Coming into this Copa Libertadores, River Plate looked like Argentina's best hope to capture the title and perhaps the big favorite, period. They're off this week, but on the evidence of Boca Juniors' performance, there's more than one Buenos Aires side with an excellent chance of becoming champions of South America this year.
They impressed, while São Paulo certainly did not. Wednesday's big Clássico Majestoso between the Tricolor and Corinthians was a bit of a letdown, with Timão breezing past their rivals. The midfield of Ralf and Elias is going to be tough to break through for a lot of teams in this Libertadores.
We also got to see some bad goalkeeping elsewhere, while fans of Mexican football finally got some reason to hope they'll see a Liga MX side do something in this tournament. Here's what we saw in Wednesday's five games.
Boca are off to a great start
There are a lot of ingredients we'd ideally like Copa Libertadores contenders to have, and Boca Juniors seem to have all of them. They're deep, they have a good mix of youth and experience, they have some star players who have won trophies, they're strongest in the center of midfield and they've just demonstrated that they can grind out away results when they're not at their best.
Boca let Palestino have some chances early on in their match, but they weathered the storm, came back into the match and were in control once they took the lead in the 38th minute. And they're probably going to cruise to first place in their group, since Wanderers and Zamora got a bunch of guys suspended with their 5 red card spree on Tuesday.
Corinthians have São Paulo's number
For the third time in a row, São Paulo have failed to beat Corinthians in a Clássico Majestoso. The last time the Tricolor beat their local rivals was in March of last year, when they beat Corinthians in a Paulista match. Corinthians won their home Brasileirão match against São Paulo, drew away, and comfortably won 2-0 on Wednesday night.
Despite fielding the bigger names and arguably more potent goal-scoring talent, São Paulo were on the back foot from the start and struggled to get possession in the early part of the match. The combination between Jadson and Elias for the opener was excellent, and Cassio was never forced into a big save. This was way too easy for Corinthians.
This was really disappoint from the Tricolor, and they'll need much better to get points off Danubio or San Lorenzo. They hardly showed up for this one.
Our favorite goal of the night comes from Colo-Colo
Okay, so this is pretty bad from Atletico Mineiro goalkeeper Victor. But still, it takes some audacity to even try this, and there was some crazy swerve on Felipe Flores' shot.
Colo-Colo, by the way, are red hot. This was their fifth straight win in all competitions, as they'd won four straight in Chile coming into this match.
Sporting Cristal throw away two points
First, the good news. There's no such thing as a bad away draw in Copa Libertadores, and Group 8 is bad. Simply by getting an away draw, Sporting Cristal are now favorites to finish second, behind Racing Club. The bad news is that they had a two-goal lead away to Guarani through 70 minutes and managed to not win the match. To make matters worse, both goals featured some pretty bad goalkeeping. Diego Penny won't be too popular in Lima this week.
More Copa Lib
More Copa Lib
Tigres do what Atlas couldn't
Club Atlas were supposed to be Mexico's best hope for a deep Copa Libertadores run. Instead, they lost at home to Santa Fe last night. Tigres UANL, with a league's reputation squarely on their shoulders, delivered with a 3-0 thumping of Juan Aurich. And given that they're in a group with River Plate, they really couldn't afford to do anything less.
Guarani 2-2 Sporting Cristal
Palestino 0-2 Boca Juniors
Colo-Colo 2-0 Atletico Mineiro
Corinthians 2-0 São Paulo
Tigres UANL 3-0 Juan Aurich