It was another poor performance from Boca Juniors on Sunday evening that saw newly promoted Sarmiento de Junín take a point from their trip to La Bombonera yet it was made even worse for Miguel Ángel Russo after losing Eduardo Salvio and Carlos Izquierdoz to injury.
A cruciate ligament rupture will keep Salvio out for at least six months while Izquierdoz suffered an injury to the cartilage between his ribs ahead of an important month of fixtures in the Copa De La Liga. That will be a concern for Boca but arguably of more of a worry at present is the continuation of the form that saw them dumped out of the Copa Libertadores by Santos.
Once more the lack of any real creative thrust was laid bare against a game but limited Sarmiento and when Gabriel Alanís strolled through the heart of the Boca defence to bend in the opening goal there looked a very real chance of an upset.
It didn’t take long for Edwin Cardona to find the head of Lisandro López and Izquierdoz’s replacement to head an equaliser but Boca failed to create much more in the remaining 20 or so minutes.
Group 2 leaders Vélez, Independiente and a Superclásico with River Plate are all to come within the next three weeks and Russo’s side must improve.
River Plate were also in action against one of the Liga Profesional’s new sides Platense and although it was more uncomfortable than Marcelo Gallardo would have liked the Millonarios emerged 1-0 winners.
For the first time in 22 years River made the short trip to neighbours Platense and took little time in demonstrating their superiority. Nicolás De La Cruz had already hit the post when Matías Suárez slotted River in front after nine minutes.
Between River’s dominance and Platense legend Daniel Vega being substituted ten minutes in as part of his retirement farewell, there was an atmosphere of a cup game. That changed after the break with River losing Javier Pinola to a broken arm and Platense forcing Franco Armani into a couple of good stops.
The Calamar were unable to find what would have been a famous equaliser and so River held on for the win and sit in a good position in Group A after their opening weekend defeat.
And finally in La Plata it ended goalless between Estudiantes and Racing Club.
Former Racing manager Ricardo Zielinski had started life at the Pincha with two wins while new Racing boss Juan Antonio Pizzi was without a win and there was the clear sense that neither coach has yet found his best team.
Both sides had chances with Matías Rojas coming closest for Racing with a trademark long range effort striking the woodwork.