Monday Kickoff: Boca defeats River; Prandelli open to Totti World Cup call; and more

Monday Kickoff: Boca defeats River; Prandelli open to Totti World Cup call; and more

South American Soccer

Monday Kickoff: Boca defeats River; Prandelli open to Totti World Cup call; and more

EmmanuelGigliottiBocaJuniors2-RiverPlate (AP)

By DAN KARELL

Boca Juniors are one of the hottest sides in the past few weeks in Argentina and even playing in their rival’s stadium wasn’t going to change that.

Forward Emmanuel Gigliotti scored his third goal in two games as Boca topped River, 1-0, at the Estadio Monumental, taking another SuperClasico win back home with them. Boca haven’t conceded in their last four matches and now stand in third place in the Argentine league standings with 19 points.

In the 23rd minute, Boca Juniors forward Juan Martinez drifted out wide and was able to play a ball into the middle of the box on the ground. Gigliotti was the quickest to react, beating stud River defender Eder Alvarez Balanta and finishing what would be the only goal of the match.

River pushed and pushed the rest of the match to find an equalizer and hit the post on two occasions, but Boca Juniors goalkeeper Agustin Orion performed plenty of heroics to keep a clean sheet. The match was played without any visiting supporters in the stadium after  the Argentina FA made a new rule to help curb hooliganism in soccer culture. Juan Roman Riquelme also went off injured in the second half for Boca Juniors with a knee injury but following the match the Argentine legend downplayed the injury.

Here are some more stories to kickoff your Monday:

TOTTI ON ITALY RADAR

One of the key reasons for AS Roma’s hot start to their Serie A campaign has been the play of Il Capitano, Francesco Totti.

The 37-year-old trequarista has been in stellar form for the only club he’s known, zipping passes around the pitch, linking play between the midfield and forward, as well as scoring three goals and adding six assists. Totti’s play has had fans and media alike clamoring for him to return to the Italian National Team, and it’s an idea that head coach Cesare Prandelli is open to.

Players with great talent like Francesco, like Parma’s Antonio Cassano, are always under observation,” the Prandelli told La Repubblica in Italy. “We’ll evaluate Totti a month before the World Cup. But a Totti like this is a player to talk about, to reflect upon, it is a fantastic Totti.

“If the World Cup was today then I would absolutely call him up, there is no doubt about that.”

QUICK KICKS

Guiseppe Rossi has been called back into the Italian National Team squad after two years away with injuries. (REPORT)

Spain have called up Swansea City forward Michu as an injury replacement for David Villa. (REPORT)

Real Madrid defensive midfielder Xabi Alonso is continuing his rehab at a quick pace and could be available for the club’s next league game on October 19 against Malaga. (REPORT)

Manchester United are set to offer talented youngster Adnan Januzaj a new contract worth more than $5 million per season. (REPORT)

UEFA President Michel Platini is interested in inviting nations outside of UEFA to take part in the 2020 European Championships, in the same manner that CONMEBOL invites Mexico and another non-CONMEBOL nation for each Copa America. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Impressed with Boca’s victory? Do you believe calling up Totti is a good idea for Italy? Do you see UEFA inviting other nations to the European Championships?

Share your thoughts below.

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