Boca Juniors had already confirmed their place in the Copa Libertadores last 16 with victory last week over Racing but improved their seeding for the knockout stages with a comprehensive 6-2 thrashing of Deportivo Cali in La Bombonera. La Academia still had work to do but thanks to Roger Martínez’s late goal earned a draw with Bolívar in La Paz and progressed as group three runners-up.
Despite already having a place in the knockout stages, there were no early signs of complacency from the home side. Guillermo Barros Schelotto now has Boca attacking with a real verve and his side took the lead against Deportivo Cali after 16 minutes when Frank Fabra slalomed through the defence before thumping the ball past Luis Hurtado.
Question marks remain over Boca’s defence and two goals in two minutes by Mateo Casierra momentarily silenced the Bombonera crowd. That moment, however, lasted a minute as Carlos Tevez immediately brought Boca level and from then on it was straight forward for Los Xeneizes.
Two minutes after the break and Andrés Chávez dashed from inside his own half to slot the ball past Hurtado for a third. Tevez grabbed his second with a superbly placed free kick before Leonardo Jara lashed in a fifth after a knockdown from Chávez. Four minutes from time and Sebastián Palacios added a sixth to complete the rout and leave Boca feeling good ahead of Sunday’s superclásico.
Racing didn’t have things quite so easy, as you might expect in La Paz, but were able to earn a draw and in the end rather comfortably follow Boca into the next round. Bolívar had been the better side without managing to take advantage of their superiority until Gastón Cellerino’s spectacular bicycle with 20 minutes remaining. This should have set up a nervy end to the match but within five minutes Racing were level and all but extinguished the home side’s hopes of an upset. Goalkeeper Romel Quiñónez badly misjudged a free kick into the box and after it eluded everyone, the ball came back off the post and allowed Roger Martínez to head in the simplest of equalisers. Facundo Sava’s side have no time to celebrate though as they return to Buenos Aires immediately for Sunday’s Clásico de Avellaneda.
Boca Juniors 6 – 2 Deportivo Cali
Bolívar 1 – 1 Racing Club