, and stood 4th in the B Nacional heading into this game with promotion rivals Gimnasia de Jujuy.

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The fans of el Tricolor (the tricolour) have a reputation for being ‘volatile’, and this reputation was enhanced by the strong police presence in full riot gear, inside the stadium too. On a nice Autumn day however, there was no anti-social behaviour to comment on.

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Chaca dominated the first hour and were a goal up. However they were coming under serious pressure from the visitors until the 90th minute when (very coincidentally some may say) there was a power cut and the stadium was left in darkness, illuminated only by waving smartphones. The fans jumped, chanted and danced for a while, before realising the cold had set in.

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The final few minutes were played out to no effect. Chacarita moved up to second in the table hoping leaders Talleres of Córdoba will slip upin order to usurp them on he final day of the season when the two meet in the Templo de San Martin.

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