Copa Libertadores: Boca Juniors Disgraced Chivas Advances Match Suspended as Crowd Riots
BUENOS AIRES Argentina (AP) - Guadalajara goalkeeper Jesus Corona made several saves Tuesday night to help Chivas draw 0-0 with Boca Juniors and advance to the semifinals of the Copa Libertadores after the match was suspended because of a rowdy crowd.
Chivas won the first leg of the quarterfinal tie 4-0 and Boca was desperate to score goals to try to catch up on aggregate. With no scoring in the first half Boca was increasingly frantic in the second period.
Around the 75th minute Chivas' Adolfo Bautista was hauled down from behind on a counterattack. In response Bautista then taunted his opponents with hand gestures indicating Guadalajara's 4-0 advantage.
Boca's Martin Palermo was enraged at Bautista and took a swipe at him after the play. Palermo was immediately issued a red card and furiously argued with Uruguayan referee Martin Vazquez before continuing to chase after Bautista and then head-butting him in the back of his head. Bautista was also ejected.
Shortly afterward as Bautista was being escorted off the field by police in riot gear fans started to throw objects at him with some bouncing off the police shields.
A spectator dressed in a bright yellow replica jersey came onto the field and tried to throw a punch at Bautista. The surprised police then turned their attention to the fan who dashed to the sideline and tried to climb over the barrier back into the stands. Two other fans perched atop the barrier that surrounds the outer rim of the field helped pull the man back over.
Both teams and the referees retreated to midfield as some of the rowdy fans in the cramped stadium nicknamed Bombonera - Spanish for candy box - began to pelt the field with debris.
After a lengthy delay play looked like it was going to resume as Corona put the ball down for a free kick. But as Corona stepped up to kick the ball back into play he was pelted with various objects from the crowd and instead Vazquez blew his whistle and pointed to midfield signifying the end of the match.
In the semifinals Chivas will play the winner of the quarterfinal matchup between two Brazilian squads Santos and Atletico Paranaense. Atletico Paranaense won the first leg 3-2.
As for Boca Juniors the 2003 champion and last year's runner up in the premier Latin American club tournament the result was another disappointment. Boca's chances of qualifying for next year's Copa Liberatdores are also in jeopardy after the team stumbled in Argentina's first-division season.
While Chivas seemed content to play defense from the start Boca came close to scoring early on. Guillermo Barros Schelotto whisked past Chivas defenders and unleashed a powerful left-footed shot that Corona just managed to bat away in the 20th minute. Moments later Palermo headed a shot that hit the crossbar and Corona smothered the rebound.
Corona was by far the top performer of the night making several stellar saves and punching away crosses close to the goal.
CHIVAS: Jesus Corona Hector Reynoso Johnny Garc?a Francisco Rodr?guez Rafael Medina Manuel Sol Juan Pablo Alfaro Ramon Morales Adolfo Bautista Omar Bravo (Alberto Medina 45) Francisco Palencia. Coach: Benjamin Galindo.
BOCA JUNIORS: Roberto Abbondanzieri Baiano (Rodrigo Palacio 62) Rolando Schiavi Morel Rodriguez Gerardo Bedoya Diego Cagna Alfredo Cascini Fabian Vargas (Andres Guglielminpietro 45) Marcelo Delgado Guillermo Barros Schelotto Martin Palermo. Coach: Jorge Benitez.
Referee: Martin Vazquez (Uruguay).