Boca Juniors and Palmeiras face each other for the fourth time in the knockout stages of the Copa Libertadores. The Argentine team has a favorable record, as they eliminated Palmeiras in the previous 3 encounters in 2000 (final), 2001, and 2018 (semifinal).
In the current Libertadores clash, the Brazilian team is the favorite, and despite being dominated by Boca Juniors at the Bombonera, they managed to secure a good result in Argentina, a 0-0 draw. Next week, Palmeiras will decide the showdown in front of their fans at the Allianz Parque.
Photo: Cesar Greco/Palmeiras
Boca Juniors started: Romero; Advíncula, Figal, Rojo (Valentini), Fabra; Medina, Pol Fernández (Campuzano), Equi Fernández (Zeballos), Barco (Janson); Merentiel (Benedetto) e Cavani.
While Palmeiras started the match with: Weverton; Marcos Rocha, Gómez, Murilo e Piquerez; Zé Rafael (Fabinho), Gabriel Menino (Richard Ríos) e Raphael Veiga; Mayke (Breno Lopes), Rony (Endrick) e Artur (Luis Guilherme).
Boca Juniors 0x0 Palmeiras
With the Bombonera packed and pulsating, the home team was driven by their fans throughout the game, but it was Palmeiras who created the first dangerous opportunity. At the 4th minute, Gabriel Menino crossed to Artur behind Fabra, the forward controlled it towards the middle of the box and took a left-footed shot, but the ball hit the net from the outside.
At the 15th minute, Barco took a free-kick on the left wing. In a lightning-quick move, Cavani anticipated between the defenders and headed dangerously, but the ball went wide.
At the 17th minute, Piquerez made a mistake in the ball’s exit, Cavani regained possession and passed to Medina. Boca Juniors’ young midfielder tried to take a shot, but was blocked by Gustavo Gómez, and Weverton made the save with his left hand.
At the 29th minute, on a breakout down the left wing, Barco delivered a perfect cross to Merentiel. The center-forward took a right-footed shot, and the ball grazed the post.
At the 41st minute, Merentiel was sent through behind Palmeiras’ defense, entered the box, and took a powerful low shot. Weverton made a two-stage save.
At the 44th minute, Boca executed a good team play. Advíncula moved down the right wing and crossed to Merentiel. The striker set it up for Barco inside the box, all alone, but the young player skied the ball.
At the 46th minute, Advíncula crossed into the box, Cavani won the duel against Gustavo Gómez and headed, posing a great threat. The ball narrowly missed the post.
Photo: Cesar Greco/Palmeiras
In the first half, Palmeiras relied heavily on long balls and watched Boca create better opportunities. Abel Ferreira’s team was fortunate to head into the Bombonera dressing room with a 0-0 score. The squad had a lot of difficulty holding onto the ball in the attacking sector and attempted their plays with long passes, also without success.
On the other hand, Boca had a good first half, managing to exploit the flanks with Advíncula and Barco. They had a total of eleven shots in the first half.
In the 2nd minute of the second half, Rony managed to switch the play to Mayke, who dribbled past Fabra and faced Romero one-on-one. Barco made an excellent recovery run and dispossessed the full-back.
At the 10th minute, Marcos Rocha delivered a sublime pass to Raphael Veiga. The midfielder entered the area with some freedom but skewed his shot wide.
At the 13th minute, the best chance of the match occurred. Advíncula crossed, the ball bounced in front of Marcos Rocha, and Fabra headed in the small box. Weverton pulled off a miracle save, and on the rebound, Marcos Rocha had the ball under control inside the area and was pushed by Fabra. Merentiel took advantage and found the back of the net. However, Wilmar Roldan signaled for a foul by the Colombian full-back.
At the 23rd minute, Barco made a good individual play on the left side and took a shot. In a ball that seemed routine, Weverton parried it into the middle of the area, Cavani tried on the rebound but couldn’t connect cleanly.
Given the way the game played out, Palmeiras secured a good result to decide at home, alongside their fans, while Boca regrets not being able to score at least one goal.
Photo: Daniel Jayo/Getty Images
Written by Henry Miller.