Admittedly there’s no such thing as an “easy” continental match, but Boca made securing a draw against Colombian team Deportivo Cali look like hard work. Mainly because it is hard work to play against a team that only understands half of the tactic “controlled aggression.”
The physical nature of the match started taking its toll almost immediately, with Uruguayan midfielder Nicolás Lodeiro being stretchered off and replaced by Pablo Peréz after just 10 minutes when he was given what looked like an old-fashioned, school-boy-style dead leg by Cali defender Germán Mera.
The referee, who was accused of being rather below par to say the least, booked everyone’s favorite mad man Carlos Tévez soon afterwards when the striker appeared to give Cali a taste of its own medicine, but the replays show that the contact, if there even was any, was minimal even if the challenge was essentially Tévez kneeing his opponent in the ass. Left back Felipe Banguero leaped into the air and started his audition for a role in an upcoming Colombian medical drama. Of course, this is Carlitos in question. A man who only last weekend reconstructed Old Boy’s keeper Ezequiel Luis Unsain’s lower face with his kneecap, and gave a stirring “concerned” look for the cameras.
Cali were able to break up the Boca play effectively with a number of repeated infractions. Throughout the match the men in white committed over 31 fouls, only five of which were deemed bookable offenses by Brazilian ref Péricles Cortez. With this idea of committing a foul every 90 seconds, Boca was on the ball (almost definitely warranting more than five yellows, probably a red or two for some of the “challenges”), certainly restricted Los Millonarios, although international defensive mid Fernando Gago was brave enough to nutmeg someone in the 65th minute, one of three he pulled off in the match. It would be fair to say he was the only man on the pitch actually interested in playing some football and not trying to hurt, maim or emotionally scar an opponent.
Boca always looked like it’d be the first to get on the score sheet, but it wasn’t to be. The game ended 0-0, with the referee’s opticians as the real winners. I’ve heard they’re charging him 50 bucks a month for his contact lenses, daylight robbery really.
Elsewhere, Sergio Agüeeeeeroooooo!!! did his thing as Manchester City won 3-1 in Kiev, and Racing defeated Club Bolívar of, yep you guessed it, Bolivia 4-1 in their Copa Libertadores tie. Tonight River Plate plays away against Trujillanos FC of Venezuela and Rosario entertains Uruguayan champions Nacional.