Playoffs: Argentina, from a victory in La Bombonera that made a new Lionel Messi brand wait 47 years

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The last two presentations of the National Team on the Boca court, where it is undefeated, had been draws.

La Bombonera is not the traditional setting for the Argentine National Team, much less for a South American Eliminatory match. However, at the end of the last and at the start of the current one, the Boca stadium received the National Team. And it was with a victory, something that had not happened since 1973. From yapa, Lionel Messi managed another unique brand: He became the first player to score goals at Monumental and Bombonera in knockout matches.

Although it had been 47 years since I won on the stage this Thursday, October 8, in reality the Selection never lost in the Bombonera a game in the pre-World Cup phase: with the one on Thursday, he won 6 and tied 3. But since the elimination of the World Cup in Mexico 70, with that 2-2 against Peru in 1969 that hurt his soul, the field no longer it was so used.

Argentina played a qualifying round for the first time in 1957, for Sweden 58. It shared the group with Bolivia and Chile. After playing the first two games abroad (0-2 in La Paz and 2-0 in Santiago), on October 20 they received Chile in La Bombonera: they won 4-0 with two goals -one of them mythical- of Oreste Osmar Corbatta. Later, they beat Bolivia 4-0 on the Independiente court and qualified.

To qualify for the World Cup in Chile in 1962, he only had to face Ecuador. On December 17, 1960, in the Bombonera, he thrashed 5-0. Later, for England 66, the two matches in the country were played at the Monumental.

The Qualifiers for Mexico 70 were played in 1969. The selected one shared the group with Bolivia and Peru. He lost the first two away games and everything got complicated. The court chosen for the two games at home was Boca’s: first it was a harrowing 1-0 with Bolivia and then it drew 2-2 with Peru. For the first time in history, Argentina failed to qualify for a World Cup. The three previous absences (1938, 1950 and 1954) had been for other reasons.

Despite the recent elimination, the Bombonera was also the chosen stage on the road to Germany 74. And Argentina won both games: 4-0 to Bolivia and 3-1 to Paraguay. The 1-0 victory at La Paz altitude (goal from Oscar Fornari) was key to classification.

After the remodeling for the 78 World Cup, the Monumental became the almost permanent headquarters of the National Team, in the previous one to Mexico 86 and the United States 94. Also all the way to France. However, at the local close, Argentina returned to play in Boca. It was 0-0 with Colombia on November 16, 1997.

Finally, in the last round, the venue was rotating. It was played at River but also at Kempes de Córdoba, at Malvinas Argentinas de Mendoza, at the San Juan Bicentennial and, the last one, in Boca against Peru, also 0-0, on October 5.

This Thursday, against Ecuador in the debut of the road to Qatar 2022, Argentina not only remained undefeated: they also won again in La Boca by Qualifying after almost five decades.



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