Boca Juniors overcame tricky Chilean opposition to qualify for the quarter-finals, after Juan Roman Riquelme delivers a magnificent performance to drive Los Xeneizes onwards.
Boca Juniors qualified for the quarter-finals following their 5-3 aggregate victory over their Chilean opposition.
Despite a rousing comeback from Espanola in the second half, two goals without reply from Juan Insaurralde and Pablo Mouche effectively killed the tie and Espanola were faced with a very difficult task.
Boca could have taken a one goal lead just thirty seconds into the match. Facundo Roncaglia sent a deep, bending cross from the right wing towards Pablo Mouche, who was completely unmarked, however, he headed over.
As the first half began to progress, Boca began to assert themselves and started to create openings.
Juan Roman Riquelme was back to his mercurial best, as he pulled strings from the centre of midfield from the first minute.
With twenty-five minutes on the clock, Boca took the lead. From a few yards outside the area, Riquelme struck a magnificent bending freekick low across the turf towards the back post, only for the ball to be met by Juan Insaurralde to knock the ball in. An assist of true class, invention and nous.
Union Espanola were particularly poor in the first half, especially considering their impressive performance in the first leg a week previous.
Emiliano Vecchio was by far and away Espanola’s most threatening player on the pitch, as he tested Agustin Orion on several occasions, bringing a good save from the Boca goalkeeper towards the end of the first half.
Just four minutes following the half time interval, Boca doubled their advantage and put themselves 4-1 up on aggregate. The ball was lumped forwards towards Roman, only for Jorge Ampuero to miscontrol on the edge of the box and allow Riquelme to collect the ball one on one and calmly bide his time, faking twice, before support arrived. The support arrived as Pablo Mouche, and Riquelme coolly played him in before the striker slotted past Ampuero and Currimilla covering on the goal line.
With 60 minutes played, Union Espanola did get a goal on the scoreboard. A ball was played deep into the Boca box from just inside the half, and flicked on by Oscar Jaime at the back post. This flick on was collected by substitute Jean Pineda, who finished superbly to bend the ball around the outstretched Orion into the far corner from almost the edge of the box.
Just nine minutes later, Boca reaffirmed their two-goal advantage as Juan Roman Riquelme scored a fanastic individual goal. Following an Espanola corner, Boca broke at lightning pace, leaving Mouche and Riquelme two on one in the Chilean’s half. Mouche eventually found Riquelme with a raking pass, but by this time, Espanola had men back covering. The Boca captain, however, simply faked to shoot twice as he ran across the box, and past Ampuero and Olarra before slotting past Eduardo Lobos. It was a brilliant goal and one that he deserved, following his level of performance throughout the game.
Nevertheless, the drama did not end there. Just one minute following the goal, Union Espanola were awarded a penalty following Insaurralde’s push on Emiliano Vecchio inside the area. Emanuel Herrera stepped up to take the penalty but saw his poorly hit saved and parried out by Orion. However, following up was Oscar Jaime to tap past the grounded Boca goalkeeper.
With time running out, Espanola continued to press but were unable to match Los Xeneizes over the course of the two legs. Boca will now face either Internacional or Fluminense, from the all-Brazilian last-16 tie.