Independiente’s dreams of capturing the Primera title in their first season back in the top flight were effectively ended in La Bombonera on Sunday evening as an error strewn performance was punished by Boca Juniors. The 3-1 victory for Rodolfo Arruabarrena’s side leaves them level with El Rojo in the table, both mathematically in with a chance of winning the title, but realistically with little chance.
Goalkeeper Diego Rodríguez gifted Boca their opener after just 4 minutes when he dallied on a back pass and under pressure from Boca forward, Jonathan Calleri ended up having his half hearted attempt at a clearance charged down, leaving Calleri with a simple tap in. It was the only action in a tepid first half with both sides failing to make any real headway.
After the break, Independiente forced themselves level when Matías Pisano fired a powerful shot from outside the box past Emanuel Tripodi but having just found a foothole, El Rojo were reduced to ten men. Young, Franco Bellocq already on a yellow card was unfortunately shown a second for a hand ball and the momentum shifted in favour of the home side. Shortly after Calleri grabbed his second of the match, after Federico Carrizo pounced on some tentative defending from Alexis Zárate before squaring the ball for Calleri.
With time running out, Emanuel Gigliotti headed in a third and ensured that Boca will still remain in the title race, albeit with a very slight chance, but importantly head into Thursday’s Copa Sudamericana Semi Final full of confidence.
Earlier on Sunday, Tigre came from behind to defeat Belgrano in Córdoba thanks to a late rally and a 90th minute winner from Sebastián Rincón. Lucas Zelarrayán fired Belgrano into a 1st minute lead but a well worked Facundo Bertoglio goal after 75 minutes and then a last gasp Rincón finish earned Tigre a hard fought victory.
In La Plata, Estudiantes and Defensa y Justicia played out a goalless draw although both sides had chances to score. El Halcón from Florencia Verela have been on a decent run of late and could have extended that with a win against Estudiantes but neither side were able to find the crucial opening.
Belgrano 1 – 2 Tigre
Estudiantes 0 – 0 Defensa y Justicia
Boca Juniors 3 – 1 Independiente