However, league form has been somewhat hard to grasp this season and the pair pulled out some rather disappointing results this weekend as Boca lost 2-0 to strugglers Tigre, and River only managed a 2-2 draw with bottom team Sarmiento.
While a loss to Tigre is obviously far from ideal for Boca, the draw with Sarmiento de Junín will be particularly jarring for River after it’d raced into a two -goal lead only to suffer a 91st minute red card followed by a 93rd minute penalty – capitulation which it’s all too used to.
To rub salt into the wounds, it turns out River has dropped 14 points in the second half of matches this season and would be sitting at the top of the Primera División if games ended after 45 minutes, instead of its lowly if rather pleasing 10th place with 10 points from 10 games which leaves it just 3 points above bottom place.
Both sets of fans might take comfort in each other’s misfortune, but all eyes will be focused on the upcoming Clasico on the 24th and neither side will want to lose that one – Boca didn’t even want to leave its dressing room before its match this weekend.
With Carlos Tévez benched, the game was open and both teams look as if they’d open the scoring, but it wasn’t to come until the second half. Tigre did have the ball in the net in the first, but it was correctly ruled out for being offside.
Boca could’ve gotten on the score sheet first but an easy chance was squandered over the bar and 10 minutes later, after Tévez had made an appearance, it was punished.
Tigre striker Lucas Janson probably didn’t believe his luck when a cross somehow evaded all four Boca defenders to leave him unmarked at the back post, one yard from goal. Janson made no mistake with his header.
And things were about to get worse for left back Jonathan Silva, who’d let the aforementioned cross come in, when he knocked the ball past his own ‘keeper rather comically when trying to deal with a ball into the box. A superb finish though, off the bar and in – goalie had no chance.
For River Plate it looked as if it were going to go according to plan when Uruguay striker Iván Alonso scored an absolute golazo after four minutes and left back Milton Casco doubled the advantage 20 minutes later after finishing off a swift counter attack.
But just two minutes later, Casco’s goal was canceled out when River failed to deal with a ball into the box and the chance fell to defender Alexis Niz, who poked home from two yards out.
It looked, for the best part, as if River might cling on – but as we all know, that never happens.
Defensive mid Leonardo Ponzio was sent for a not so early bath in the 91st minute after a sickening elbow on his opposite number and it was only to go from bad to worse when a speculative shot was handled inside the River area two minutes later by midfielder Joaquín Arzura.
Forward Diego Chaves struck the penalty down the middle to rescue a point for Sarmiento and steal two from under River’s nose.
Boca faces Racing Club in the Libertadores on Wednesday, while River entertains Sao Paulo in Brazil for its continental encounter.