Boca executed a false step this Tuesday night and lost 2-0 against Deportivo Cali, in Colombia, in the debut of both in the Copa Libertadores de América, the maximum continental competition.
Even with several casualties due to suspensions (Sebastián Villa, Marcos Rojo) and injuries (Carlos Izquierdoz, Guillermo Fernández), DT Sebastián Battaglia’s team again offered a pale image against a limited rival, but ordered that he realized his chances of victory in the second stage.
And so it was that the team led by Venezuelan coach Rafael Dudamel tilted the balance in their favor, with goals from Argentine Guillermo Burdisso (St. 25m.) and Jhon Vásquez (St. 35m.)
At the start, Boca, dressed in the yellow shirt of ‘luck’, hinted at being deep, every time Zeballos from Santiago took the ball and demanded from the left.
But those offensive incursions, plus some disengagement from the Paraguayan Oscar Romero, became increasingly sporadic situations, so the sterile domain at the beginning upset the flat balance midway through the period.
The Colombian Jorman Campuzano was not fine in the distribution and it was difficult for him to become the axis in the recovery. Thus, the xeneize cast seemed to miss the injured Guillermo ‘Pol’ Fernández, a key piece in that of being the first pass for the clear exit.
The local team did not take too much ‘their feet off the plate’ either, beyond the fact that Agustín Rossi generated doubts in some other outings and that the central defense, a novelty with the Zambrano (he was injured)-Avila binomial, showed some imbalances typical of the scarce filming together.
The clearest of Boca in those 45m. Initials required a double save from goalkeeper De Amores, before two shots from Zeballos and Benedetto, at 40 minutes. Previously, a shot by Paraguayan Romero had gone slightly off target.
The local team demanded at the end of the first half, already in injury time, with a shot by Camargo, which went near the left post.
The second half seemed to repeat scenes from the first. The two teams seemed to have the ‘handbrake on’ and the offensive approaches depended on some stopped ball, on some intelligently concocted maneuver.
The entry of Alan Varela for an injured Juan Ramírez seemed to give greater freshness to a xeneize midfield that did not have a game or remove. It was just an optical illusion.
It was enough for one of the two teams to cheer up or hit a stopped ball to open the account. And that was the Colombian cast.
At 25m., the midfielder Kevin Velasco hit a free kick with a thread, to the heart of the area, and Cordovan Burdisso, a former man from the La Ribera squad, anticipated the attack and made it 1-0. Great blow for the Battaglia team.
About 35m., without much time for reaction, the targeted Velasco overwhelmed a misaligned Figal from the left and sent the center back for the arrival of Vásquez, who sentenced the match, with an old but still effective play.
Thus, confused not only on the field but also outside, Boca left a discreet image, which it will try to correct next week against Always Ready, on Tuesday 12, at the Bombonera.
Precisely, the Bolivian team won tonight at the Hernando Siles stadium in La Paz over Corinthians, from Brazil, also 2-0. The goals were the work of Argentine Marcos Riquelme (former Olimpo de Bahía Blanca), at 8m. of the first half, through a penalty kick; and Rodrigo Ramallo, at the minute of the second stage.