Recopa Sudamericana, Belated Second Leg.By: Mauro | October 13th, 2008
Sorry about the tardiness of this post as I felt it would be weird to move on to a different topic and not say anything about this match. I attached match highlights, as you are all aware, this is pretty old news–over a month old in fact–but Boca has drawn level with the great European title winning power of AC Milan on number of international trophies won. No small feat.
As was expected, Boca Juniors took the first leg of the Recopa Sudamericana, played in Racing Club’s stadium “El Cilindro” with a comfortable 3-1 win over Arsenal de Sarandi. The return leg was merely a formality with a score line like that and a club like Boca–at that time anyway, but more about that later.
Boca was without Martín Palermo, due to a torn ACL ad ICL knee injury–his second, but Boca were able to count on Riquelme who was available for this match, just having arrived from Beijing with a gold medal in his bag for Argentina.
The return leg was played in Arsenal’s back yard at “El Viaducto” (and yes, most stadiums in South America have nicknames and they aren’t names attached to multi-national corporations) where they were able to hold Boca and keep them from winning the match but they were unable to cover the deficit they created for themselves in Avellaneda a week earlier.
Giving up the early goal to Palacio–who was a nightmare for the Arsenal back line again–only six minutes in after a wonderful play with Lucas Viatri. But the home side made it interesting by leveling off with a goal by Sebastián Carrera in the 58th minute. They went ahead with a Mauro Matos header in the 69th minute that squeezed between Caranta’s hands and the post.
But in stoppage time, Juan Roman Riquelme was able to get one past the Arsenal keeper off a spectacular free kick at the first post. With that, the match ended with a 2-2 draw. Arsenal ended the match with 9 men. Carlos Baez earned himself a straight red after a hard foul on Riquelme in the 65th and Cristian Díaz with ten minutes left off a second yellow.
Pardon the brevity of this match report but I doubt any of you would want full details of a match that is over a month old.
At the end of the day, Boca has won another international title due to their very good administrative work to keep this talented group of players together long enough for them to gel as a team. And thanks to a team that worked very hard to be able to stay involved and competitive in most of the tournaments that they participate in.
Not to piss on anyone’s parade, but the current state of Boca is not nearly as good as the one they experienced a month ago. Boca are struggling to find their form with virtually the identical starting 11 they had against Arsenal. With rumors of their coach working his last days with the club, the problems they’ve had with their keeper Maurico Caranta, their current place on the Apertura table (6th) and the fact that a side featuring many of their youngsters made a bigger impression on the Copa Sudamericana than their starters have are all reasons the fans in blue and yellow are worrying.
Arsenal, on the other hand, are in the same position they were a month ago. Not doing well enough to make a stink and not doing bad enough where it’s noticeable. They were recently knocked out of the Copa Sudamericana by Estudiantes de La Plata and have only the Argentine Apertura to fight for in these next few months. They currently stand in 8th place on the Apertura table.
Feel free to check the CONMEBOL website for results and information about the Recopa Sudamericana and a little history of the competition.