It was League Cup day in England and Scotland, but halfway across the world, Boca Juniors also fielded a side largely made up of youngsters in a second-rate knockout competition. In this case it was the Copa Sudamericana, and the opposition were the champions of South America – recent Copa Libertadores winners Liga de Quito. Even with their legendary obsession with gathering even the most meaningless of international trophies, Carlos Ischia had good reason to rest his starters, though: they’re back in league action on Thursday, less than two days after tonight’s match. His reserves repaid his faith in them, winning 4-0. Read on to see the goals.
Boca’s midfield had enough experience to see the side through, consisting of Álvaro González, Neri Cardozo, Christian Chávez and Leandro Gracián, but it was the younger players who took centre stage. One of the young defenders, Juan Forlín, got things going in the 27th minute with a header from a Gracián centre that Liga goalkeeper José Cevallos could probably have done a bit better with. Five minutes later Boca’s second arrived courtesy of a huge mix-up in the Liga backline. Cevallos came out to close down a ball that Jonathan Philippe had scuffed towards goal, but the ball bounced loose and cannoned into the net off Liga defender Gabriel Espinoza.
Thus buoyed at half time, Boca didn’t let up after the break. Pablo Mouche, who’d already gone close, made it 3-0, running onto a high ball over the backline to finish comfortably from the edge of the six yard box. After that Boca continued to keep the pressure on, easily repelling a Liga side who, despite not having been in the worst of form at home in the Ecuadorean league, looked a pale imitation of the side that claimed the Libertadores crown back in June. Eight minutes remained when substitute Nicolás Gaitán rounded the night off in style, finishing off a fine passing move to make it 4-0. The second leg will be next Wednesday in Quito, and Boca’s second string have put themselves in a great position to reach the quarter-finals.
Boca Juniors 4 – 0 Liga Deportiva Universitaria de Quito, Copa Sudamericana last 16 first leg:
A video of goals from the Estudiantes de La Plata vs. Arsenal de Sarandí match will be posted on Wednesday evening.