The first Superclasico of the fixture’s 100th anniversary ended in a 1-1 draw on Sunday after first-half strikes from Manuel Lanzini and Santiago Silva ensured Boca Juniors and River Plate shared the spoils at La Bombonera.
Boca came into the clash on their worst run in over half a century, winless in 10 matches for only the second time in the club’s history, and found themselves behind inside the first minute.
Manuel Lanzini drifted between Guillermo Burdisso and Matias Caruzzo and headed Carlos Sanzhez’s whipped cross past a helpless Augustin Orion after just 43 seconds to net the fastest goal in Superclasico history – two seconds quicker Pablo Ledesma’s 2007 strike at the same stadium.
While Boca have struggled throughout a league campaign that clearly isn’t coach Carlos Bianchi’s first priority, River were looking to close the gap on league leaders Lanus to just two points and almost doubled their lead shortly after the half-hour mark when Rogelio Gabriel Funes Mori fired over from inside the box with only Orion to beat.
Ramon Diaz’s side should have been two up a few minutes later but Carlos Sanchez wasted the best opportunity of the half following more fine work from Juan Manuel Iturbe on the left. The Uruguayan attempted a deft chip when the ball broke into his path and could only float his effort harmlessly wide from six yards.
Meanwhile, Boca enjoyed the bulk of possession but failed to create many clear-cut chances in the absence of Juan Manuel Martinez and Juan Roman Riquelme, both of whom were left out ahead of their upcoming Copa Libertadores last-16 clash with Corinthians.
Santiago Silva returned to the side after being left out in midweek and remained bullish, repeatedly charging head-down at the opposition, and was rewarded on 38 minutes when Erviti burst into the box on the right, checked his run and squared for El Tanque to sweep his unerring strike wide of Marcelo Barovero and into the corner of the River net.
The second half saw plenty of incident but few chances at either end.
Diaz was sent to the stands with 20 minutes remaining after voicing his displeasure at the officiating and decided to take a shortcut across the centre of the pitch, raising his thumb as the Boca fans jeered and reminded him and his side of their short stint in Argentina’s second division.
With little happening in front of goal, the Boca fans then brought to the game to a halt as their flares filled the stadium with smoke.
The game was then stopped again in stoppage time when a firecracker thrown from the Boca fans struck Barovero. Referee German Delfino eventually waved play on before bringing the game to and end a few minutes later.
The draw leaves Boca without victory since the opening day of the season and River third in Argentina’s Torneo Final, four points of the top spot.