Diego Armando Maradona Cup goes to Boca Juniors

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Boca Juniors are the champions of the first edition of the Diego Armando Maradona Cup, known in Argentina as Copa de la Liga Profesional de Fútbol and officially as Copa Diego Armando Maradona.

The tournament which replaced the defunct Superliga Argentina started on 30 October 2020 and ended on Sunday, January 17, 2021. It was named in honor of Argentine football legend, late Diego Armando Maradona who died on November 25, 2020, aged 60-year-old.

Recall that the death of the football icon was announced weeks after he underwent a successful brain surgery to treat blood clots. His death was highly honored in most parts of the world especially in Argentina and Napoli, where he had the best of his football career.

Late Diego Armando Maradona.

To keep his name alive in Argentina’s football space, the tournament was organized for the 24 teams that took part in the Argentine Primera División during the 2019–2020 season.

The tournament which is expected to be a seasonal competition is seen as a contingency competition to keep professional clubs in Argentina busy since the 2020-2021 Primera División season has not started due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Reports say the Primera División is likely to kick off in March behind closed doors and under strict coronavirus protocol just like in most major leagues across the world.

As for the Diego Armando Maradona Cup, Boca Juniors defeated Banfield 5-3 in a penalty shootout to win the inaugural competition. The two teams went into the shootout after playing 1-1 in regular time.

Boca Juniors proved that they wanted to win Diego Armando Maradona Cup by scoring in the 19th minute of the second half through the boots of Edwin Cardona.

But their lead could not last until the end of the match as Luciano Lollo scored for Banfield in the sixth minute of stoppage time to heighten the tension in San Juan del Bicentenario stadium.

Boca Juniors players celebrate Diego Armando Maradona Cup.

Banfield’s equalizer came minutes after Boca Junior’s Emmanuel Mas was red-carded. The red card didn’t affect Boca as they converted all their five spot-kicks to emerge the winner of the Diego Armando Maradona Cup.