It may only have been against Torneo Federal A club Estudiantes de Rio Cuarta but Mauro Zárate once again demonstrated why he should remain in Boca Juniors starting eleven.
So often competing with Carlos Tevez for a first team role injury to the jugador del pueblo saw Zárate take centre stage and the forward’s goal and assist were enough to see off lower league opposition despite an otherwise lacklustre Boca performance.
It was Zárate’s jinking run down the left and lofted cross that caused the defensive error from which Ramón Ábila was able to volley in the simplest of opening goals after 18 minutes but it failed to spark Boca to life as Estudiantes continued to cause problems.
Only the woodwork and some frantic goal-line defending denied the minnows an equaliser from a corner and they could consider themselves very unfortunate to be two-down before the break. Zárate cutting in from the right after playing a corner short to Agustín Obando rifled a left-footed shot into the bottom corner and however undeserving it may have been, the cushion left Estudiantes with too much to do.
Boca couldn’t add another after the break and in fact Estudiantes remained alive in the tie throughout but ultimately fell short in their attempts to pull off a Copa Argentina upset. Almagro are up next for Boca.