Marcos Acuña’s substitution in stoppage time to a standing ovation in the Cilindro had the feel of a final farewell and certainly the Argentina international left little doubt over his intentions after the game. Whatever may happen in the next month or so, El Huevo has given Racing supporters more than possibly could have been imagined when he arrived from Ferro Carril Oeste and his parting gift was a sweetly struck left-footed shot that gave La Academia a commanding 3-1 lead over Independiente Medellín in the Copa Sudamericana.
Miguel Barbieri gave Racing an early lead over the Colombian visitors and although Diego Cocca was dealt a blow with Lautaro Martínez stretchered off with a broken metatarsal, his replacement Brian Fernández almost immediately doubled the lead.
Edison Toloza scrappily pulled one back for Independiente Medellín after half time but Acuña restored the lead with an almost trademark finish from outside the penalty area.
Racing travel to Medellín at the end of next month to complete the job and set up a last 16 clash with either Patriotas or Corinthians but are likely to do so without El Huevo.
“I was promised that in June I could leave, I am waiting for it to be fulfilled,” Acuña said afterwards. Racing’s loss promises to be someone else’s gain.