4. ARGENTINA: Estudiantes stuns Boca in playoff
Last week, Boca Juniors coach Ricardo
La Volpe said he would be hanged if his team didn't win
Argentina's Torneo Apertura.
After Estudiantes stunned Boca, 2-1, in a playoff on Wednesday, La
Volpe did something less dramatic. He said he was quitting. The playoff
ended a stunning reversal late in the Argentine season and a short
tenure for the former Mexico national team coach as boss at Boca.
Boca losses to modest Belgrano and Lanus in the last two games of the
season allowed Estudiantes to erase a four-point deficit and earn a
single-game playoff at the Velez Sarsfield stadium. Boca led on a
third-minute goal by Martin Palermo,
but Estudiantes, coached by former Argentina star Diego Simeone, rallied to win on
goals by Jose Sosa on a free
kick in the 64th minute and Mariano
Pavone with a spectacular individual effort in the 85th minute.
La Volpe, who coached Mexico at this year's World Cup, returned to
September after playing and coaching in Mexico for 26 years. When he
Alfio Basile, who resigned to
take the Argentina national team coaching job, Boca was well on its way
to joining Racing Club and River Plate as the only squads in Argentine
history to win three league titles in a row.
Nothing went right for the volatile La Volpe, however. In his first
game in charge, Boca was held to a 0-0 tie at home by modest Godoy
Cruz, ending a streak of 12 successive
league wins. Boca later lost to archrival River Plate, 3-1.
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