Monday, December 13, 2010

13 December 2009 - The Title Nobody Wanted

On 13 December 2009, Banfield won Argentina's Torneo Apertura despite losing 2-0 to Boca Juniors. It was the first national honor in the club's 114-year history.

Banfield--founded in January 1896 by English expatriates in the Argentine city of the same name--entered the Apertura's last weekend with a 2-point lead over second-place Newell's Old Boys. Of their 18 previous matches, Banfield had won 12, drawn 5, and lost only 1, an impressive record due largely to the presence of their Uruguayan striker, Santiago Silva, who had racked up a league-best 14 goals. A win against Boca Juniors would secure the title, while a draw would guarantee at least a play-off.

Newell's Old Boys, meanwhile, had a potent Uruguayan striker of their own in Joaquín Boghossian, whose 11 league goals made him the third-best scorer. They were home to San Lorenzo and needed a win to have any hope of claiming what would have been their sixth title.

As a riveted public watched the two matches sharing a split screen on Argentina television, but to an anticlimactic conclusion. Both title challengers fell with identical 2-0 scorelines, keeping Banfield at the top of the table for their first national title.

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