With an international break coming just a week into the new Superliga season most clubs decided to organise friendlies to keep in shape but for Argentina’s two biggest clubs it was an opportunity to make a little extra money. Boca Juniors and River Plate clashed in San Juan and thanks to a second half Junior Benítez strike it was Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s league champions who earned the superclásico bragging rights.
Neither side was at full strength but the match provided several squad players with the chance to impress.
However, Marcelo Gallardo will be the unhappier of the two managers after his side’s lacklustre performance and errors by Alexander Barboza and Germán Lux for the decisive goal.
Prior to that moment the main talking points had been Ariel Rojas’ sensational nutmeg on Gino Peruzzi and the savage clash of heads that left Paolo Goltz bleeding on the floor.
The winning goal came midway through the second half when Fernando Gago delivered a perfectly weighted ball over the top that Barboza failed to deal with allowing Benítez to run through on goal. Germán Lux, a recent signing to provide competition to the error-prone Augusto Batalla, should have stopped the forward’s tame finish with relative ease but instead saw the ball slip under his body.
There was little response from River and so it was left for Boca’s supporters to enjoy an early season victory over their fierce rivals.
Boca Juniors: Guillermo Sara; Gino Peruzzi, Paolo Goltz (Santiago Vergini), Lisandro Magallán, Fernando Evangelista; Leonardo Jara (Nahuel Molina), Julián Chicco, Fernando Gago (Gonzalo Lamardo); Cristian Espinoza (Pablo Pérez), Oscar Benítez, Agustín Bouzat (Cristian Pavón)
River Plate: Germán Lux; Gonzalo Montiel, Jonatan Maidana, Alexander Barboza, Milton Casco; Leonardo Ponzio; Gonzalo Martínez, Ariel Rojas (Enzo Pérez), Ignacio Fernández; Nicolás De La Cruz (Rafael Santos Borré), Ignacio Scocco (Carlos Auzqui)