Boca Juniors have been top of the league for well over a year but the defending champions now have one hand back on the trophy after another injury time goal secured victory over second-placed Talleres.
Last-gasp goals in the two previous fixtures added four points to Boca’s tally and on Sunday evening in La Bombonera, captain Pablo Pérez struck in the 93rd minute to see off the challenge of Talleres and send Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s side nine points clear with six matches remaining.
There was little between the sides but when Boca needed it, Cristian Pavón returned to the sort of form that saw him snatch a place in Jorge Sampaoli’s Argentina squad. The 22-year-old had already rattled the crossbar with a wonderful curling effort when he created the opener goal after 28 minutes. Picking the ball up on the left there was little on when Pavón dashed down the line accompanied by three Talleres defenders but a burst of speed and some quick feet saw the youngster get to the by-line and his cut back was scrambled in by Walter Bou.
The goal had relieved some of the pressure in La Bombonera but on the stroke of half time, La T drew level as Carlos Quintana headed past Agustín Rossi.
A point favoured Boca in the title race given their six-point lead would remain intact and that was what looked likely as the game ticked over into stoppage time. However, a free kick lumped forward into the Talleres penalty area eventually found Ramón Ábila and the burly centre forward’s cross was volleyed in by Pablo Pérez.
Only a catastrophic collapse would see Boca not defend their title now and while Talleres will ultimately come up short in this respect, a place in the 2019 Copa Libertadores would remain a tremendous achievement for Frank Kudelka’s side.
Boca Juniors 2 – 1 Talleres
In La Fortaleza, San Lorenzo also strengthened their claim for a Libertadores spot with victory over Lanús.
Despite enjoying plenty of possession and creating openings, Lanús rarely troubled Nicolás Navarro and were ultimately undone by a rare moment of genuine quality in the game.
A sweeping San Lorenzo counter moments before half time saw the ball spread out wide to Marcos Angeleri and overlapping full-back’s cross was acrobatically volleyed into the net by Nicolás Blandi.
Lanús pushed forward but without a centre-forward like José Sand, El Granate lack the finishing touch that they once had. Unable to find an equaliser, San Lorenzo doubled their lead when Nicolás Pasquini deflected Gabriel Gudiño’s cross into his own net.
The result puts San Lorenzo in third and with their game in-hand against Independiente on Wednesday, Los Cuervos could leapfrog Talleres into second and take a firm grip on a 2019 Libertadores place.
Lanús 1 – 1 San Lorenzo