Mouth. The Copa Libertadores lowered the credit to Miguel Ángel Russo and could take the last illusion of Carlos Tevez


Miguel Ángel Russo, worried and without answers for the hard elimination of Boca Credit: Sebastiao Moreira / Pool via AP

The semifinal was huge for Boca, almost of the same dimension that he had his illusion to win the Liberators cup after 13 years. Disappointment is proportional to the longing that over time became an obsession, a fixed idea, a supreme plan. The debt continues and from Brazil, land of many joys for Boca, the team brings the numbers in red of a delay and a wound that will take time to cauterize.

Juan roman riquelme He is no longer the boss on the field, as in the 2007 subcontinental title, and from his brand new managerial role thought of replicating the past when summoning Miguel Ángel Russo, the technical director of the last consecration. The bet fell too short on the visit to Vila Belmiro. It took Boca so long to get into the game, it was so lukewarm and passive, that when Santos wanted to remember it was 3-0 in just over half of the game. Cuca’s team had minutes to spare.

The summary of Santos 3 – Boca 0

Finally, the great production that he deployed to eliminate Racing in the revenge of the quarterfinals remained an exception within a campaign with several bumps and doubts. Since the round of 16, Boca did not convert in four of the six games. The drought did not respond so much to the lack of effectiveness to take advantage of situations, but to a frayed offensive conviction. That in front of the Academy was a flash in the middle of long stretches of darkness. None as black and deep as the thrashing suffered at Pele’s house, against Santos who added a stabbing attack to the laborious and self-sacrificing image he had shown in the Bombonera, a dynamic that contrasted with Boca’s stupor.


A disappointed Tevez receives the greeting and consolation of Marinho, the figure in Santos’ win Source: LA NACION

Russo will be held accountable. The laconicism with which he responded at the press conference seemed like the extension of a team that never had the upper hand on the pitch. Jara, Diego González -a reinforcement that came from the hand of Riquelme and did not compensate for the departure of Pol Fernández-, Campuzano and Soldano were out of tune full time. Salvio and Villa, the two arrows, were paper airplanes. Tevez was left in the middle of a soccer orphanhood that he tried to mitigate with his pride. He was alone and badly surrounded. At about 37 years old, perhaps he saw his last chance to win the Copa Libertadores again. After games like last night, recovering motivation and enthusiasm will be very difficult for him. There are defeats that fall with the weight of a sentence.

Tevez did not stay in Boca because of the leadership, that treated him close to contempt, but rather to crown his successful career, truffled with titles in America and Europe, with the last gem. He had already put the team on his shoulder to be champion in the final sprint of the Super League, before the world was paralyzed by the pandemic. In the Libertadores, the reality was harsher and more adverse. Tevez is the only survivor of Carlos Bianchi’s golden age. Together they raised the Libertadores of 2003, when Boca experienced the most important international expansion in its history. He accumulated drinks until he was one of Independiente’s record of seven.

Boca started the game with the same parsimony that conditioned it in the Bombonera. Too passive, giving the initiative to Santos, who took a step forward. Due to this statism, he received a shot from Marinho on a post before the first minute was up. Not even that served as an alarm clock. Santos pressed high, cut fast and positioned himself close to the visitor’s area.


The Venezuelan Soteldo, author of the 2-0 goal, raises his arms as his teammates arrive to hug him

The Venezuelan Soteldo, author of the 2-0 goal, raises his arms as his teammates arrive to hug him Credit: AP Photo / Andre Penner, Pool

Santos has no excess talent, but he is very active collectively, he moves well as a block, he does not offer cracks. On offense he unbalances on the sides, with the sparkling Marinho and Soteldo. Not surprisingly, he took the lead at 12 minutes, when Pituca crossed a shot after a ball that had hit the arm of Lisandro López.

Boca forced himself to a comeback, to an urgent reaction. He did it tenuously, with the difficulties shown by the “Pulpo” González and Campuzano to govern in the middle zone. Boca did not elaborate; it depended on some attempt by Tevez, on the spaces that Salvio and Villa found with their strides. Everything, without continuity or cohesion, while Santos threatened to counterattack. The Brazilian team was closer to the second than Boca to the tie, with a mid-distance shot from Marinho that Andrada deflected with difficulty. The biggest shock that Santos suffered in the first half was the deep cut suffered by defender Verissimo He collided with Soldano’s head, and the stream of blood that came from his scalp. Boca closed its poor first stage with two shots, none on target, against 14 by Santos (four between the three suits).


With Boca losing 3-0, Fabra got out of control and stomped on Marinho;  Colombian referee Wilmar Roldán shows him the red card

With Boca losing 3-0, Fabra got out of control and stomped on Marinho; Colombian referee Wilmar Roldán shows him the red card Credit: AP Photo / Andre Penner, Pool

It was inevitable that Russo would make some modification. Buffarini (for Jara, with some muscular discomfort) and Capaldo (for González) entered. Cardona was also necessary to develop a game circuit, set up a football society. Again, as if it took an eternity to settle down and become aware of what was at stake, Boca offered facilities at the beginning of the second period. Soteldo, with a great goal at an angle, and Braga, after an uncontrollable Marinho overflow, sealed it 3-0 after five minutes.

The debacle included the expulsion of Fabra for a stomp on Marinho. With 10, in a few minutes Ábila, who scores goals and always returns to the bench, did more than Soldano. But it was too late for any arrest. Almost the best thing that could happen to Boca was that the win was not more bloody.

There will beBrazilian final, something that had not happened since 2006, when Inter beat São Paulo. The Argentines said goodbye in different ways, with balances and opposite sensations. While River left his skin until the last minute, Boca was a soul in pain since he appeared from the locker room.


The lost looks of Buffarini, Campuzano and Andrada after a win that hit very hard

The lost looks of Buffarini, Campuzano and Andrada after a win that hit very hard Credit: AP Photo / Andre Penner, Pool

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