A second half comeback saw Boca defeat Unión in the Primera División’s seventh fixture to pick up its first win under new manager Guillermo Barros Schelotto, although the match wasn’t without controversy as forward Carlos Tévez’s winning goal could easily have been adjudged offside.
On paper this is a good sign, and it provides the illusion that Boca is back to winning ways – coming back from a goal down is never a bad thing, but don’t be fooled just yet.
For much of the game, Boca was the more threatening team but it was still unable to win convincingly. Although it must be said “winning ugly” is the hallmark of a good side.
Half an hour into the first half, La Xeneize did have a goal (correctly) ruled out for offside with three Boca players at least a meter behind the Unión defense when Tévez played the ball through.
Tévez did appear to have a new lease of life in his deeper role as a playmaker, making incisive passes but they amounted to nothing, while Unión was able to break down the Boca defense, but was unable to really make the most of its threat with shots blocked more often than not.
In the opening seconds of the second half Tévez made an opening for himself just inside the opposition’s area, but his low shot was saved confidently by Unión stopper Nereo Fernández.
The second half continued in much the same vein of high pressure from Boca, but shots were restricted from distance and the keeper wasn’t seriously troubled.
With the majority of Boca’s players in the opposition’s half, it always looked susceptible to a counter attack, which is exactly what happened.
As Boca was dispossessed on the edge of Unión’s box, the ball pinged down the field and Unión quickly got numbers forward down the right, before horseshoeing the ball well around to the left flank where a cross wasn’t dealt with by Boca’s defense and Unión striker Lucas Gamba was able to unconvincingly scuff the ball into the net past a static backline.
Just 30 seconds after that goal in the 59th minute, center back Fernando Tobio made a 30-yard run before waltzing into the box and firing a shot towards the bottom left which was blocked, but set up Jonathan Silva who couldn’t resist a potshot from distance which went just wide of the post.
More shots came from distance, one of which was turned around for a corner. Midfielder Nicolás Lodeiro’s set piece was deflected back out to him on the right hand side, and either it was a spectacular finish or a poorly judged cross, but the ball sailed into the top corner.
Boca kept pressing for the winner and was duly rewarded in the 91st minute when Tévez was the right man in the right place (at the back post, where else?) slotting home to cause pandemonium in La Bombonera. When the very first shot in the build up was made, Tévez stood a good two yards offside, but whether he was interfering with play or not is purely down to the referee’s interpretation of the rules. If you’re a Boca fan, you won’t care. If you’re a Unión fan, the referee should probably get some new contact lenses.
It was Boca’s first win in five following three consecutive draws, and there are signs of optimism entering the Schelotto era. It currently sits 6th in Grupo B, 5 points behind leaders Lanús.