Friday, June 28, 2013

28 June 2001 - The Edge Of Experience

On 28 June 2001, Boca Juniors won their second consecutive Copa Libertadores--and fourth overall--beating Cruz Azul on penalties, 1-1 (3-1).

The Argentinians were in their sixth final, having won it in 1977, 1978, and 2000 and going to penalties in two of those. Cruz Azul, meanwhile, were in the final for the first time. They hosted the first leg in Mexico City, where, despite a partisan crowd of 115,000 at the Azteca, Boca Juniors won 0-1 with an 85th-minute goal from Marcelo Delgado.

But in the return leg at the Bombanera in Buenos Aires, Cruz Azul forward Juan Palencia scored in the 42nd minute to bring the sides level. That score held through extra-time to send the final to a penalty shootout.

There, Palencia scored with Cruz Azul's first attempt, but the three shooters that followed him all failed to convert, while Boca went three-of-four from the spot to clinch the trophy. Since then, they have returned to the final four more times, winning it in 2003 and 2007, while Cruz Azul have yet to make it back.

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