Since the Pibe’s last visit to Lanús, they have added the Suprcopa Argentina 2016 to their current crop’s trophy haul – in true Argentinian style this was played in February 2017. River Plate were easily dismissed 3 – 0, in the same style as Racing and San Lorenzo were made to look like inferior in the previous two finals.
The 2016 Torneo de Transición champions have predictably been weakened as a result of their own impressive successes for a medium-sized club. So while their league form is not following a title-winning projection, they can perform as well as last season on big occasions. Thus making their home derby with Banfield an appetising encounter.
The reverse fixture of the Clásico del Sur between Zona Sur’s big two Banfield and Lanús has been documented here. The two clubs have emerged as the big fish in the heavily populated pond of Buenos Aires suburban south.
Banfield for their part still harboured vague hopes of a title-challenge this year. Going into the game they sat in 5th place, 7 points behind the leaders Boca Juniors. The gap could have been less but Boca beat el Taladro in controversial circumstances in the first game back after a very long summer break for Argentine football.
Despite light rain (enough to postpone most events in Buenos Aires), there was a healthy-sized crowd in the Estadio Ciudad de Lanús, also known as the Néstor Díaz Paz. Our all-weather dedication was repaid by an entertaining game and some nice football.
Within 5 minutes Pepe Sand had put away a very dubious penalty for the hosts, Banfield responded well though and equalised quickly and played the better football to arrive at half-time. The second half saw Sand slot a second penalty, this time fully deserved as Jorge Rodríguez received his second yellow card having given away two penalties.
Banfield showed good resolve to respond positively again, and scored a penalty of their own through Brian Sarmiento to hush the premature Olés of the home crowd. El Granate stepped up their game from their though and their player advantage proved crucial as they controlled the last half hour, Sand adding to Herrera’s goal to score his hat-trick and the gain the continued adulation of the Lanús fans.