MELBOURNE AUSTRALIA - JULY 16: Boca Juniors fans celebrate during the pre-season International Friendly between Melbourne Victory and Argentina's Boca Juniors at Etihad Stadium on July 16 2010 in Melbourne Australia. (Photo by Robert Prezioso/Getty Images)

Boca Juniors Vs. River Plate, 2011 Super Clasico: Boca Wins 2-0

The 2011 Clausura's Super Clasico is here, as Boca Juniors host River Plate at La Bombonera. Elsewhere, San Lorenzo and Argentinos Juniors face off in an important clash, while leaders Velez Sarsfield take on Lanus.

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Boca Juniors Vs. River Plate, 2011 Super Clasico: Boca Wins 2-0

Tonight at La Bombonera, River Plate lost the 2011 Clausura's Super Clasico by a score of 2-0, and it was about as big of a gut punch as a loss can possibly be. They lost to their biggest rivals, they were the better team on the night, they took themselves out of the title race, and they put themselves back into the relegation race. Does that sound like the worst loss ever or what?

Both goals were scored in the first half, both came off set pieces, and both were incredibly lucky. The first was an own goal, deflected in off the leg of Juan Carrizo, and the second was a looping header by Martin Palermo. River defender Jonathan Maidana was substituted off for an injury in the 22nd minute, and Boca immediately took advantage of his absence.

River weren't nearly as good in the second half as they were the first, as it appeared that Boca's goals seriously sucked some life out of them, but they were still the better side. Regardless, the goal never came, and River have to endure both the stomach punch that is losing to Boca and a slide towards the relegation playoffs.


Boca Juniors Vs. River Plate, 2011 Super Clasico: 2-0 Halftime

River Plate have dominated the first half of their game against River Plate, but they somehow find themselves down 2-0 thanks to some bad luck and some bad goalkeeping. River were on the front foot for the entirety of the first half, but Boca finished the couple of rare opportunities that they were given on set piece, while River have not been able to capitalize on the fact that they've been in great attacking positions much more often than their opponents.

Setting the tone for the kind of luck River would get throughout the game, they were denied a clear penalty early on, when striker Rogelio Funes Mori was pushed in the back in the box by Juan Insaurralde, but no penalty was given.

The first goal was an odd own goal by River goalkeeper Juan Carrizo, deflected in off of him after a scramble in the box. It's like that Carrizo had no idea where the ball was, and the goal was the product of equal parts hard work and good luck for Boca. Their second goal came in similar fashion, with Martin Palermo hitting a header over Carrizo and into the back of the net following a free kick.

Jonathan Maidana had to come off injured for River, and it's had a serious impact on the game, as he would have likely helped with set piece defense. That's the only way Boca have been able to create, as Juan Roman Riquelme's influence has been minimal. Erik Lamela has had plenty of time on the ball for River, but it's been a very up and down day at the office so far. If River are going to get a result out of this game, it's time for him to decide that he has what it takes to take over a big game.


Boca Juniors Vs. River Plate, 2011 Super Clasico: Boca Scores Quick Double, Goes Up 2-0

Boca Juniors have scored a quick double, and after 32 minutes of play they're now up 2-0 on River Plate in the Super Clasico. Both goals have come off set pieces, partially indicating the severity of the loss of Jonathan Maidana to injury. Both have been off scrambles and slightly lucky bounces, but it doesn't matter how you score them. What matters is that Boca is 2-0 up on the scoreboard.

The first goal was scored in the 28th minute and created off of a Pablo Mouche corner kick. Luciano Monzon and others fought for the ball in the box, but it was a River player who put the ball into the back of the net. During the scramble, River goalkeeper Juan Carrizo somehow forced the ball into his own net after an odd couple of deflections, giving Boca a 1-0 lead.

They would double that lead four minutes later, with Martin Palermo applying the finish. Following a free kick that was cleared out of the box, the ball was sent back in and eventually ended up on the head of Palermo, who looped his header over Carrizo and into the back of the net. It was Palermo's 304th career professional goal, over 200 of which were scored with Boca.


Boca Juniors Vs. River Plate, 2011 Super Clasico: Los Millonarios Denied Clear Penalty

It's still 0-0 in the Super Clasico after 25 minutes, but it's not looking like River Plate's day so far. They have been the more aggressive side to start the match, but they've also been the more unlucky side. In the 19th minute, Boca Juniors defender Juan Insaurralde pushed Rogelio Funes Mori in the back in the penalty area, causing Mori to go down. The referee did not see the contact, and as a result, didn't grant a penalty.

Things got worse a few minutes later when River defender Jonathan Maidana decided that he could not continue after picking up an injury, and 19-year-old Leandro Gonzalez Pires was substituted into the match in his place. The good news is, this is certainly not a situation where everything has gone wrong. Boca haven't scored a goal yet, and if they did, it would be a bit against the run of play. River have been the more assertive team and could use a bounce or two going their way.


