A draw was enough for both sides
Boca was losing in Mendoza, but Palermo appeared to tie a complicated game. Godoy Cruz relaxed, handing the ball to those directed by Abel Alves, who did not do enough to turn it around. Federico Higuain, former River player, scored for the ‘Tomba’.
Riquelme started well but his companions were not in tune and without an ‘outside forward’, Boca could not find a way to generate threat. In contrast, at 23 ‘ after a fine team move, Federico Higuain scored for Godoy Cruz with a good finish.
The confusion and the need was much greater. Boca was impotent and was not even close to the equalizer throughout the first half. Alves had to put his hand and so he did at halftime.
‘Chueco’ (Alves) got it right with Cristian “Pochi” Chavez’ entrance, who gave new life to a very static midfield. Santiago Villafane was replaced, so Gary Medel moved to the backline on the right side and Crisitian Erbes played as central midfielder. Positional movements curiously enhanced the individual performance: Medel and Erbes played much better in the second half.
Godoy Cruz got distracted. They began to believe that they were inmune and stopped trying, only their forwards tried something else. The mobility of Higuain, David Ramirez and Carranza complicated, but Morel and Barroso, both had good game, managed to keep them off Javier Garcia’s goal. And the tie arrived.
At 25 ‘ in the second half ‘Saint’ Martin Palermo seized the only cross thrown with a spectacular header. Monzon from the left crossed and ‘Titan’ settled, won, and put the ball far from Ibanez. Great effort.
Boca seemed to have new life, but the fatigue of Riquelme was instrumental to the ‘Xeneizes’ chances, if the ’10 ‘is not in full condition, the attack of his team suffers. Lucas Viatri’s display was nothing short of poor, but surprisingly played the entire game. Too bad that Alves has not decided to include Insua or Mouche to find space on the sides (path that led to the only goal).
In the end, an equal game, and a fair result. Special mention for the horrible match by referee Rafael Furchi: nothing serious because players helped him, but missed lots of calls badly for both sides.
Godoy Cruz: Nelson M. Ibañez, Leonardo G. Sigali, Jorge Curbelo, Sebastian R. Martinez, Lautaro Formica, Carlos A. Sanchez, Nicolas A. Olmedo, Ariel Rojas, David A. Ramirez, Cesar Carranza, Federico Higuain.
Coach: Omar Asad
Subs: Sebastian A. Torrico, Leandro Torres, Martin Aguirre, Rodrigo J. Salinas, Sergio Sanchez, Daniel A. Vega, Jairo F. Castillo
Boca Juniors: Javier H. Garcia, Santiago Villafane, Julio Barroso, Claudio M. Morel Rodriguez, Luciano F. Monzon, Gary A. Medel, Cristian D. Erbes, Jesus J. Mendez, Juan R. Riquelme, Lucas E. Viatri, Martin Palermo.
Coach: Abel Alves
Subs: Josue D. Ayala, Ezequiel M. Muñoz, Federico Insua, Ariel J. Rosada, Cristian M. Chavez, Pablo N. Mouche, Orlando G. Lugo Gaona
Goals: 23′PT Federico Higuain (GC), Martin Palermo 24′ST (BJ)
Substitutions: 1′SH Cristian M. Chavez for Santiago Villafane, S14′SH Sergio Sanchez for David A. Ramirez, 27′SH Rodrigo J. Salinas for Federico Higuain, 36′SH Cesar Carranza for Jairo F. Castillo, 45′SH Ezequiel M. Muñoz for Luciano F. Monzon
Booked: 3′SH R. Sebastian Martinez (GC), 43′SH Jesus J. Mendez (BJ), 46′SH Cristian D. Erbes (BJ)
Stadium: World Cup Mendoza
Referee: Rafael Furchi