It may only have been 45-minute cameo in a preseason friendly but in that short space of time Colombian Edwin Cardona gave Boca Juniors supporters plenty of reasons to be positive after the soap opera of Ricardo Centurión’s failed transfer.
The Primera champions may have a different look and a different style by the time the defence of their title begins in a few weeks but in Cardona, few clubs in Argentina will boast a more exciting playmaker.
After a lacklustre first half in Ciudad del Este, Boca trailed Nacional following Lisandro Magallán’s unfortunate own-goal but the introduction of the 24-year-old immediately made Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s side more of a threat.
There was more than a passing resemblance of the great Juan Román Riquelme as Cardona twisted away from challenges and sprayed the ball around before cutting inside onto his right football to equalise.
With the score tied after 90 minutes, the friendly went to penalties and Guillermo Sara was decisive for Boca, saving twice as Cardona, Vergini and Chávez all converted.
There are likely to be a couple more than faces by the time the season begins and Boca still look the team to beat.