Boca Juniors’ victory over Talleres last weekend was supposed to signal the end of the title race and it isn’t exactly back on but some suicidal defending by the defending champions gifted Defensa y Justicia a historic victory in La Bombonera and could see San Lorenzo cut the lead to five points on Sunday.
It’s fair to say that Boca have been far from impressive for a number of weeks but three consecutive injury time goals had yielded seven underserved points and all but killed off the competition.
On Saturday in La Bombonera, Guillermo Barros Schelotto were once again well below the expected level of champions and were behind after four minutes. Defensa y Justicia set up to break quickly pounced on the counter, Boca loanee Nahuel Molina released Nicolás Fernández and as two Boca defenders gave chase, the striker rolled the ball to Fernando Márquez to slot in unchallenged.
Boca were understandably seeing plenty of the ball and when Cristian Pavón’s right-wing cross was headed in by Walter Bou after half an hour, another comeback looked more than likely.
Two woeful examples of defending gifted Defensa y Justicia two immediate chances to restore their lead but Boca escaped punishment.
Despite having never beaten Boca, the visitors will have sensed that the champions were vulnerable and continued to create chances.
However, unable to take them, Boca began to take control and Pavón and Nahitan Nández both wasted clear chances to take the lead. The home side’s second looked only a matter of time but it was Defensa y Justicia that struck. Lisandro Magallán’s misplaced pass went straight to Márquez and the striker kept his calm to run clear and finish past Agustín Rossi.
Boca pushed forward but there was to be no fresh injury time saviour and instead Defensa y Justicia celebrated a famous victory in La Bombonera. San Lorenzo host Godoy Cruz on Sunday morning and three points for Los Cuervos could close the gap back to five points with five games to play.
Boca Juniors 1 – 2 Defensa y Justicia
Earlier in the Estadio Florencio Sola, Banfield eased to victory over Olimpo and with it pushed the Aurinegro to the brink of relegation.
The home side had already hit the woodwork twice when Jesús Dátolo drilled in a volley from the edge of the box in the tenth minute.
Olimpo, out of their depth as they have been all season, could have been three or four down at the break but did eventually fall two behind shortly after the restart.
Danilo Ortíz in acres of space heading in from close range doubled the lead and Julián Carranza sealed the victory with a simple finish past the helpless Guido Villar.
Banfield are unlikely to have such poor opposition at the Florencio Sola for a while and Olimpo’s stay in the top flight is now just weeks from coming to an end.