It wasn’t a vintage Boca display and the fact that it was a first away win in the league in seven months speaks volumes of how the champions have simply done enough to remain in front over the past year but the hard fought 1-0 win over Argentinos Juniors in La Paternal took Boca a point behind Atlético Tucumán at the top and as such Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s sides remain title favourites.
With the likes of Cristian Pavón and Wilmar Barrios rested ahead of the Copa Libertadores quarter final, Boca still started brightly. Having been denied a strong penalty claim for handball and Darío Benedetto threatening, the visitors led after 23 minutes when Carlos Izquierdoz rose to power home a header from a corner.
Alexis Mac Allister spurned a good chance to equalise before the break but Boca were good value for their lead.
A sharper Benedetto would undoubtedly have killed the game for Boca but the striker still returning to full fitness was unable to make the most of a second half opportunity and it almost proved costly.
Virtually the final attack of the game saw Argentinos Juniors throw players forward and only a point-blank save by Esteban Andrade prevented Gastón Verón sliding in an injury time equaliser.
For now the Copa Libertadores remains Boca’s priority and Racing Club could extend restore a three-point lead at the top of the table by Sunday evening but as long as the defending champions are within touching distance they are dangerous.
Argentinos Juniors 0 – 1 Boca Juniors
Earlier in Córdoba, Newell’s Old Boys earned a deserved point against Belgrano but it was a result that did little to help either side.
Newell’s remain winless and creep ever close to danger for next season, while unbeaten Belgrano sit one place above the relegation zone.
Leonardo Sequeira rattled the post with a tremendous long range effort but both sides were guilty of missing clear chances. Federico Lértora and Héctor Fértoli headed off target with the goal begging and such wastefulness proved to be the story of the game.
There were positives to take for both managers but wins are needed if they are to climb out of danger.