Superliga champions Boca Juniors began their Copa Liga Profesional campaign with a deserved victory over Lanús.
Ramón Ábila headed the decisive goal just before the hour mark pouncing on a rebound after young goalkeeper Lautaro Morales had saved from Edwin Cardona.
Boca’s powerful centre-forward brought back into the side after his injury lay-off almost provided an immediate reminder of his qualities in the opening minutes as he rounded Morales to hit the post. And while Lanús survived that scare it didn’t take long for Boca to break the deadlock, Carlos Tevez turning in from close range at a corner.
Lanús fired back in similar fashion at a corner of their own though José Sand was fortunate that referee Fernando Rapallini and the absence of VAR allowed his clear handball to stand. The 40-year-old wheeled away in celebration swiftly while Boca appealed but just as he had done in the Copa Sudamericana in midweek, Sand had brought El Granate back into it.
Unlike against São Paulo, Sand couldn’t inspire victory and it was instead Wanchope who sealed it for Boca.
Lanús 1 – 2 Boca Juniors
Earlier in Liniers, it was like 2011 as Ricky Álvarez rolled back the years to earn Vélez a point from the visit of Huracán.
A wonderful free-kick whipped into the top corner from wide out on the right was Álvarez’s first goal since returning to the club and cancelled out Norberto Briasco’s first half opener.
Starting again under new manager Mauricio Pellegrino, Vélez were poor in the first half and a swift Huracán counter was finished off by the impressive Briasco. However, the home side improved after the break and and once Álvarez equalised shortly after the break, Vélez looked the more likely winners.
Lucas Janson came agonisingly close to sliding in a winner but the two sides had to settle for a point.
So too did Argentinos Juniors and San Lorenzo who played out a goalless draw in La Paternal. The home side had youngster Franco Ibarra sent off in the 77th minute but held on for a draw against a San Lorenzo who will no doubt improve in the coming weeks under Mariano Soso.
And it was goalless in Mar del Plata too where Estudiantes were unable to find a way past Aldosivi.