December 11th 2016. A run of 617 days. That is how long Boca Juniors have been top of Argentina’s top flight but with Monday afternoon’s defeat to Estudiantes in Quilmes, the two-time defending champions will be in the rare position of playing catch up.
After only two rounds of football that is hardly a stretch but despite travelling back from Barcelona in midweek, Boca were still expected to have too much for Estudiantes.
Carlos Izquierdoz being replaced in the opening minutes injured was perhaps a bad omen and from then Boca were never at anywhere near their best.
Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s odd decision not to start Ramón Abila as the side’s number nine didn’t help and neither did referee Diego Abal opting for leniency when Estudiantes forward Juan Apaolaza sparked a fracas yet the truth remains that Boca were poor.
Estudiantes drew more confidence from this and just before the hour mark Fabián Noguera headed in from close range when left unmarked from a corner.
There was little reaction from Boca and so when 18-year-old Matías Pellegrini burst through the defence and managed to sneak his shot beyond Esteban Andrada the result looked certain even with 15 minutes remaining.
Cristian Pavón drilled an effort straight at Mariano Andújar but Estudiantes held on for an impressive victory and after their defeat to Central last weekend it is now only Edgardo Bauza’s side still with a 100% record.
Estudiantes 2 – 0 Boca Juniors
A little later, San Martín began their Superliga campaign after seeing their opening match against Independiente postponed and the newly promoted side were close to securing three points only for Unión to salvage a point.
Franco Costa dashed in behind to give San Martín the lead in the 21st minute and after Franco Soldano saw a goal disallowed it looked like it could be enough.
However, nine minutes from time Diego Zabala headed an equaliser and with neither side able to find a second they had to settle for a draw.