River Plate & Boca Juniors maintain 100% starts with victories over Banfield & Lanús (VIDEO)


More than 24 hours of rain ensured Buenos Aires wasn’t the ideal place for football on Sunday but in spite of the conditions, champions Boca Juniors and fierce rivals River Plate both earned victories that put them top of the table with only Vélez matching their 100% starts.

In a sodden Monumental, River found themselves behind inside two minutes against Banfield after a towering Renato Civelli header but after a slow start, Marcelo Gallardo’s side gradually gathered momentum.

Javier Pinola’s back-post diving header levelled it and soon after the Argentina defender played a vital role in River taking the lead. Pinola strode out of defence, playing a one-two with Nicolás De La Cruz before rolling the ball to Gonzalo Martinez on the edge of the penalty area, who stroked it into the bottom corner.

Banfield continued to threaten but Ignacio Scocco settled matters with a 73rd minute penalty to ensure River go into their huge Copa Libertadores clash this week, top of the Superliga.

A little later on Sunday, River (and Vélez) were joined by Boca Juniors, who were made to work hard on a rain-soaked pitch at La Fortaleza but eventually defeated Lanús.

A well below full strength Lanús were on the backfoot for much of the game but with Boca lacking their usual precision, the game remained goalless until late on.

Edwin Cardona had hit the crossbar from a freekick before El Granate came close to snatching it themselves but in the 84th minute, Marcelo Herrera got caught under a lofted ball into the box and in the yard of space left Darío Benedetto hammered in the winner.

River Plate  3 – 1  Banfield

Lanús  0 – 1  Boca Juniors


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