If fate wanted to honor Javier Yacuzzi, a former Arsenal footballer who died this week at the age of 43, it chose the best way. Because 24 minutes into the game, just the number that the midfielder used to wear, while the entire stadium sang to remind him, the Viaducto team opened the scoring in the duel against Boca Juniors. And with an incredible technical gesture, courtesy of Joaquín Pombo, who scored his first victory in the First Division.
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Actually, the memory for the former coach of Querétaro in Mexico, where he lived when he could not overcome an illness, flew over Sarandí since before the match. The spectators received posters that they displayed before the start of the fight, with the name of the player. Flags and parades in memory of the soccer player who won two titles in the institution (Copa Sudamericana 2007 and Suruga Bank 2008) also proliferated.
However, the deepest tribute came with the ball. As previously said: at minute 24, while they were chanting for Yacuzzi, Arsenal benefited from a corner from the right. The execution of Santiago Toloza reached the heart of the area, Néstor Breitenbruch brought it down and Pombo, set up by Alan Varela and Sergio Romero, had his back turned. With no time to turn around and hardly looking at the ball, he shot the ball. The ball hit the crossbar and entered the goal, with all the posters of the deceased midfielder raised in the stands.
The posters in the Julio Grondona stadium, with Yacuzzi’s number and the minute of Pombo’s goal
The goal came in the context of Arse’s superiority in the first stage, given that they were more involved than their rival, at times they subdued them and had the best chances, beyond the goal that broke parity. The team led by Federico Vilar (a goalkeeper trained at Xeneize) had a couple of dangerous shots from medium distance (one from Peña Biafore, another from a free kick) that passed close to the fence defended by Chiquito Romero.
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On the other hand, the visit managed to generate a concrete possibility: the combination of double 9 (Merentiel and Benedetto) that led to the timely intervention of goalkeeper Medina. But the great emotion of the initial stage was provided by Pombo, almost a nod to Yacuzzi. Or from Yacuzzi, in gratitude for so much love.
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