El Pipa scored the goal that sentenced Boca’s 1-0 against River in La Bombonera and unleashed a furious celebration: “I love it when I can shut everyone’s mouths,” he said. The former Elche scorer had gone 10 games without scoring. Now the xeneizes are located two units behind the leader Atlético Tucumán and become great candidates for the title.
Darío Benedetto exploded after escaping Enzo Pérez’s mark and nailing that unstoppable header for Franco Armani. Yes, he blew up the Pipa. He ran full force to celebrate. His teammates couldn’t stop him. He threw himself directly to climb the fence with his mouth wide open, full of goals. A howl. An angry scream. A brutal download.
After going down to the grass again, Boca’s 9 continued to qualify their special celebration. As after his goal in the historic lost final in Madrid, Benedetto stuck out his tongue and added a gesture with his arms that he intended to download a message highlighting all the courage he feels he has. This time he came out round. This time, at last, Pipa became a Superclassic hero.
That crazy celebration of Benedetto contained his individual history, the most distant linked to the final in Madrid, but also the most recent, related to the conflicts that he has been leading in Boca and with a streak without converting that had extended to 10 games. “I love it when I can shut everyone’s mouths,” he later stated. What better than marking a before and after against River!
Because of that success by Benedetto, Boca enjoyed an impressive party at the Bombonera. That 1-0 against River was to be enjoyed like this, with maximum madness. For the Pipa and for much more. It is that now the xeneizes, taking advantage of Atlético Tucumán’s draw and Gimnasia’s fall, are just two points from the top of the championship and become the great candidates for the title.
The coaches had starred in the previous one with their mysteries around the formations. In the end, Hugo Ibarra ended up building Boca a 4-4-2 with Pol Fernández, Alan Varela, Martín Payero and Juan Ramírez in the middle, all designed to put pressure on the millionaires and cut off their creative circuits. Marcelo Gallardo surprised with River’s design because he bet on five defenders and for the starting positions of Juanfer Quintero (to partner with Nicolás De la Cruz), Pablo Solari and Matías Suárez.
It ended up being the first time more for the technicians than for the players. All tied up, tense, imprecise, more concerned with respecting the script downloaded by the DTs than with flying to pure imagination. There was a header from Emanuel Mammana after a corner that prompted a great reaction from Agustín Rossi. And point. Enough of goal situations in that initial stage. Beyond some accelerations by Ramírez, Boca generated nothing.
Gallardo changed the scheme at halftime for a reason by taking out a defender (Andrés Herrera) and putting in a midfielder (Rodrigo Aliendro). In addition, he included Esequiel Barco for Juanfer (he was seen with ice in an adductor) and Miguel Borja for Solari, who had arrived with just enough after a muscle injury.
River, however, did not flow with the changes in the second stage either. He never managed to function or position himself as the dominator of the match. In any case, Boca hinted at a slight dominance but it was not enough to scare Franco Armani. Until the 20th minute came…
Pol Fernández found a ball very close to the area and took a right hand that launched a monumental save by Armani with one hand. Pol himself kicked the corner kick and Benedetto, escaping from Enzo Pérez’s mark, nailed an unstoppable header, the victory header, his third goal against River in seven matches, his 58th cry with the Boca shirt in 108 presentations .
So dark was his football production that River did not generate any arrivals in the entire second half. With order, concentration and total dedication, Boca defended the advantage and, although Marcos Rojo was expelled due to a violent kick, he ended up justly celebrating a victory that is worth superclassic pride and because it transforms him into the great candidate to be champion.