Only a few seconds remained. Matías Pérez Acuña’s 89th minute volley appeared to be denying Boca Juniors another three points, a result that would see their lead at the top cut to six, but with the final throw of the dice, Wilmar Barrios found Ramón Ábila in space, the big centre-forward rolled the ball across the face of goal and Leonardo Jara slid in a 95th minute winner.
The celebrations in La Bombonera and of manager Guillermo Barros Schelotto showed just how much the goal meant to Boca and could be the moment that sealed their title defence.
Defeat to Argentinos Juniors last Monday, and Talleres’ victory on Friday had seen the lead cut and so eager to re-establish a cushion Guillermo Barros Schelotto selected his strongest eleven for the visit of Tigre.
Boca were dominant for large parts as expected but struggled to fashion any clear chances against a Tigre side, far better organised since the appointment of Cristian Ledesma.
In fact it took a slightly dubious penalty fifteen minutes from time to make a breakthrough as Pérez Acuña halted Cristian Pavón’s sprint into the penalty area but may have made contact fractionally outside. For referee Germán Delfino it was almost an impossible call and as Edwin Cardona stepped up to send Julio Chiarini the wrong way, rival supporters were already citing another case of Boca getting a little help from the officials.
Boca were heading for victory but were stunned a minute from time when Pérez Acuña smashed a volley past Agustín Rossi. Dropping two points would have been damaging to Boca ahead of a run-in that still includes Talleres and Independiente but Jara’s last ditch goal saved the day and the champions remain in the driving seat.
Boca Juniors 2 – 1 Tigre
River Plate’s result may not have had the same significance but they too needed a last minute winner to end their torrid run of form and claim victory over Patronato.
It was far from the performance that River supporters would like to see but after two wins in fifteen matches, Marcelo Gallardo will just be relieved to taste victory again. Goalkeeper Franco Armani was called on to prove his worth and did so with one particularly impressive stop from Adrián Balboa as Patronato created the better chances over the 90 minutes.
River once again struggled to create and deep into stoppage time with neither side able to find a goal, a draw looked inevitable until a corner from the right, came off Balboa and bobbled past Sebastián Bértoli into his own net.
It might have been a 93rd minute own-goal but ahead of this week’s Superclásico to decide the Supercopa, River just needed a lift and Balboa’s blunder could have delivered that.
Patronato 0 – 1 River Plate
Earlier, Racing Club’s five-match winning streak was brought to an end by Chacarita Juniors in a 1-1 draw that does little to help Los Funebreros in their fight for survival and sees La Academia drop just outside the 2019 Copa Libertadores spots.
Juan Imbert put Chacarita ahead inside two minutes after some dreadful Racing defending but the lead didn’t last long and having already forced Pedro Fernández into one fine save, Lautaro Martínez fired an equaliser.
The in-form striker, poised to be added to Jorge Sampaoli’s Argentina squad, remained a threat throughout but couldn’t help Racing find a winner and so Eduardo Coudet’s side had to settle for a point.
Meanwhile in Bahía Blanca, Olimpo were pushed a little closer to relegation with a 3-0 defeat against Colón.
The home side had the clearer chances during a goalless first half but were undone shortly after the hour mark as Javier Correa raced in behind and opened the scoring for Colón.
The goal proved decisive as Olimpo folded, allowing Correa to slide in a second before Cristian Bernardi wrapped up the points in stoppage time.