Reuters Soccer Blog
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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.
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.
The above picture was the defining image of Argentina’s dramatic 2-1 victory over Peru in the rain on Saturday, and perhaps Diego Maradona’s tenure as national team coach to date.
For many in Argentina, Maradona’s reactions are indicative of an approach to the job that is too emotional.
Is Martin Palermo’s amazing winner for Boca Juniors on Sunday, a header from nearly 40 metres that bounced just once on the line of the six-yard box on its way into the net, worthy of an entry into the Guinness Book of records?
This is a question Argentines have been asking, while TV sports chat shows have been running footage of other remarkable goals and moments in the career of the 35-year-old striker.
The fact that Martin Palermo is Boca Juniors’s regular penalty taker speaks volumes about his strength of character.
Back in 1999, Palermo made international headlines for the wrong reasons when he missed three penalties for Argentina in their 3-0 Copa America defeat by Colombia. Yet, instead of hiding in his hotel room, Palermo came out and faced the media the next day, promising to get on with his career.