Boca won at the end and still has a chance of entering the Libertadores through the annual table

Suffered. Necessary. Agonizing. Indispensable. Essential. And criminal. This was Boca’s triumph, who still dreams of Libertadores 2024 in the annual table. This is how Xeneize built this 1-0, with a goal from Miguel Merentiel at 44′ of the second half, the scorer of the year, perhaps one of the forwards of the year. This is how Mariano Herrón’s team won, pushed by his people (who recognized his players despite the lost final in Rio), by his pride, by his own shame. Thus, from the minimum, the Sudamericana was classified. But he’s going for the other Cup, right now, for revenge…

Boca won it when it almost depended on a miracle. When nothing worked for him. When anguish invaded him, because the draw almost forced him to win the Argentine Cup to go to the Libertadores 2024. That is why the relief in the Merentiel penalty was so great. That’s why, despite the team’s weak level, they celebrated so much. Because at that point, it was the only thing that mattered. It was a goal. It was victory. As it were. And it arrived. He arrived for a patriotic team of the Beast, who received the penalty (it was clear) and who ended up converting it (he asked Benedetto).

Merentiel’s goal:

Boca Juniors 12-11-2023

Merentiel scored 1-0 for Boca

It cost Boca everything. He costs her everything. Impose, attack, define, play. What they would have to do by default, and especially on their own court, is difficult for this Boca. And each time more. He passed him in the first half with Newell’s, with a weak and questioned Newell’s. To the point that at that stage he only worried his goalkeeper once: a header from Cavani that Hoyos covered well.

Too little for a team that came out to play urgently, in need of a victory, with the Cup table against them. At that start, Boca did not seem to respond to that pressure. Not from the attitude of an overwhelming team. It has also been a long time since Boca has found it difficult to take on that role. The one from Boca that suffocates you, that subjugates you, the Boca from which rivals beg for mercy, to be able to come to the surface to breathe. Not only did it not happen, but Newell’s handled him those first minutes, rushed him, didn’t let him leave.

Herrón had tried, to have more play, more exit, perhaps more freshness, with a surprise initial change: Bullaude on the hook, Pol Fernández only five and Medina again on the right. Nothing went well. Not only because it did not have any of the desired effects, but because the interim coach had to recalculate at halftime: Cristian out, the kid Jabes Saralegui in.

In the second half, the attitude was different. And the decision. Until construction. Bullaude got loose, Barco began to unbalance, Saralegui gave him another push, Newell’s offered more spaces, which was no longer the harmonious and orderly team of the first half. But that initial push, that different Boca, faded as the minutes passed. Just a shot from Merentiel from outside. And a little more.

The game was going away. The Copa Libertadores, in the general table, too. The changes have arrived. Cavani left, with a muscle discomfort, and Benedetto came on. Barco left, also touched, and Janson entered. Bullaude left, who did not convince, and Campuzano entered. But Boca did not overcome itself. In fact, he needed Chiquito Romero to keep the zero in his goal.

The board was starting to get heavy, and so was the watch. Until that penalty appeared, Merentiel, the 1-0, the relief. And the hope. Playing like this, it will be difficult for him, but in the meantime, he won the game he had to win.

The match summary:

Newell’s Old Boys 12-11-2023

Boca’s victory against Newell’s

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