Daniele de Rossi was in the stands watching his new Boca Juniors teammates but will likely have been left unimpressed as Huracán held on for a point in their Superliga opener at La Bombonera.
Focus is understandably on the Copa Libertadores last 16 second leg against Athletico Paranaense on Wednesday but Gustavo Alfaro was still able to pick a side that had more than enough quality to see off a Huracán side getting to grips with new coach Juan Pablo Vojvoda.
In spite of this is was Vojvoda’s visiting side who had the better of the first half and will feel they should have led at the break. Boca goalkeeper Esteban Andrada made vital saves from Juan Garro, Rodrigo Gómez and ex-Boca forward Andrés Chávez to keep the scores level and a clear trip on Garro by Jorman Campuzano denied Huracán a clear penalty.
El Globo’s inability to punish Boca’s lacklustre first half display almost proved costly as the home side were improved after the break.
A bustling first start by Jan Hurtado lacked only the final touch as the 19-year-old went close after rounding Antony Silva and Carlos Tevez forced the Paraguayan goalkeeper into a flying save with a shot from distance as the pressure increased.
Eduardo Salvio came off the bench for his debut and gave a glimpse of what the Argentina international could offer with a couple of neat darting runs into the penalty box but on each occasion either Silva thwarted Boca or the forwards misfired.
All the Libertadores sides struggled over the opening weekend and Boca were no different. It will be worth it if progress to the quarter-final is secured this week as Alfaro knows his side should only improve.
Boca Juniors 0 – 0 Huracán
Independiente had their own distraction ahead of a trip to Quito in the Copa Sudamericana yet still managed to secure an opening day win over Defensa y Justicia.
El Rojo manager Sebastián Beccacece was making a swift return to Florencio Varela having just left at the end of last season and his new team were rarely in trouble. New signing Sebastián Palacios rifled in the game’s only goal just after the half hour mark and while Independiente didn’t carry much of an attacking threat of their own, goalkeeper Martín Campaña was barely worked.
Martín Benítez did rattle the crossbar from a free-kick and Palacios headed over when he should have perhaps doubled the lead but it was an otherwise uneventful game.
A welcome clean sheet and three points for El Rojo who travel to Ecuador for a tricky second leg against Universidad Catolica.
Defensa y Justicia 0 – 1 Independiente
Just as Palacios proved decisive for Independiente, the player who went in the opposite direction as part of the deal did the same for Talleres as Jonathan Menéndez scored a wonderful winner against Vélez.
Gabriel Heinze’s side were potential title outsiders after a fine season last time out but looked well off the pace in a drab opener in Córdoba. The game’s only real moment of class coming 20 minutes from time when Talleres broke at speed before Menéndez cut inside onto his left foot and fired the ball past Lucas Hoyos into the top corner.
A fine start for manager Alexander Medina with Talleres just as there was for former Talleres manager Frank Kudelka in Rosario.
Kudelka takes charge of a Newell’s Old Boys side in deep relegation trouble but began the campaign with a deserved 2-0 over Superliga newcomers Central Córdoba de Santiago del Estero.
Maxi Rodríguez had gone close to a spectacular opener on the volley but it was cousin Alexis who broke the deadlock with a expertly executed finish on the stroke of half time. Central Córdoba rarely looked like getting back into it and five minutes from time debutant Lucas Albertengo swept in a second to ensure the points.
And finally in the Sunday morning kick off, Estudiantes managed to see Aldosivi with the help of a Jonathan Schunke goal and a generous linesman.
Schunke poked in the game’s only goal just before half time but Estudiantes were very fortunate to keep hold of the points when an incorrect offside flag late on ruled out Hernán Burbano’s equaliser for Aldosivi.