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By Rex Gowar in Buenos Aires
Boca Juniors, in their modern crisis that goes back a couple of years, cannot string three wins together.
Fans might have thought after two wins on the trot that the worst was behind them.
But there wasn’t a free kick in a good position for Juan Roman Riquelme to exploit so they lost 2-0 at Lanus.
It seems safe to say now that there would not have been two successive Boca wins if Riquelme hadn’t scored from two free kicks in a row.
Boca Juniors have two aces in their pack, one now firing on all cylinders, the other in one of his worst slumps during his final season before retiring.
River Plate have a new ace at the lower end of the age scale who is growing in confidence, cheek and sheer skill.
Losing the player voted best of the Apertura championship in the first half of the season to an injury that will keep him out for the whole of the Clausura seemed to dash any hopes Racing Club had of the Argentine title.
As with Boca Juniors’ loss of Juan Roman Riquelme to injury in the Apertura, so Racing feared the worst when Colombian Giovanni Moreno damaged knee ligaments in their opening match.
Boca Juniors can’t escape the spotlight after another defeat, 1-0 at Velez Sarsfield on Sunday.
The big question surrounding coach Julio Cesar Falcioni’s team is whether he should continue to pick striker Martin Palermo when he can only count on one half of a brilliant, but aging double act that helped Boca win a string of trophies.
Rex Gowar in Argentina on how Boca’s fans turned on their team.
Bewildered Boca Juniors, their promising wins in mid-season friendlies a distant memory, are grappling with tactics that led to fans turning against them during Saturday’s 0-0 draw at home to modest All Boys.
Chants of “Riquelme, Riquelme” rang down from the stands in the packed Bombonera during Saturday’s miserable performance from fans who had welcomed the appointment as coach last month of Julio Cesar Falcioni.
Rex Gowar in Buenos Aries on a tough decision taken by Boca Juniors’ new coach.
Boca Juniors coach Julio Cesar Falcioni has taken a brave decision leaving Juan Roman Riquelme out of his team for this Saturday’s home match against modest All Boys.
Boca lost 4-1 at home to Godoy Cruz in their Clausura championship opener two weeks ago with Riquelme in the team and won 1-0 at Racing Club last weekend without him.
However, to focus solely on the results is to oversimplify a serious problem for any coach in charge of a squad that includes a gifted player like Riquelme and more so if he is at Boca and even more still if he is new.