Boca Juniors may not be back to their best but after a brief wobble that opened up the title race once more, the champions will finish the year top of the league after a hard fought victory over Estudiantes.
Understandably missing Fernando Gago and Dario Benedetto, Boca were somewhat fortunate to still be level in Quilmes after a first half in which Estudiantes twice hit the woodwork.
However, an improved performance in the second half eventually saw Wilmar Barrios break the deadlock. The Colombian is not a usual match winner but volleyed the ball back through a crowded penalty area to sneak into the bottom corner past Mariano Andújar.
Estudiantes couldn’t muster an equaliser and so Boca held on for all three points, a result that puts Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s side three clear of San Lorenzo. Gago and Benedetto will still be missing when the season resumes at the end of January and while Ramon Abila is already on board, Boca will be active in the transfer market to bolster the squad ahead of the Copa Libertadores.
In Santa Fe, Colón, who had gone until last weekend without defeat, were beaten for the second time as Talleres sealed a 2-0 win in the Estadio Brigadier General Estanislao López.
The tricky Emanuel Reynoso had already clattered the crossbar when Junior Arias provided the breakthrough, volleying in Fernando Godoy’s right wing cross.
Colón posed a threat from set-pieces and long range but couldn’t find a way past the impressive Guido Herrera and when Diego Morales got caught in possession, Sebastián Palacios doubled Talleres’ lead.
Even when Colón were awarded a late penalty, Herrera guessed correctly and stopped Cristian Guaca’s spot kick.
With Palacios’ loan now over and a move to Pachuca imminent, Talleres lose an important piece of their pacy attack from the past year but it has been an outstanding first half of the season for La T and they will resume in 2018 sitting fourth.
Colón 0 – 2 Talleres
Estudiantes 0 – 1 Boca Juniors