(Courtesy of the Argentine Cup) – He left no doubts. Boca prevented an outcome with suffering similar to the one that characterized the 32nd Final match against Claypole and built a solid victory against Defensores de Belgrano from the start. Two penalties executed by Mauro Zárate, a definition by Emmanuel Mas and a solid collective performance, especially in the midfield, led to the 3-0 win that allowed him to access the next instance of the Argentine Cup. Which team could be your next opponent? Nothing less than his historic classic, River, defending champion of the competition that must be measured against Atlético Tucumán.
A tactical modification imposed by Miguel Angel Russo would be decisive for the development of the initial stage. The coach opted for a 4-2-3-1 that found Zárate as a playmaker for the first time since his arrival in Boca in 2018. The footballer who emerged in Vélez had the necessary freedom to showcase his talent. Beyond scoring the only goal prior to halftime (he crossed the penalty derived by the hand of Juan Manuel Sosa at the exit of a corner kick), he became the axis of Xeneize’s game and brought danger with the handling of stopped balls . Ignacio Pietrobono had to demand himself to prevent a corner from entering in an Olympic way and he also deflected a strong shot. Another notable aspect of the La Ribera club’s proposal was the imbalance of the extremes, since both Exequiel Zeballos and Agustín Obando constantly outperformed their markers and had active participation at the start of the match.
Defensores de Belgrano only used an error by Marcos Rojo (he hit Luis López in the face on the edge of the area) to take some risk with a free kick just wide from Alejandro Martínez. His bet was reduced to the generation of infractions to search with a massive arrival to the rival area in the subsequent free throws. Juan Manuel Olivares could not find partners for the gestation of the game, a situation that caused the tips (the aforementioned López and Gonzalo Torres) to be isolated in front of the Boca defense. El Dragon was looking for his first qualification to the Round of 16 of the Argentine Cup, motivated by the presence of Gastón Esmerado, architect of the best historical campaigns of Temperley and Almagro, in the substitute bench.
Meticulous tried to change course at halftime and replaced two footballers. Iván Nadal was on the verge of expulsion and had not been able to find his way in the personal duel against Zeballos, while Sosa had been responsible for the penalty that originated the advantage. In any case, Boca held the position in the rival field and warned again from Zarate’s right boot, which generated an attentive response from Pietrobono to a free kick. Defensores de Belgrano’s reaction came the same way: a tremendous shot from Olivares hit the crossbar squarely. It was the most important situation generated by a team whose glimmer of hope arose in the hit of the steering wheel and the imbalance of the speedy Martinez, the only footballer who dared to face with dominated ball.
The triangulations by the left sector would allow Boca to eliminate the ghosts of the last antecedent in the 16th Final (Almagro equaled the match near the end and beat it on penalties). Enabled by Mas and Zárate, Obando overflowed and threw back passes that became indecipherable for the defense of the Dragon. The first found an imprecise definition of the admitted Cristian Medina, but the next had the necessary resolution on the part of Mas himself, who broke Pietrobono’s resistance to stretch the difference in favor of Xeneize. A similar sequence would occur in the generation of the third goal of the La Ribera club, since Obando repeated in the role of architect (he entered the area and was knocked down by Luciano Goux) and Zárate once again defeated the goalkeeper of the team from twelve steps. of the First National. In this way, the champion of the 2011-2012 and 2014-2015 editions assured his return to the Eighth Finals and was one step away from starring in the first Superclásico in the history of the Argentine Cup.