Milan’s poor pre-season continues with a penalty shoot-out defeat at the hands of Boca Juniors. Following a heavy defeat to Bayern Munich the Italians were made to rue not scoring a second goal as the Argentine side hit back with a late equaliser and then won the spot-kick lottery.
Defender Thiago Silva had given Milan a 1-0 lead in the first-half, but they failed to build on it and Lucas Viatri grabbed an equaliser late on.
There was a lively start to the game as Milan looked keen to make up for the disappointment of Wednesday. Alexandre Pato, who had a rather pedestrian match against Bayern, looked impressive early on as Milan took the initiative in the first 10 minutes.
However, the first moment of danger arrived via Boca on 14 minutes after Pablo Mouche curled an effort just wide of the post from outside the Milan penalty area.
Another lapse in concentration from the Milan defence soon after allowed Nicolas Gaitan a shot, but it didn’t unduly trouble Marco Storari between the posts.
The Allianz Arena crowd were on their feet on 24 minutes thinking the first goal had arrived after Mouche curled an inviting cross in from the right that evaded the keeper and the defenders, but Guillermo Marino at the far post tried to lay the ball backwards rather than try a shot himself.
The South Americans were made to pay four minutes later when the Italians took the lead. A corner from the right was curled in and found Gennaro Gattuso, who laid the ball to Marco Boriello. His cross/shot fizzed goalwards and found the foot of centre-back Thiago Silva, who flicked the ball into the net.
Pato then had a narrow miss following a great piece of skill by Ronaldinho. Boca had a fantastic opportunity of their own five minutes before half-time when full-back Juan Krupoviesa forced a top save out of keeper Storari.
Veteran keeper Roberto Abbondanzieri had to be on his guard ten minutes into the second 45 to rush out and clear from Alexandre Pato after a sublime through-ball from fellow Brazilian Ronaldinho.
The introduction of Juan Roman Riquelme by Boca coach Alfio Basile injected a discernible urgency and pace to the Argentines' play as they looked to grab the equaliser.
Milan though should really have doubled their lead on 68 minutes but striker Boriello was a little too lax with his shot after Luca Antonini had cut the ball back to him after a storming run down the left-hand side. Pato then had a chance to make sure of the win on 77 minutes after Ronaldinho had skilfully played a ball through to him, but the youngster could only chip the ball over the advancing keeper and wide.
Milan were made to pay for their inability to put the result to bed on 87 minutes when Boca hit them with the equaliser. They kept knocking on the door and when Federico Insua dinked a cross in from the right, Lucas Viatri was on hand to head the ball back across goal and past a despairing Storari.
The match went straight to a penalty shoot-out to decide the winner. Martin Palermo, Ronaldinho and Riquelme scored the openers before Pirlo saw his effort saved.
Insua then missed to give Milan hope. Jankulovski, Battaglia, Thiago and Viatri all scored before it was decided in Boca’s favour when Pato saw his attempt saved by Abbondanzieri.
Mathew Burt, Goal.com