In a one-sided match, Boca Juniors easily confirmed their participation in the knockout round of the 2009 Copa Libertadores with a comfortable win over their Ecuadorian opponents. Rodrigo Palacio scored the third goal but it was his strike partner (by that point withdrawn to a standing ovation) who got the headlines: Martín Palermo scored his 199th and 200th goals for Boca, one in each half. Now, he says, his target is simple: he wants Roberto Cherro’s all-time club goalscoring record. Unfortunately he’s under the misapprehension that this stands at 217, rather the 221 Cherro actually scored, but still, it’s nice to he’s aware that there were strikers at the club before Francisco Varallo.
Palermo was fouled in the box in the 13th minute, and picked himself up right away to hammer home the penalty and draw himself onto 199 goals. As Boca proceeded to dominate the rest of the first half, with Táchira unable to get into the final third, much less create anything there, for long periods of the game, it became evident by half time that any sniff of an upset wasn’t going to happen.
In the 63rd minute, the moment La Bombonera had been waiting for arrived: a second-time cross from Rodrigo Palacio arched across the box as Palermo shaped himself before slamming it into the net with a wonderfully executed chilena (overhead kick). For a man who’s often specialised in the spectacular, it was a fitting way to score such a landmark goal. In the 73rd minute, he was withdrawn for Lucas Viatri to a standing ovation, and a few minutes after that Palacio put the seal on the night with a simple finish after Leandro Gaitán cut the ball back from the byeline.
The result means Boca finish top of group 2 with fifteen points from their six matches. Also qualifying from the group are Deportivo Cuenca, the only side to inflict defeat on the Xeneize, whose draw with Guaraní in Asunción gives them 10 points to Táchira’s nine.
Copa Libertadores 2009, group 2, 30th April: Boca Juniors 3 – 0 Deportivo Táchira (VEN)