Ten historical (and forgotten) visits from Boca to the “less soccer-loving” provinces




Tomorrow’s game against Ferro in La Rioja for the Copa Argentina is a vindication for the fans who love their team from afar. Boca is from all over the country but about 95 percent of its matches were played in and around Buenos Aires.


river mouth

As a synthesis of Argentina concentrated in a Buenos Aires founded on the shores of a formerly strategic port, Boca plays in Buenos Aires but it is from all over the country. The team took to the field in nearly 95 percent of its games in the Federal Capital and the suburbs, and yet it is overflowing with fans scattered thousands of kilometers from the Bombonera. Without counting the usual visits to Santa Fe and Córdoba in the first place, but also to Mendoza, Tucumán and Jujuy -and even to other Buenos Aires cities that usually host friendlies, such as Mar del Plata-, the Copa Argentina match of this Wednesday against Ferro in La Rioja is a vindication for fans who love their team from a distance. Below is a brief review of those Boca steps through the provinces on the fringes of big football in Argentina.

The Rioja. Provincial combination 1-Boca 3, April 6, 1999, friendly.

This Wednesday will be Boca’s return to a province where, according to data from the excellent historiadeboca.com.ar site, he barely played five times, all friendly. La Rioja only had one team in the old Nacionales, Andino in 1983 –which beat River 2-1 at home-. Boca’s last time was great in names: charles bianchi began to write its legend, the team did not stop winning -or not losing, and was heading for 40 games undefeated- and appeared on a Tuesday against a local Combiano with some of its stars, such as Martin Palermo. Juan Román Riquelme, on the other hand, stayed on the bench. Boca, who won 3-1 with goals from Hugo Ibarra, Aníbal Matellán and José Pereda, had previously played in La Rioja in 1994, 1984, 1972 and 1964.

mouth vs. Provincial team of La Rioja (1999)

Play

mouth vs.  Provincial team of La Rioja (1999)


The Pampa. Ferro de General Pico 0-Boca 0, February 26, 1984, National.

It was a Boca in crisis, still directed -but not for much longer- by Miguel Ángel López, and led by Hugo Gatti, Oscar Ruggeri and Ricardo Gareca. In the penultimate National tournament, Ferro de General Pico, in the cattle area in the north of the province, became the only Pampean team to officially receive Boca. Its stadium, called the Coloso de Talleres –after the name of the neighborhood-, was expanded for that National and particularly for that match: the fans climbed up on the roofs of the neighboring houses. Of the 35,000 inhabitants that General Pico had then, there were 20,000 on the field. It was also the first time that a team from La Pampa won an official point in AFA tournaments. “The long-awaited Boca was indebted to the Pampas,” wrote the magazine The graphic.

mouth vs. Ferro de General Pico, in 1984

Play

mouth vs.  Ferro de General Pico, in 1984


Chaco. Boca 2-River 0, January 25, 2012, friendly.

It was played at the Sarmiento de Resistencia stadium, which the following year would make headlines due to the power outage that would leave an Argentina-Brazil match unfinished. It was still a time for superclassics in the summer – a tradition that would continue until 2018 – but with one peculiarity: that year River was in the National B. Nicolás Blandi converted the two goals for the triumph of Boca, which had previously visited the province to play several friendly matches but also four official matches against Chaco For Ever, the last one in 1991.

mouth vs. River in Chaco, in 2012.

Play

mouth vs.  River in Chaco, in 2012.


Missions. Guarani Antonio Franco 6-Boca 0, April 21, 1985, friendly

On a weekend without football, Boca traveled to Posadas, the capital of a province in which he only played one official match, in 1971. The friendly seemed like a courtesy visit, but it turned into a horror movie: Boca lost 6-0 in a painful show, which included the expulsion of Enrique Hrabina for punching a rival and the irresponsible abandonment of Roberto Passucci, the cacique who left the field 11 minutes before the end dissatisfied with the game. Antonio Vidal González, who in 1988 would convert three to Boca in the 6-1 of San Martín de Tucumán in the Bombonera, scored four goals in the great missionary afternoon.

hrabina

Salta, Boca 2-San Lorenzo 1, September 29, 2004, Copa Sudamericana.

Actually, the old classic was one of the six presentations that Boca did as a local at the Padre Martearena stadium for the first instances of the South American Cups 2002 (Gymnastics), 2003 (Colón), 2004 (also Cerro Porteño), 2005 (the same Paraguayan rival) and 2006 (Montevideo National). It was an agreement between the then president, Mauricio Macri, and the governor of Salta, Juan Carlos Romero. “It is a club policy to bring our passion closer to the fans and thanks to the enormous collaboration of the Salteño government we will be able to make this a reality,” Macri explained the move to the venue. In the last century, Boca had already played in Salta, officially, against Gimnasia y Tiro and Central Norte.

Junín, Boca 1-Huracán 1, December 2, 1984, First Division

Boca played a handful of official matches in Junín but not as many as you might imagine. They were three against Sarmiento, one against Mariano Moreno –another team from the city, in the 1982 National Championship- and a fifth against Huracán de… Parque de los Patricios. The unusual thing is that Boca played at home in the Sarmiento stadium as a corollary of a lousy year for the club, with the stadium suspended in part due to the danger of collapse and in part due to incidents. In some games he was local at the Monumental and against Huracán, unable to play 60 kilometers from Buenos Aires, he decided to rent the Eva Perón.

Santiago del Estero, Boca 0 (5)-Talleres 0 (4), December 8, 2021, Copa Argentina

If Boca will defend the title this Wednesday against Ferro, it will be because last year, at the Madre de Ciudades stadium, they won the Copa Argentina against Talleres. Until the rise of Central Córdoba and the inauguration of the new provincial stadium, Boca had only played four official times in Santiago del Estero. Since 2020, he has already played the same amount, and always with wins (on penalties or during the match) and even a title.

Formosa, Boca 0- Mandiyú 0, March 11, 1995, First Division

Until the emergence of the Argentine Cup, Boca had only played in Formosa once, but the curious thing was that in that case they did not face a team from the province but Mandiyú from Corrientes. The stadium had some broken fences but it did not prevent the joy of the Formosans for the historic visit. Mandiyú, although tied 0-0, would descend a few months later and would never return to the First Division.

shapely mouth

Neuquén, Alliance of Cutral Co 1-Boca 2, April 27, 1986, Liguilla.

It was the only time that a team from Neuquén participated in a tournament of the highest category: It was a Liguilla made up of First and Regional teams, whose winner qualified for the Libertadores. Although Boca had already played several times in Cipolletti de Río Negro, Patagonia dressed up to receive an illustrious visitor who sweated more than expected to win 2-1 with goals from Alfredo Graciani (Olympic) and Jorge Higuaín.

Cultural Co

Catamarca, Boca 0 (3)-Arsenal 0 (4), November 7, 2012, Argentine Super Cup

Catamarca, Santa Cruz and Tierra del Fuego are the only provinces that did not have representatives in the First Division, including the old Nacionales played between 1967 and 1985. Still, Catamarcans had the opportunity to watch four official Boca games between 2012 and 2013 . It was in the Bicentennial, a stadium that soon suffered structural failures and ceased to be operational. Boca won two games on penalties towards its title in the 2012 Copa Argentina but lost the Argentine Super Cup, also by steps from the penalty spot, against Arsenal. Now the people of Catamarca will be able to enjoy, even if it is in a neighboring province like La Rioja, the visit of the recent champion of the League Cup.

Main photo: @fotobairesarg

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