A goal apiece from veteran strikers Marcelo Gallardo and Martin Palermo ensured the Argentine “Super Clasico” between River Plate and Boca Juniors finished in a 1-1 draw on Sunday.
Gallardo whipped in a 29th-minute free kick to open the scoring for River after teammate Ariel Ortega had missed a penalty. Palermo equalized for Boca with a left-foot finish in the 63rd after both teams had been reduced to 10 men.
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Elsewhere Sunday, Colon de Santa Fe moved atop the standings after 10 rounds of the Apertura tournament with a 2-1 win over San Lorenzo, Arsenal won 1-0 against Gimnasia La Plata and last-place Tigre salvaged a 1-1 home draw with Argentinos Juniors.
Colon leads the competition with 21 points, one clear of Estudiantes, Banfield and Newell’s Old Boys.
River and Boca approached the derby clash in poor form. Both clubs have crashed out of the Copa Sudamericana, while River parted company with coach Nestor Gorosito after managing just one win all season.
Boca was stranded mid-table going into the match after an inconsistent start to the campaign.
Buoyed by the home fans at the Monumental stadium, River made the brighter start. Diego Buonanotte was the attacking instigator and his burst into the box forced Fabian Monzon to commit a clumsy foul in the 24th minute, only for Roberto Abbondanzieri to save Ariel Ortega’s penalty kick.
Despite the disappointment, River took the lead five minutes later after a foul on Buonanotte led to Gallardo’s free kick.
A minute after half time, River was reduced to 10 men when Cristian Villagra received a second yellow card for a foul on Nicolas Gaitan.
Boca’s advantage lasted only five minutes before Julio Caceres received a direct red card for an off-the-ball clash with Ortega.
With extra space on the pitch, Juan Roman Riquelme began to direct Boca and his cutback allowed Palermo to equalize in the 63rd minute with a low finish.
Riquelme and Gaitan became increasingly influential as Boca pushed forward, but it was River which nearly snatched the win in the 74th minute. On the counter attack, Matias Abelairas stormed forward and hit the post from Buonanotte’s square pass.
Earlier in the day, a controversial goal from Diego Galvan gave Arsenal a narrow home win over Gimnasia. Television replays showed Galvan seemed to handle before striking the 86th minute winner.
In the day’s final match, Federico Nieto scored in the 5th and 48th as Colon earned three points against San Lorenzo.
Pablo Pintos was sent off for San Lorenzo just before half time, while German Rivarola also received a red card for Colon in the 58th.
Colon defender Marcelo Goux scored an own goal in the 75th to give San Lorenzo hope, but the home side held on for victory.
In other weekend results, it was: Estudiantes 1, Atletico Tucuman 0; Rosario Central 2, Independiente 0; Banfield 3, Godoy Cruz 0; Chacarita Juniors 1, Huracan 0; Racing Club 1, Lanus 1; Velez Sarsfield 1, Newell’s Old Boys 2.