Humor me for a moment, will you? I know everyone here is still guzzling the Euro 2012 koolaid, but I feel an obligation to keep you informed about other ongoing soccer tournaments. Perhaps you’re starting to burn out on the Euros and need a break from the racist chants, flares, and unspellable names. Um, well, Tango Ball still has racist chants and flares, but most of the names are reasonably spellable.
Besides, this thing is almost over, and I’m itching to be done with it. Let’s get to the action.
Looking Back: Despite a flavorless draw with Banfield, Boca has a stranglehold on this tournament. They’ve got a one point lead with six points up for grabs. But the big win from last weekend goes to Tigre, who defeated San Lorenzo 3-1. Tigre is now in 2nd place, currently out of the relegation zone, and they’ve practically doomed San Lorenzo to play the Promoción relegation playoffs. Well done, Tigre.
Your golden boot frontrunner is still Carlos “Chino” Luna, with ten. I think he’s got this contest all sewn up.
Midweek Gossip and Other Nonsense: I hate to talk about Boca any more than absolutely necessary, but I’m obligated to give Julio César “the Emperor” Falcioni his due as manager of los bosteros. Not only is Boca on pace to repeat as league champions, but they could potentially win 4 titles this season. I don’t think an Argentine club has done that in many a year. Boca won the Apertura title in December, is very close to winning this Clausura title, has a spot in the Copa Argentina final, and last night they beat U de Chile 2-0 in the Copa Libertadores semifinal. For a defensive team like Boca, that’s practically a passport to the Copa Libertadores final. As a Boca hater, all of this really blows. For Boca fans, however, this goes a long way towards forgetting about the glory days of Carlos Bianchi in the late 90s.
Happy trails to Gabriel “Field Marshall” Milito, who announced his retirement earlier this week. The central defender and brother of Inter Milan striker Diego Milito made a name for himself at Independiente, then moved to La Liga, where he played for Real Zaragoza and Barcelona, where he played a bit part in Pep Guardiola’s campaign to win every club title under the sun. He spent a good while struggling to recover from a knee injury, but was a fixture in Argentina’s defense during the early half of the last decade. He’s retiring at Independiente after 15 seasons as a pro.
Looking Forward: There’s no doubt that the match of the week is Boca v. Arsenal on Sunday evening. But keep an eye on the Newell’s and Tigre results. To clinch the title with a week to spare, Boca needs to beat Arsenal and hope both Tigre and Newell’s lose. They’ll have the benefit of knowing both of those team’s results going into the match Sunday. I kinda doubt it will happen this week. Arsenal could play the spoiler and beat Boca, which would throw the whole tournament wide open for the final week. I would love to see that.