Pavón hands Boca opening victory, ten-man Godoy Cruz snatch win & late Nico Fernández brace denies Lanús (VIDEO)


It was as if the Superliga had never really been away as Boca Juniors won in very ordinary fashion thanks to a moment of quality from Cristian Pavón.

Talleres, looking to build on their Copa Libertadores qualification last season under new manager Juan Pablo Vojvoda were disappointingly flat for large parts at La Bombonera and after falling behind early rarely looked like getting back in the game.

With eight minutes on the clock a Boca corner from the right was cleared only as far as Cristian Pavón on the edge of the box and the in-demand youngster drilled a shot on the half-volley into the bottom corner. The Córdoba native, who began his career with Talleres, refused to celebrate but it proved to be the game’s decisive moment.

Boca should undoubtedly have extended their lead with Guido Herrera denying Carlos Tevez when he burst through before half time and once more after the restart from the penalty spot following a foul on Emmanuel Más.

The save seemed to give Talleres some belief and while Juan Ramírez’s deflected volley drew a good stop from Esteban Andrada, replays showed that Boca had got away with one as the ball had clearly bounced off Pablo Pérez’s outstretched arm.

Regardless, Boca held on for all three points and with it Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s side not only make a winning start to their defence but also remain top (or level on points with top) of the league since December 2016.

Boca Juniors  1 – 0  Talleres

In Mendoza, Godoy Cruz maintained their excellent home record and followed up their historic second placed finish last season with victory over Estudiantes.

Juan Andrada’s 18th minute red card handed the initiative to the visitors but somehow El Pincha couldn’t make it count. Lucas Rodríguez curled a shot off the post and Mariano Pavone went close amid a number of clear second half chances and yet Godoy Cruz remained level.

And then deep in stoppage time, recent Estudiantes signing Lucas Albertengo handled when attempting to head clear and it allowed Diego Viera the chance to hammer in from the penalty spot.

Estudiantes will know that it was three points wasted let alone one but for Godoy Cruz it was a welcome continuation from last season.

Godoy Cruz  1 – 0  Estudiantes

In Lanús, it was almost as if the home side had woken from their deep slumber since reaching the Copa Libertadores final in 2017 only for Nicolás Fernández to score a late brace and earn Defensa y Justicia a point.

Jorge Pereyra Díaz being tripped by Alexander Barboza in the opening few minutes meant Sebastian Ribas could open his Lanús account from the spot and when young midfielder Tomás Belmonte volleyed a second after 12 minutes, you could be excused for thinking the good times were returning to La Fortaleza.

However, unable to find a third, Defensa y Justicia eventually grew into the match and after twice hitting the woodwork, half time substitute Nicolás Fernández pulled a goal back ten minutes from time.

Lanús needed to hold but before Ezequiel Carboni’s side could get a grip, El Halcón were level. Lisandro Martínez’s fine cross caught a hesitant Guillermo Sara in no man’s land and Fernández between two defenders headed into the net.

Gastón Lodico almost snatched it for Lanús with a sensational outside of the boot effort but the two side’s had to settle for a draw.

Lanús  2 – 2  Defensa y Justicia


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