By: Stephanie Fonseca
It was a David and Goliath match. But fear was not in Boca FC’s vocabulary.
It was the reigning APSL undefeated Champions, Boca FC, against the former UEFA Champions League Champions, Shakhtar Donetsk.
The friendly helps in Boca’s preparation for the US Open Cup.
The starting whistle was blown and Boca FC showed that they were there to play their best soccer. The first goal came early, when a ball was played over the defense by Gabe finding Xavier, who put the ball in the back of the net for Boca FC, two minutes into the game.
“Coach Marcelo told Colby and I to always be around the play to either get the loose ball and rebound, and look, it happened,” said Xavier, the author of the first and only goal for Boca FC.
But Boca FC’s efforts were nullified when on a free kick served by Kovalenko, reaches Ordets head scoring the equalizer.
Both teams felt each other out and tried shooting from 30 yards out in hopes to win the advantage,showing that they were not there to play games. Tensions started to flair and the first yellow card came at the 31 when Dentinho, for Shakhtar FC, slid in late clipping Matias.
Both teams tried to penetrate the defense from the outside but all tries were unsuccessful.
It wasn’t until the 36th minute when on a play down the right, Vasal plays the ball into the middle finding Zubkov, who cuts to his right, and places the ball in the lower right corner of Boca FC’s goal.
Although they were up on the board it seemed like Shakhtar was out for Matias, when on a run down the left hand side he collided with Vasyl, who pushed him off of the turf on to the track. Unfortunately for Boca FC, Matias had to be sent to the hospital, where doctors delivered the news that he dislocated his shoulder and broke his hand, his injuries will keep him out for approximately 10 months.
Boca FC pursued the equalizer before the end of the half but their attempts were unsuccessful.
At the start of the second half, Boca FC had some fire left in them but the flame quickly transferred over to Shakhtar.
It started with Arabidze putting the ball into the back of the net at the 65th minute.
Down 3-1, Boca FC continued to pursue the goal, with a beautiful one-two-touch exchange at the 73rd minute, between Xavier and Shadi, but the goal never came.
Boca FC lost their fire and Shakhtar took advantage. The two-goal deficit became four in the final 10 minutes of the game with a goal scored by Kovalenko and a second added at the last minute by Arabidze.
In an postgame interview, Xavier comments, “all-all it was great experience and great benchmark for us as aspiring players to know that the next level is not that far from our reach and that if we keep winning championships, who knows, we all might just take this nation by storm.”
Boca Raton FC will now focus their energy on the 2016 U.S. Open Cup that will begin in May.