In a glorified all-Argentine continental pre-season friendly, Boca Juniors hosted Arsenal de Sarandí in Racing’s ground on Wednesday night, in the first leg of the Recopa Sudamericana, played between the winners of the previous year’s (not season, confusingly) Copas Sudamericana and Libertadores. Boca ran out 3-1 winners after an early flurry saw them leading 2-1 after just twenty minutes, and Martín Palermo entered the record books at last.
The really newsworthy point came not so much from the scoreline, or from another strong performance to follow up the 4-0 thwacking Boca handed to Gimnasia de Jujuy on the opening weekend of the Apertura on Sunday, but from Boca striker Martín Palermo. In the 19th minute, Jesús Dátolo was brought down in the box. Palermo stepped up to take the penalty, and in typical fashion, stroked it calmly against the diving goalkeeper’s body. This time, though, the ball bounced back to him and he made no mistake from closer in, to put Boca 1-0 up. But more to the point, this was Palermo’s 194th competitive (ahem) goal in Boca’s colours. As such, Francisco Varallo’s record as the leading goalscorer in the professional era of the club’s history has finally been equalled.
Facundo Sava equalised five minutes later, before Rodrigo Palacio, back from injury, made it 2-1 to Boca. In the second half, Sebastián Battaglia wrapped things up.
Recopa Sudamericana, first leg: Boca Juniors 3 – 1 Arsenal Fútbol Club