by LUCAS LUGO
Tonight in Mar Del Plata River Plate defeated Boca Juniors 3-1 to be crowned champions of the “Copa Desafio”. With goals by Rodrigo Rojas (19), Gabriel Funes Mori (19) and Daniel Villalba (17) River claimed the first superclásico of the year. The first goal was scored just before the 4 minutes of play, Chilean International Gary Medel made a mistake in the back and gave the ball to Rodrigo Rojas, who made a run towards the goal and scored on a low shot. Part of the blame for this goal goes to senior goalkeeper Roberto Abbondanzieri who once again displayed a poor level. On the 30th minute Boca Juniors equalized the game with header from the “Titan” Martin Palermo; the ball was placed perfectly on his head by Roman Riquelme.
The first half ended with a 1-1 draw, and no team seemed to be getting to far ahead from the other. The second half was just a whole different picture, River came out looking for the victory, and it wasn’t long before they scored. The 3rd goal of the game came 10 minutes into the 2nd half from a set play, Matias Abelairas crossed the ball to the far post, leaving Funes Mori one on one against Roberto Abbondanzieri, Mori headed the ball down causing a rebound from the goalkeeper and on his second header he put River Plate up 2-1.
This goal was devastating for Boca. River began to hold possession of the ball and started to dominate the game. Boca’s center midfield Ariel Rosada was a perfect example of the frustration of the team; he committed 4 consecutive fouls in less than 2 minutes and was lucky not to walk away with a red card. Riquelme disappeared from the game and was soon replaced for the youngster Mouche. Boca’s only hope laid in the head of Martin Palermo, every ball that was played to the outside wings was sent to the box, but they were easily cleared by River’s center backs, who played one of the best games in the last 12 months.
The crowd began to chant “Ole, Ole, Ole” every time River touched the ball. Things got worse for Boca Juniors when Nicolas Gaitan was sent off for returning a bottle that was thrown to him from the crowd; until that point Gaitan had been Boca’s most dangerous player on the field. The icing on the cake came on the 65th minute, when Daniel Villalba, River’s future star that is pretended by Manchester United, scored a beautiful goal that made all the fans go wild.
River celebrated the first win of the year, and a special win against archrivals Boca Juniors. On the other side, Boca is going through a crisis. Head Coach Alfio Basile is screaming for signings during this transfer window, but the club’s economy is not the best and nobody can assure that this will happen.
The so questioned Roberto Abbondanzieri once again made two mistakes that cost Boca Juniors the game. If Boca does not defeat River this Sunday in Mendoza it could mean the resignation of Alfio Basile.
Like Juan Arango said “This is just pre-season, it doesn’t mean anything yet. In 2003 Boca started off really bad and ended up winning the Copa Libertadores, this could be that case”. We hope this is the case, even thou it doesn’t look like 2003, when Boca Juniors had really competitive squad, with players like Carlos Tevez.
We need to keep an eye on Daniel Villalba and Funes Mori, today they displayed a lot of talent despite of their young age. River’s first comment after last season was “we need a center forward”, but I think they found one, his name is Funes Mori.
watch the goals here.