The Professional League Cup comes to an end and this Sunday will meet its champion: from 4:00 p.m. and at the Mario Kempes stadium in Córdoba, Boca and Tigre will define the title in a duel of very different realities. For the xeneizes it will serve as an injection of tranquility in the middle of a very convulsive semester, with their coach Sebastián Battaglia always in sight and with the need to secure their ticket for the round of 16 of the Copa Libertadores next Thursday. For those from Victoria it would be a celebration as big as it is unexpected, if one takes into account that at the end of last year they were playing in the First National tournament.
To reach the great definition, which will be played at a full stadium because both fans sold out the seats that had been reserved for them, both teams traveled a similar path. After beating Defense and Justice in the quarterfinals in one of their best matches of the year, Boca had to resort to penalties to eliminate Racing in the semifinals, in a duel in which they were clearly outmatched for most of the game. growth. On Tigre’s side, in the quarterfinals he gave the big hit of the tournament by eliminating River in Monumental with a dream match. And in the next round, like Boca, they also needed penalties to eliminate Argentinos Juniors, after drawing 1-1 at the Huracán stadium.
Beyond the irregularity that he showed in his game throughout the contest, one of Boca’s greatest merits to reach the final is having surpassed the rest of the rivals who reached the decisive instances. Of the seven classified, Boca defeated Aldosivi, Estudiantes, Tigre and River in the first phase, all as visitors. Then they defeated Defense and Justice 2-0 and then eliminated Racing. The only one they did not beat was Argentinos, fourth in the other zone and the only rival they did not face.
However, the gaps in his performance, with lackluster performances such as the loss against Huracán and the draws against Lanús, Godoy Cruz and Arsenal, all at La Bombonera, left his coach under almost constant questioning. To make matters worse, this irregularity was transferred to the Copa Libertadores, where on Thursday he must beat Deportivo Cali yes or yes to get his ticket to the round of 16. A draw -and the consequent elimination of the continental competition- will overshadow the achievement that a victory in the Kempes would mean.
On the other hand, Tigre has already exceeded expectations, with a commendable campaign, with the base of the squad that achieved promotion from the First National. Coach Diego Martínez managed to give identity and a good game to a team without great figures that bases its strength on collective performance.
The closest precedent marks Boca’s 2-0 victory in Victoria two weeks ago, with goals from Darío Benedetto and Luis Vázquez. However, Tigre also has a memory that allows him to get excited: three years ago, and despite the relegation he had suffered a few weeks before, the team led by Néstor Gorosito at that time beat Boca 2-0 in the final of the Super League Cup, played on the same stage as tomorrow’s duel.
In terms of football, Battaglia will bet on a very offensive formation, with Pol Fernández and Alan Varela as holding midfielders and four attacking players such as Paraguayan Oscar Romero, Eduardo Salvio, Darío Benedetto and Sebastián Villa. Precisely the Colombian is in the eye of the storm, since the club did not activate any protocol for the complaint of a woman for which the footballer was charged with “aggravated sexual abuse with carnal access”.
On the other side, Diego Martínez recovered his captain, Sebastián Prediger, who was dragging a nuisance. In this way, the DT will be able to put the maximum potential from midfield forward with Prediger and Ezequiel “Equi” Fernández in the recovery, the good handling of the ball by Cristian Zabala, Facundo Colidio and Alexis Castro in the creation and Mateo Retegui as the only striker in the area, after beating the B Nacional scorer, Pablo Magnín, for the position.
The decisive match, which will be televised by ESPN Premium, will be refereed by Darío Herrera from Neuquén, while Mauro Vigliano will be in charge of the VAR. If the game ends tied after 90 minutes, there will be a 30-minute extra time to define the champion. And if equality persists, definition with shots from the penalty spot will be used, an instance in which both teams come sweet, especially Boca.