Late drama in Independiente-Boca draw & Racing hold River (SUNDAY’S HIGHLIGHTS)

On an evening that may have been very different had VAR arrived to Argentine football, Independiente and Boca Juniors played out a 1-1 draw in Avellaneda.

Gastón Togni headed Independiente into a first half lead but it was referee Patricio Loustau in the headlines after failing to spot a stamp on Sebastián Villa by defender Juan Insaurralde and later only producing a yellow card for a dreadful Jorman Campuzano challenge.

An unmarked Carlos Zambrano brought Boca level and in stoppage time when Loustau spotted a handball by youngster Ayrton Costa it looked as though Boca would win it from the penalty spot. Sebastián Sosa saved Villa’s effort only for replays to show the goalkeeper had taken an unpunished step off his line.

The result was probably fair and on a bad evening for the officials both supporters had their grievances.

In the evening’s other clásico there was far less drama. With the memory of last month’s 5-0 Supercopa defeat fresh in the mind a defensive Racing Club display frustrated River Plate and managed to secure a point at the Monumental.

The electrifying attacking football that ripped apart Racing and did so to Godoy Cruz one week ago was absent from River and in truth Marcelo Gallardo’s side didn’t do enough to break through.

Vélez were unable to extend their lead at the top of Group B but did come from behind to salvage a point from their trip to Defensa y Justicia.

Marcelo Benítez had bundled the home team in front but when midfielder Enzo Fernández was sent off before the break it made Defensa’s job more complicated.

The advantage didn’t last long with Emiliano Amor levelling up the numbers soon after the restart yet the ten men of Vélez found their equaliser, Thiago Almada finding Cristian Tarragona at the back post to tap in.

Both sides remain in the top four of Group B.

And in Córdoba, Talleres failed to take all three points from the visit of Godoy Cruz.

The visitors arrived off the back of that thrashing by River yet led through a superb Wilder Cartagena effort. Carlos Auzqui headed Talleres level on the hour mark but La T couldn’t find a winner.