Boca Juniors won the Maradona Cup by defeating on penalties Barcelona in a friendly match played on Tuesday at the Mirssol stadium, in Riyadh, in which the trophy in tribute to the Argentine soccer star was at stake Diego Maradona, died just over a year ago.
In regulation time, which ended 1-1, Ferran Jutglá He opened the account for Barcelona at 59 minutes with an impeccable turnaround and Exequiel Zeballos (76) tied for the ‘xeneizes’.
In the penalty shootout, Marcos Rojo, Carlos Izquierdoz, Cristian Pavón and Aaron Molinas scored for Boca, while for Barcelona Dani Alves and Ferran Jutglá scored. The goalkeeper of the Argentine eleven, Agustín Rossi, stopped Matheus Pereira’s shot and Guillem Jaime sent his shot wide.
Xavi Hernandez, the coach of the Blaugrana team, took to the field with an alternative formation in which the experienced Brazilian full-back stood out Dani Alves, 38, who was playing the first game in his second cycle at Barça
For his part, Sebastián Battaglia, Boca’s technical director, had his best men available for the friendly.
The start of the duel was slightly favorable to the Catalan team, based on the pressure at the start and quick attacks, such as the one led by the young midfielder Riqui Puig at 6 minutes who ended up deflecting his shot. Over twenty minutes it was Dani Alves who tried from medium distance and forced a stretch from goalkeeper Agustín Rossi.
Beyond a certain slowness in his movements, Boca began to equalize the development and at 28 minutes he had a good chance in a long ball that took the Spanish rear by surprise, and the Colombian Sebastián Villa escaped to the left but finished off wide.
Barcelona, with some individual sparks, was again close to taking the lead in a fast combination between Puig and Serginho Dest, who finished forced to the near post, and then it was Coutinho who hammered down the center and shot with power, but his right hand went near the angle of the Argentine fence.
At the beginning of the second half came the opening, with a powerful half-round shot from Jutglá after a hand from Coutinho in the previous action that was not warned by the referee.
The disadvantage spurred Boca, who was in search of the equalizer and quickly came close to equalizing in a ‘robbery’ of Villa in an exit from the bottom of Barcelona, but the goalkeeper Neto anticipated in the exit and covered the auction when the Colombian had the tie.
Ostensibly improved the Argentine team with the income of the youth Zeballos, Alan Varela and Aaron Molinas, who gave more dynamics to the attack, with faster touches and a change of speed that bothered a Barcelona that gave up control.
A center that the ‘Pulpo’ González headed inches from the right post and a free kick by Marcos Rojo that Neto contained in two halves were the warnings that Boca gave before the tie, which came in a fast play from right to left, where Fabra found space to overflow and send the center for the definition of Zeballos before the dewatering of Neto.
Boca ended up leaving a better image in the last section, although the tie was good for an even duel, which led to the definition from eleven meters, where the Argentines showed greater efficiency.
The tribute to Diego Maradona It was attended by Dalma and Giannina Maradona, daughters of the legendary former player who died on November 25, 2020 at age 60, and Claudia Villafañe, his first wife.