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Maxi Rodrigeuz helps keeps Newell's on top

Associated Press Modified: October 7, 2012 at 8:35 pm •  Published: October 7, 2012

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Maxi Rodriguez scored a first-minute goal to help Newell's Old Boys beat Velez Sarsfield 1-0 on Sunday and hold on to first place in the Argentine first division.

The former Liverpool player scored after just 26 seconds and Newell's held on to improve to 22 points from 10 matches, two clear of Racing Club and three ahead of Belgrano.

After scoring his first goal since returning to Newell's, he kissed the logo on the team's shirt to coax wild cheers out of local fans.

Belgrano defeated Boca Juniors 3-1 on Sunday and Racing was a 1-0 winner over Colon on Saturday.

Boca's loss will put more pressure on coach Julio Falcioni. Santiago Silva gave Boca a lead in the third minute, but Belgrano hit back with Sergio Rodriguez's strike in the 22nd, and two more in the second half from Victor Aquino and Guillermo Farre.

Boca's Christian Cellay was sent off in the 68th.

In other results Sunday, River Plate beat Godoy Cruz 5-0 and Independiente defeated Rafaela 2-0 with goals from Luciano Leguizamon and Osmar Ferreyra.

Newly returned to the first division, River Plate will get a huge lift from the lopsided win with two goals from Carlos Sanchez and the others by Martin Aguirre, Leonardo Ponzio and Rodrigo Mora.

River has won more first-division titles than any Argentine club, but has not won the league since 2008.

River improved to 15 points, not far off the pace midway through the season.

In other weekend games: Lanus 2, Union 0; Argentinos Juniors 0, Tigre 0; San Martin 2, All Boys 1; San Lorenzo 0, Arsenal 0; Estudiantes 2, Quilmes 1.