Gustavo Alfaro needed a result to kickstart his tenure and thanks to the impressive attacking trident of Cristian Pavón, Mauro Zárate and Ramón Ábila the new Boca manager got just that against San Martín in San Juan.
All three were on the scoresheet by the time Boca wrapped up the game shortly after time and when Emmanuel Mas added a fourth late on against his former club, it was the first time since October 2017 that the Xeneizes won by four goals in the Superliga.
Both sides had squandered decent chances in the opening exchanges – Zárate firing wide at one end and Claudio Mosca at the other when a square-pass to an unmarked teammate may have seen a produced a simple tap-in.
Zárate though was to make amends shortly after, slipping the ball in behind for the pacy Pavón to race onto and fire past Luis Ardente from a tight angle. The 23-year-old had suffered a dip in form during the second half of 2018 and rediscovering his touch out wide, Pavón raced over to Carlos Tevez on the bench to celebrate the opener.
Pavón, Wanchope and Zárate combined again minutes later and it ended in the former Vélez Sarsfield forward bending a fine shot inside the post from the edge of the box. If that two-goal deficit had left San Martín with a mountain to climb at the break, the result was put beyond doubt soon after the restart – Pavón escaping the attention of three defenders to clip the ball towards the backpost where Ábila was on hand to tap in.
Zárate would miss another glorious chance later but it mattered little when Mas volleyed in from close range at a corner.
With the win Boca go fifth and with a game still in-hand on Huracán, Alfaro’s side could go fourth. The title is all but gone but Copa Libertadores qualification remains a target and a sense of positivity is returning.