Boca Into Club World Cup FinalBy: Martha | December 12th, 2007
No matter how Etoile Sportive du Sahal perform in the third place game later this week, the tiny Tunisian club will leave the World Club Cup with the heads held high, having knocked off Mexico’s Pachua and given the mighty Boca Juniors all they could handle in losing 1-0 today to the Argentine giants. The lone Boca goal was scored by Neri Cardozo in the first half, and they made it stand up through a tight second half, during which Fabian Vargas was sent off for a second yellow, forcing his team to play the final 25 minutes a man down.
Despite the vast gulf between the clubs — from experience to resources to level of competition at home — the statistics for the match are strikingly even, with possession equally divided (helped, surely, by Boca going down to 10 men), and Etoile actually having five shots on goal to Boca’s two, but failed to take advantage of their few clear-cut chances. There was no shame in the Tunisian camp, though: Coach Bertrand Marchand described the match as “one of the best games we’ve ever played,” and was clearly thrilled to bits to have gone toe to toe with one of the world’s biggest clubs and more than survived. (If you don’t use a Mac, there are highlights here, and our Tunisia blogger Rami is all over the match, as usual.)
The result means half of the widely anticipated Boca-Milan final is in place, with Milan facing Urawa Reds in the other semifinal tomorrow morning.