There remains nothing between the Superliga’s leading pair after Boca Juniors and Argentinos Juniors shared the points in a fiery meeting at La Bombonera on Saturday.
Referee Andrés Merlos had already saved Marcos Angeleri’s blushes for a foul by Ramón Ábila moments before the Argentinos Juniors defender sliced the ball into his own net but there was nothing the officials could do to prevent Wanchope breaking the deadlock on the half hour mark. Lucas Chaves flapped at a cross from the left and left the big Boca centre forward a simple header at the back-post.
Newell’s though had carried a threat and were level soon after the break, an outrageous flick by Damián Batallini released Santiago Silva and the former Boca striker poked the ball past Esteban Andrada.
Neither side could find a winner and with Sebastián Villa sent off in the closing stages, Boca’s frustrations began to boil over. The draw keeps the pair level on points at the top and is good news for those chasing in the increasingly congested title race.
Boca Juniors 1 – 1 Argentinos Juniors
One of those sides to benefit was River Plate and after the bitter disappointment of last week’s Copa Libertadores defeat, Marcelo Gallardo’s fought from two-down to beat Newell’s Old Boys.
When Cristian Lema headed the opener and Luis Leal fired a quick second, it looked as though River’s hangover from Lima was severe.
A wonderful Nacho Fernández free-kick reduced the deficit before the break and it set in motion the vital fightback for River’s title aspirations.
Rafael Santos Borré tapped in a 64th minute equaliser and soon after a raking long pass from Juan Fernando Quintero found Fernández, his cutback rolled into the path of Ignacio Scocco and the former Newell’s striker fired a first-time finish past Alan Aguerre.
With Exequiel Palacios’ transfer all but confirmed, a number of other players being linked away from the Monumental and maybe even Marcelo Gallardo pondering his next step, there are uncertain times ahead for River but with victory they are in the thick of the title race.
Newell’s Old Boys 2 – 3 River Plate
Earlier on Saturday, Estudiantes opened the doors to the new Estadio Jorge Luis Hirschi but were unable to seal a first three points at their long awaited rebuilt stadium.
Atlético Tucumán were the visitors for the historic occasion and after a goalless first half, Ángel González came off the bench to score the first goal at ‘1 y 57’ on the hour mark.
However, Marcelo Ortiz headed in from a corner to earn Atlético a point.