Boca stayed with the Maradona Cup in a match with nods to 10

Boca drew 1-1 with Barcelona but finally, thanks to penalties, he got the Maradona Cup, the match organized in honor of the idol who wore the shirt of both teams, a friendly that flashed several Maradonian winks, among them the delivery of an attractive game beyond the fact that there were no points at stake but the tribute to the eternal Argentine 10. A great goal from Ferran Jutglà that involved a hand like that of the goal to the English -although it was not the last touch here and it was used by the Brazilian Philippe Coutinho- and another by Exequiel Zeballos opened the scoring of the emotional match that evoked the aura of Ten at Mrsool Park in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. On penalties, the Xeneize team won 4-2 after a good performance by goalkeeper Agustín Rossi, who prevented the Catalans from scoring one of their last two shots.

For the friendly in tribute to the historic 10, Sebastián Battaglia chose Agustín Rossi; Luis Advíncula, Carlos Izquierdoz, Marcos Rojo, Frank Fabra; Agustín Almendra, Jorman Campuzano, Juan Ramírez; Edwin Cardona; Luis Vázquez and Sebastián Villa. Xavi Hernández, meanwhile, chose an alternative line-up: Net; Sergiño Dest, Eric García, Clément Lenglet, Alex Balde; Alvaro Sanz, Riqui Puig, Dani Alves; Demir, Coutinho, Ferran Jutgla.

The first time, a while for each one

The Catalan fans, still hit by the elimination of the Champions League, were the first to get excited in Riyadh, with the first attack that woke up some football in the expected friendly. An attempt by Riqui Puig that went close but he created danger for Agustín Rossi after a good pass into the void from his teammate Eric García. The six of the Barca, the most restless and moving in Arabia, a few minutes later, returned to worry the Argentine goalkeeper with a shot from outside the area.

Before Boca took the reins of the game, another that ignited football was the Brazilian historical Dani Alves, remembered in that Barcelona of Pep Guardiola. The 38-year-old side -who will only be able to make his official debut in January- arrived at the Culé team to start his second stage and now In his first appearances he made the Blaugrana memory move. At 18 minutes, he was encouraged to hit him from outside the area and surprised Rossi, who was prevented from keeping the ball by the punch and the power of the shot and forced him to clear.

The luxury of Almendra

The Argentine team, after the first 20 minutes of greater possession and siege of the Catalan cast, took over the friendly for a while. In addition, he was the one who delivered the jewel that for now most shines in Arab lands. The pearl maker was the youthful Agustín Almendra, who wanted to show Barcelona his quality to recover the ball with the highest technique: the shuttlecock, in a Barca exit before the xeneize intensity, He took the ball from Yusuf Demir with a surgical removal and, when he saw Ferran Jutglà come, he used an exquisite pipe to get out of the way and continue with the offensive.

The show continued in Arab lands even when the players left at halftime. With the teams in the locker room and with Dalma and Giannina, two of Diez’s daughters present at the stadium with their mother, Claudia, the football break continued their tribute to the last coach of Lobo: Ulises Bueno, brother of “Potro” Rodrigo, sang the historic song that the man from Cordoba composed for the world champion in 1986, while at the same time an artist created an emotional portrait of Maradona in a few minutes, which lasted for the singer’s performance.

Great goal with a Maradonian wink

On the way back, Barcelona’s goal came, almost a Maradonian wink from the sky. And it is that the 1-0 that Jutglà scored five minutes into the second half, although it was a great goal at the height of the party for the 10th, involved a hidden hand, that of the Brazilian Coutinho, who left the ball at the disposal of his teammate culé subtly appealing to the illicit maneuver, which was not perceived by the referee. Jutglà did not wait for any resolution: he turned in the area to make the exact space and locate his best profile, and then he took a powerful shot, unattainable for Rossi. The wink was perfect because it evoked the historic play of the first goal against the English, but without daring – the hand, of course – to be the last protagonist of a new magical goal.

Boca was the one who celebrated

What a brooch of justice that was combined with what had been football in Saudi Arabia, at 76 minutes Boca tied the game. The xeneize team, who had enthusiastically sought equality, reached the final 1-1 for the match thanks to a goal from Exequiel Zeballos, who defined between the bottom culé after a low center of the Colombian Frank Fabra.

The Argentine team, when the playing time ended and they gave their pass to the penalty shootout, won thanks to a remarkable performance by Rossi, key to prevent the conversion of the second-to-last shot of Barcelona, ​​that of Matheus Pereira. After the successes of Rojo, Izquierdoz, Pavón and Molinas, Guillem Jaime threw away the last Blaugrana chance and decreed the final favorable to Boca.

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This will be the eleventh time that Buenos Aires and Catalans meet; the last for the Joan Gamper Trophy in Barcelona, ​​in 2018, in a match that ended 3-0 in favor of the Spanish with a goal from Lionel Messi. In the general history, Boca won five times, Barcelona four and tied the rest. The last victory of the Argentine club (3-2) was in a friendly played on August 11, 1999 in Alicante.


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