A vastly improved performance was required and that’s exactly what Boca Juniors produced to overturn last week’s first leg defeat and eliminate Racing Club at La Bombonera.
Question marks hung over Miguel Angel Russo and his side after their listless performance in Avellaneda but with a semi-final place on the line it was Racing who failed to rise to the occasion. Goals from Eduardo Salvio and Sebastián Villa giving Boca the required scoreline to progress with the visitors only indebted to goalkeeper Gabriel Arias that defeat was not far heavier.
Boca failed to create anything of note in the first leg but cut open Racing with ease in the opening few minutes at La Bombonera and while Franco Soldano may have wasted the glorious opportunity it set the tone for the remaining 90 minutes.
Arias had already denied Soldano and Tevez when a cross from the right was headed back into space for the unmarked Eduardo Salvio to plant the ball into the corner.
Even with the tie now level it remained one-way traffic and Boca should have been further in front at the break.
A reaction from Racing was expected and Sebastián Beccacece made the bizarre tactical decision at the break to introduce Darío Cvitanich and Augusto Solari, dropping captain Lisandro López into a midfield role. A lack of pace up front had been apparent and López cut a frustrated figure but it was the out of position veteran at fault for Boca’s second. Defending in his own penalty box, López stuck out a leg after being lured in by Salvio and the Boca winger tumbled to the turf.
Villa stepped up and made no mistake in beating Arias from 12 yards. Behind in the tie for the first time Racing needed inspiration and it simply never appeared. Boca still looked the more likely to score and held on comfortably to set up their place in the semi-final against Santos.
Boca and rivals River Plate face difficult Brazilian opponents but another Superclásico Libertadores final remains a real possibility.