The best team won. Boca was the unquestionable champion, they totally closed down Santos' strikeforce and Santos never even looked
like they could score the goals they needed. 70 thousand people were present in the Morumbi for the proceedings.
The game began with Santos trying to apply pressure, but they didn't have much to show for it; Boca had layers upon layers of players defending, with very well-rehearsed counterstrikes; they clearly knew what they were doing. Bianchi knows his business. Truth be told, there was a bit of rough play from both sides, but both teams tried to play football – unfotunately, only one
really did it well.
Boca began the game focused on not giving Diego and Renato any space to create, to make sure that Robinho and Ricardo oliveira did not receive any service upfront.
Leao then shifted Fabiano to the right side to assist rightback Wellington, but he was unable to develop good plays there, despite all the running.
In the first 20 minutes Santos dominated the actions, especially beacuse Diego moved around with intelligence and distributed the game well, but the teritorial dominance was not translated into actual danger for Boca – the Argentineans defended themselves very well.
As time went by, Boca became more and more confortable with the game until they scored their 1st goal in the 2oth minute. :eekani: Diego Cagna delivered a long pass to Marcelo Delgado, who crossed for Battaglia inside the area, where he touched for Tevez – who scored.
With the duty of scoring three goals to at least reach the penalties, Santos lost their balance inside the pitch. Robinho started to commit mistakes, Ricardo Oliveira disappearing and with all this confusion Diego suddenly didn't have options to play with – Santos' young team clearly felt the blow. The best Santos players at this point were Leo and Diego, who tried to keep the team focused.
Leao took a chance and fielded Nene in the place of Wellington, at the 29th minute of the 1st half. Fabiano went to the rightback, and now Diego should have one more alternative for creation. But the substitution didn't really improve Santos' attacking power.
On the second half the Santistas came in with their hearts on the tip of their shoes, as we say it in Brazil.
But the only difference from the first half was that added willpower, the same offensive problems were evident and the well-organized Boca defense didn't seem to be having too many problems. Robinho went back to the midfield to try something, but far from the area the defenders simply clattered him down everytime he tried sprinting with the ball.
At the 75th minute Santos found a glimmer of hope when Alex hit the net with a violent long-distance shot and equalized. Needing two more goals to reach the penalties, Santos thrust forward with everything they had -- and committed the unforgivable mistake of abandoning their defense.
In the 83rd minute Fabiano lost a ball in midfield while the entire team was in attack, and in a quick counterattack Delgado – faced with the desperate goalkeeper Fabio Costa (who had advanced almost to the midfield line!) – shot the ball from where he was, and what do you know, without a keeper in its way it ended up inside the goal.
With the 2x1 on the scoreboard Santos was knocked out – if it were a boxing match, the ref would have declared it finished at that point. The fans began to leave the stadium while a few players still tried something inside the pitch.
And in the 94th minute Boca scored their third goal, with Schiavi scoring a penalty kick – after a Fabio Costa slide tackle that SHOULD have been awarded with the red card, but as the referee was a wimp Fabio got away with a yellow.
When I say "wimp" I'm not kidding: The referee was SUCH a spineless worm, Santos' captain Paulo Almeida actually took the yellow card from the ref's hand and showed the yellow card to the referee, mocking him - and Almeida wasn't sent off!!
I've never seen anything like this and I personally think Paulo Almeida deserves some punishment. And of course, the worm should never be called to referee any football match again.
After the game, while Boca's players celebrated, Diego rallied his teammates – some of which were crying on the pitch – telling them there was nothing to cry about, that only one could win the trophy and if they couldn't, there would be another day. Then Diego and Renato gathered the whole team in a circle and talked to them about how they couldn't do what was needed in that game but that everybody should be proud for what they had achieved – and then they all said a prayer.
This kid has a champion's spirit. Even in defeat, he keeps his head high.
Congratulations to the just champions.
And better luck next time for Santos.