It didn’t matter how but Boca Juniors desperately needed three points from their visit to San Juan on Wednesday night. Remarkably Rodolfo Arruabarrena had kept his job following the diabolical defeat to Atlético Tucumán in La Bombonera and after dodging one bullet, it is doubtful El Vasco would have been given another chance. Against San Martín, Boca were improved, still somewhat ragged, but improved and just as he was in 2015, Carlos Tevez was the man to drag them to victory.
Partnered in attack with Dani Osvaldo, who had been expected to miss the game with a fractured little toe, Tevez threatened early on. A free kick and a rasping shot from distance both went close but as long as it remained level, there was an uneasiness about Boca. With every missed opportunity there was a sense that the home side could snatch a lead and really ratchet up the pressure on Arruabarrena’s side.
However, ten minutes before the break Tevez ended his goal drought and fired Boca in front. Pouncing on an error, there was only one thing on the Boca icon’s mind when he drove into the penalty area and when his low shot took a slight deflection off Juan Mattia it left Luis Ardente with no chance.
A second goal was needed and although Dani Osvaldo put the ball in the net during the second half, the linesman’s flag denied him a first goal since his return. Boca held on and although they are not out of the woods yet, there is an enormous sense of relief which has presumably bought Arruabarrena a little longer. Newell’s Old Boys visit La Bombonera at the weekend and another three points is vital.
In Junín, Gimnasia earned a second win of the season with victory over Sarmiento. Walter Bou volleyed El Lobo in front on the stroke of half time and less than a minute into the second half the lead was doubled when Lorenzo Faravelli rifled the ball past Emanuel Tripodi. Carlos Bueno did pull a goal back for the home side soon after but Bou added his second of the game to seal all three points.