Boca Juniors slip to defeat against Godoy Cruz & Rosario Central beat Lanús on penalties in preseason (VIDEO)

Despite handing Julio Buffarini and Emmanuel Mas their debuts, Guillermo Barros Schelotto will not have been too impressed by his largely second-string Boca Juniors side in their 3-2 defeat to Godoy Cruz in Mendoza.

Cristian Espinoza clattered the crossbar in the opening stages but Boca quickly fell flat and Godoy Cruz sensed weakness in the central defensive pairing of Santiago Vergini and youngster Agustín Heredia.

A long, diagonal ball over the top found centre forward Santiago García, who was given too much space by Vergini, but still controlled the ball deftly on his chest before rifling it past Guillermo Sara for the opener.

Boca’s vulnerability was further exposed shortly after when García’s cross from the right found its way through to Felipe Rodríguez and although Sara kept out the initial effort the ball was eventually forced over the line by Juan Garro.

If there was one Boca player who didn’t harm his chances it was youngster Gonzalo Maroni and the gifted midfielder latched onto Emmanuel Mas’ cutback to reduce the deficit before half time.

The Superliga leaders were improved after the break and perhaps could have been level but it was instead Godoy Cruz who extended their lead after 67 minutes, Fabrizio Angileri poking in at a poorly defended corner.

Walter Bou pulled a goal back but Boca were unable to find an equaliser. Guillermo Barros Schelotto now looks ahead to next weekend’s superclásico in Mar del Plata and will be keen to unleash a far stronger side.

 

Earlier, Rosario Central eventually prevailed against Lanús after a 1-1 draw required a drawn out penalty shootout to separate the two sides.

A typical early preseason encounter that lacked accuracy and fitness ended all square thanks to Marco Ruben’s close range finish cancelling out Tomás Belmonte’s second half opener for Lanús.

With players successfully scoring from the spot, the shootout went to sudden-death and once youngster Nicolás Thaller saw his effort saved by Jeremías Ledesma it was left to Andrés Lioi to tuck away the decisive effort and an 8-7 victory.

Both sides are some way off where they would like to be before the Superliga restart – the loss of a number of key players has already left Lanús a shadow of the team that reached the Copa Libertadores final and Ezequiel Carboni has plenty of work to do with what is left while Central still look a little short. The positive for El Canalla was Néstor Ortigoza’s contribution in midfield behind what should be a decent front two in Ruben and Zampedri.

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