One week later than scheduled due to the death of Diego Maradona last week, Boca Juniors paid tribute in victory over Internacional as Carlos Tevez netted the only goal before an emotional dedication to a man he knew so well.
A rain soaked pitch made it difficult for both teams but just after the hour mark captain Tevez broke the deadlock, turning in from close range to celebrate in Maradona’s very own 1981 Boca shirt.
With all the other last 16 ties being resolved this week the heavens opening before kick off and submerging parts of the pitch at the Estadio Beira-Rio was hardly ideal.
It made the opening 45 minutes hard going and Eduardo Salvio, who returned from injury for the game, was unable to make much impact down a right side of the pitch where the ball could barely roll. Instead it was Sebastián Villa the main source of danger for Boca and defender Rodrigo Moledo was perhaps fortunate to get away with a last ditch challenge on the Colombian as he raced in behind the Internacional backline.
Villa had come closest to opening the scoring and stung the palms of Marcelo Lomba with a long range effort just before the break yet there was a lack of final product from the pacy winger and Boca in general.
The home side showed a little more ambition after half time with Heitor seeing a deflected shot loop just over the bar and Rodrigo Lindoso missing the target completely with an unmarked header just yards from goal.
Such a miss proved costly as minutes later Salvio found space, fed Tevez and the veteran swivelled to beat Marcelo Lomba.
The vital away goal left Inter in need of something and although Leandro Fernández hit the post from a free-kick and Patrick wasted a good opportunity there was a lack of urgency until stoppage time from the Brazilians.
With a one-goal advantage Boca will have every confidence of finishing the job at La Bombonera next week to set up a quarter-final showdown with Racing Club.