Boca Juniors were yet to concede a goal this season; Independiente had managed just one in their opening four games – all of which ended in defeat. Boca were 33 league games unbeaten under coach Julio Falcioni and sitting top of the league; Independiente didn’t have a coach after Ramon Diaz walked out last week, leaving them rock bottom.
The only parallel between the two was that both were so far disappointed by the form of their respective big name summer signings, but that was supposed to change on Sunday night when Independiente travelled to La Bombonera. Boca were going to give them a hammering, and $3m Santiago Silva was ready to finally get off the mark for his new club – he had even prepared his celebration.
But Independiente had failed to read the script. Instead, as Patricio Vidal would later reveal, they watched a motivational video as part of their pre-match preparation that included clips of the club’s famous past. And it seemed to have been worthwhile when they took the lead after just 30 seconds, Vidal capitalising an atypical error from veteran defender Rolando Schiavi to sweep his side into the lead.
Seven minutes later it was two thanks to an even more unusual error from the consistently excellent Agustin Orion in the Boca goal. Expecting Omar Ferrerya’s free-kick to go over the wall, Orion took two steps across his goal only to see the ball sail into the space he had freshly vacated.
Facundo Roncaglia pulled one back for Boca, but that other summer signing quickly restored Independiente’s lead. Ernesto Farias arrived to much fanfare in January and chose quite a night to finally get off the mark for his new club.
Boca rallied and pulled one back on the stroke of half-time through captain Juan Roman Riquelme. ‘Boca deserved to lose, Riquelme didn’t’ said Clarín. While his teammates were given 3’s and 4’s by sports daily Olé, Riquelme’s performance earned him a 9 out of 10.
Another from Roncaglia and a stooping header from substitute Pablo Ledesma left Boca leading 4-3 with fifteen minutes remaining, but once again individual errors would lead to their downfall. Having failed to deal with another deep set piece, the Boca defence lost the first and second ball, allowing Farias to nod home an equaliser with just a minute remaining.
Stoppage time would sum up the contrasting fortunes of Silva and Farias. Moments after ‘El Tanque’ Silva missed an open goal, the ball flying between his legs after he failed to sort his feet out in time to nudge in a winner from three yards, Farias latched onto a deep ball down the line, skipped past a lunging Schiavi, and chipped the most sumptuous of finishes over Orion to Independiente a 95th minute winner.
‘I always go onto the pitch believing I will score, but this is beyond anything I could have imagined,’ gushed Farias. ‘I will never forget this game, it was something special.’
And it would be a fine weekend all round in Avellaneda, as Racing also earned their first win of the season with a 3-0 victory over All Boys – Lucas Castro’s stunning hat-trick giving coach Alfio ‘Coco’ Basile his first win back with La Academia.
Arsenal also picked up their first, with Jorge Ortiz’ ferocious 20-yard strike enough to earn them all three points in Mendoza against Godoy Cruz, and so did Union, who beat Atletico Rafaela 2-0 in the Santa Fe Province.
Lanus slumped to their third straight defeat, going down 1-0 at Estudiantes, while Tigre took another small step towards safety with their fourth victory in a row, seeing off Banfield.
Gerardo Martino will believe his luck is starting to turn after his Newell’s side scored late goals in both halves to beat Colon in Santa Fe, Maxi Urruti grabbing the pick of the bunch. San Lorenzo picked up their second win on the road, coming from behind to dispatch Belgrano in Cordoba on Saturday night, after Argentinos Juniors were held at home by San Martin.
Velez rounded off round 5 with a 1-0 victory over Olimpo last night thanks to a misplaced Ivan Bella cross that sailed over visiting goalkeeper Matías Ibanez.
Goal of the Week: Lucas Castro (Racing Club)
Results and Goals