Only a couple of weeks ago Boca Juniors looked almost certain to retain their title after a 100% start to the season saw the champions seven points clear. However, Rosario Central’s surprise win on Sunday night was a second defeat in two games for Boca and amid a host of injuries, Los Xeneizes now look vulnerable.
Central only won their first Superliga game last weekend but under the interim leadership of Leonardo Fernández, El Canalla look a different side.
It took only three minutes for Marco Ruben to put the home side ahead with an instinctive header at a corner that edged just over the line off the underside of the crossbar.
Boca, sorely missing Darío Benedetto and his replacement Walter Bou, struggled to create chances and their task was made all the more difficult by Paolo Goltz’s stupid red card before half time. The central defender, already on a yellow card, decided to give Ruben a little kick off the ball and under the eye of the assistant referee was given his marching orders.
Central came close to adding a second but late on as Boca drove forward in search of an equaliser, Edwin Cardona came within the width of the post of finding the net.
Unable to find the net Boca slumped to back-to-back defeats and now have San Lorenzo and Unión sat only three points off the pace.
Rosario Central 1 – 0 Boca Juniors
Earlier in El Monumental, River Plate’s recent struggles continued after Newell’s Old Boys came from behind to secure a surprise 3-1 win.
Both sides had created chances but it was only a series of excellent saves from Luciano Pocrnjic that had denied River an earlier opener. Eventually, Los Millonarios did find a way through when a wonderful passing move sliced through the Newell’s defence allowing Gonzalo Martínez to slot in a 66th minute goal.
After opening the scoring a River victory was expected and certainly Marcelo Gallardo’s side at their best wouldn’t have allowed a fight back. But this isn’t anywhere near their peak and within minutes, Newell’s were level.
A cross from the left found Luís Leal between defenders and the Portuguese forward headed past Enrique Bologna. River’s defence shaken gifted Newell’s a swift second when two desperate, lunging tackles allowed Leal through on goal and as he rounded Bologna, a foul presented Brian Sarmiento the chance to slot in from the penalty spot.
Substitute Héctor Fertoli dashed in behind to add a third and after ending their winless run in midweek, River slip immediately back to defeat.
River Plate 1 – 3 Newell’s Old Boys
Earlier in Quilmes, Estudiantes left it late but secured a win over Atlético Tucumán thanks to youngster Juan Cejas.
Atlético hadn’t lost in five matches but were poor against Estudiantes, who had come close to breaking the deadlock earlier. With the game heading for a goalless draw, Cejas’ shot from outside the box took a looping deflection and found a way past Alejandro Gómez.
Estudiantes 1 – 0 Atlético Tucumán