Racing shocked in shootout loss

Boca Unidos booked their ticket to a round of 16 clash with Atletico Tucuman after their shock penalty shootout win over Racing Club on Sunday in the Copa Argentina.

Racing Club de Avellaneda were not taking their third division opponents, Boca Unidos, lightly fielding a full strength squad led by the captain Licha Lopez.

Licha leads out Racing

Racing have never won the Copa Argentina, making both the finals and semi final but also suffering humiliating defeats to Tristian Suarez and Sarmiento since the Cup was reintroduced in 2011.

Racing started the better of the two sides, but they looked rusty with players second guessing themselves in their passing and their runs. A prime example was the newly returned Pulpo Gonzalez who abandoned an inch perfect run when he thought he was offside.

The Racing goal was kept quiet, as the Corrientes outfit, rarely ventured out of their own half and when they did the Racing defenders were equal to it, showing none of the rust of the forwards, especially Donatti who was dominant when called upon.

The best chance of the first half fell to the experienced Dario Cvitanich, who directed a perfect cross on goal, only to see it blocked by a last ditch piece of defending that would bring a tear to the eye of John Terry.

The story of the game for many fans, however, will be the abysmal weather, which did little to dampen the spirits or the teams or fans, but did leave those watching at home without pictures throughout the contest.

The second half was much of the same as the first, Racing totally dominant, with no end product against the very disciplined Boca, obviously playing for a 90 minute draw and penalties.

Racing’s best second half chance came from a tidy piece of interplay on the right wing between Solari and Pillud, but Cvitanich was unable to direct his header on goal and it bobbled harmlessly wide the post of Acquino.

With just under 20 minutes left in the game, David Barbona replaced Solari, the new signing wasted no time in showing the Racing fans what he can do with a great individual run down the right and a perfect low cross that just needed a touch to produce a goal, but the deadlock was yet to be broken.

Boca Unidos had their best chance of the game shortly after, a cross from the right flank found Fabro who slightly scuffed his shot from the edge of the area but still forced a fine save from the Chilean number one, Gaby Arias.

As the rain relented in the dying minutes, Racing’s effort did not, with more attacks down the right flank being met with wayward headers to the frustration of Licha and Racing manager Coudet.

Boca Unidos, dug deep, playing far outside their Federal A position and bucking their recent form, but left themselves exposed for counter attacks that Racing failed to capitalise on. Acquino had a man of the match worthy game in the Boca goal, but his job was helped by Racing players failing to hit the target, especially in crunch time.

As the final whistle blew the Boca players and staff hugged and congratulated one another, knowing they had taken the champions of Argentina to a penalty shootout whilst the Racing players looked furious.

Both sides made their first two penalties, all well taken despite a penalty spot that had become a waterlogged muddy ditch. Racing’s third penalty, taken by new signing Barbona was a well struck but poorly aimed effort at the perfect height for Acquino to save.

Arias would erase Boca’s advantage with a fine save from Fabro to keep the shootout tied at two. Both sides would score their next efforts, a powerful effort from Pillud whilst Morales found the roof of the net.

Dario Cvitanich was next up for Racing but his aim was off and he put it high over the top corner he was aiming at. Vizcarra had the chance to seal the win for Boca but once again Arias would be the hero and send the shootout to sudden-death.

Another experienced Racing player stepped up, midfielder, Chelo Diaz. He didn’t look comfortable and had struggled all game. Diaz blazed his penalty high over the bar looking at the penalty spot in disgust as he did so.

Fernando Alloco stepped up and made no mistakes with his penalty, eliminating Racing and sending his teammates into rapture, a night that will go down in Giant Killing history.

Racing Club (4-3-1-2) – Arias; Pillud, Sigali, Donatti, Soto; Solari (Barbona), Diaz, Gonzalez (Rojas); Zaracho; Cvitanich, Lopez

Manager: Eduardo Coudet

Boca Unidos (4-2-3-1) – Acquino; Godoy (Alloco), Ricardone, Morales, Baroni; Ojeda, Espindola; Benitez, Fabro, Medina (Vizcarra); Morales

Manager: Daniel Teglia.

Referee: Hernán Mastrángelo

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