Boca Juniors Vs. River Plate, 2011 Super Clasico: Lineups

Huge matches like the Super Clasico often end up as relatively dull affairs where both teams are too afraid to lose to commit men forward, but the lineups that Boca Juniors and River Plate have selected for this match indicate that both teams are going out to attack. River are, interestingly enough, in two battles this season, and they need a win to both stay well clear of the relegation zone and stay among the title contenders. Boca don't have much to play for other than pride, but in front of the home crowd at La Bombonera in the Super Clasico, pride is enough. Here are the lineups.

Boca Juniors lineup (4-3-1-2): Lucchetti; Carruzo, Rodriguez, Insaurralde, Monzon; Somoza, Chavez, Colazo; Riquelme, Palermo, Mouche

Substitutes: Garcia, Calvo, Sauro, Erviti, Mazzola, Viatri, Noir

River Plate lineup (3-4-1-2): Carrizo; Maidana, Roman, Ferrero; Ferrari, Acevedo, Almeyda, Pereyra; Lamela; Pavone, Mori

Substitutes: Chichizola; Arano, Pirez, Ballon, Caruso, Cirigliano, Lanzini

Kickoff is at 3 pm ET from La Bombonera.


Boca Juniors Vs. River Plate, 2011 Super Clasico: Los Millonarios In Relegation Fight

In Argentina, teams are relegated based on a coefficient system that takes three years of results into account, much like the Mexican Primera. This allows giants like River Plate to do some financial and squad rebuilding and have one bad year without risking their status as a top flight club. River took advantage of this system and has played themselves out of the drop zone over the last year, but the danger of the drop still exists.

Thanks to Olimpio's form and Gimnasia La Plata's big win on Saturday, big clubs like River and Independiente are sweating bullets. If River wants to stay clear of the relegation playoffs, a win over Boca Juniors in Sunday's Super Clasico would go a long way towards helping them achieve that goal. 

River are ahead of Olimpio by less than two tenths of a point. Tonight, after the Super Clasico, Olimpio takes on Independiente, who are on the same coefficient as River, in a massive relegation six pointer. If that match ends in a draw or Olimpio pulls off a win, River will be back in hot water if they do anything but defeat Boca. 


Argentine Primera Division, Clausura 2011, Round 14 Preview: River Plate And Boca Juniors Contest Super Clasico

This week's fixture list in the Argentine Primera is possibly the best of the season, and not just because it features the Super Clasico. Yes, the highlight of the weekend is Boca Juniors hosting River Plate at La Bombonera, but there are great games all across Argentina. And with the table being as tight as it is, there are a bunch of games with possible title and continental implications.

San Lorenzo Vs. Argentinos Juniors

Saturday, 3:10 pm ET

Sitting in sixth place in the league, San Lorenzo has been quietly consistent. Their results don't indicate a possible title run is in the cards - especially their 3-0 loss to Velez - but they're a quality enough side to provide a threat to anyone. Argentinos are in a similar boat, but they're going about it in a different way. San Lorenzo are a very balanced team, where as Argentinos are all about their defense. With only 10 goals scored and seven allowed for Argentinos, the first goal will likely be huge in this match.

Boca Juniors Vs. River Plate

Sunday, 3:00 pm ET

With Juan Roman Riquelme back to fitness and Martin Palermo back to form, this sets up to be a fantastic Super Clasico. River Plate are five points off the lead in the Primera, and anything less than a win against their hated rivals might take them out of the title race. River fell off a bit last week with a surprising 2-0 home loss to All Boys, as they were possibly caught looking ahead to this week, but they're a much more talented team than they showed in that game. Young star Erik Lamela will cause problems for Boca, and striker Mariano Pavone is in solid form.

Olimpio Vs. Independiente

Sunday, 5:10 pm ET

Got to have time for 10 minutes of commercials after the Super Clasico! Olimpio are perhaps this season's most surprising title contender, and they're doing it playing entertaining football. Their attack has been great, but their defense is suspect. Independiente are sitting in 14th place and have seriously underachieved in recent tournaments in Argentina, but they have a group of dangerous players who can exploit Olimpio's suspect defense and force an upset.

Lanus Vs. Velez Sarsfield

Sunday, 7:20 pm ET

After winning on Monday against Banfield and on Thursday against Libertad, both games without Santiago Silva, Velez have to be feeling very confident in their depth and their ability to win tough games without their best team available. Maxi Moralez is in absolutely stunning form, and he will be the focus of Lanus's defense. Lanus haven't lost since March 19th and have some impressive wins, so this is not a game that Velez should take lightly, especially without Santiago Silva being fit. If fixture congestion gets to Velez and Lanus pulls off an upset win, it could blow the title race wide open.

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