Boca Juniors have the pressing issue of a potential Superliga decider on Saturday and with that in mind a mixed starting eleven began their Copa Libertadores campaign with a draw away to Caracas FC.
A bright start from Boca saw Ramón Ábila follow up his acrobatic volley from the weekend with a splendid flick past Cristian Flores in the Caracas goal and only a narrow offside call denied the burly number nine a second when latching on to another Sebastián Villa pass soon after.
With Boca unable to find a second, Caracas took advantage and soon after half time Robert Hernández whipped a free-kick into the top corner to level things up.
A push for a late winner saw Nicolás Capaldo denied by the legs of Flores and at the death Ábila firing inches wide but it ended all square. Libertad beat Independiente de Medellín elsewhere in Group H and it is the Colombians who visit La Bombonera next week when Boca will know their Superliga fate.
Caracas FC 1 – 1 Boca Juniors
A little earlier back in Argentina, Defensa y Justicia made their Copa Libertadores bow and after a promising start it ended in a frustrating 2-1 defeat to Santos.
Juan Rodríguez crashing a header into the net during first half stoppage time had given the locals in Florencio Varela reason for optimism.
Yet Yeferson Soteldo’s teasing cross saw Jobson glance in a headed equaliser 20 minutes from time and in the closing stages, 18-year-old substitute Kaio Jorge dashed clear to slot in a winner for the Brazilians.
A cruel lesson for Defensa y Justicia and ahead of next week’s trip to Paraguay to face Olimpia, already a tough ask for Hernán Crespo’s side in Group G.