Boca Juniors have reached the final of the first edition of the Diego Maradona Cup, after topping their group with a 2-2 draw against another of the Argentine’s former clubs, Argentinos Juniors.
The 2020 Copa de la Liga Profesional, or officially named Copa Diego Armando Maradona, is a domestic cup contested by the 24 teams in Argentina’s Premera Division. It was formed as a contingency competition to replace the league, as coronavirus complications delayed the congested schedule.
And Boca now find themselves in the final of this new tournament after topping Group A, fending off rivals River Plate by a single point, which they earned in a 2-2 draw with Argentinos on Saturday night.
The Argentinian giants fell behind after 10 minutes, when Diego Sosa crashed home a super first-time strike to break the deadlock. Ex-West Ham United man Mauro Zarate soon equalised for the visitors, however, side-footing a volley beyond the goalkeeper.
Ramon Abila then had the opportunity to put Boca ahead, when his side were awarded a penalty for a handball offence in the box. But the captain missed the resulting spot-kick, slipping as he ran up to the ball and sending his effort high over the crossbar.
His misery later turned to joy however, as he found himself clean through on goal, rounded the goalkeeper, sat down a recovering defender and placed the ball into an empty net.
Argentinos got the Boca nerves jangling with three minutes to play, when Fausto Vera crashed a brilliant long-range strike into the bottom corner, pulling the hosts level. Boca held out for the draw though, thus confirming their place in the final, where they will play the winner of Group B, which is still to be decided.
It’ll be a huge honour for any team to win the coveted and debuting Diego Maradona Cup, and there may be no more fitting a winner than his old side, Boca.