Summer signing Arif Hattabi netted a late penalty to earn Bruno’s Magpies a 1-1 draw against Boca Juniors after Liam Victor gave them the lead.
The first half started with Boca on the attack and winning an early corner as Liam Victor’s cross was blocked by Michael Macias, the corner was whipped in and cleared by Magpies. As the game went on Magpies started taking control but unable to break down the Boca wall.
Boca keeper Philip Hermida produced a great double save midway through the half, keeping out Arif Hattabi’s long range shot and tipping over the rebound from Ahmed Elsahib. Despite all the defending Boca had a great chance minutes later, Matthew Grech was played through on goal but the midfielder smashed over the bar.
Magpies continued the pressure with duo Arif Hattabi & Tom Hudson going close but neither were able to find a way past an inspired Philip Hermida. Referee Andrew Parody blew for halftime with the score at 0-0.
The second half started with Boca on the attack and broke the deadlock in the 50th minute, a free-kick from Antonio Alvarez was headed as far as Liam Victor whose long range shot flew past Fernandez Diaz and headed straight into the top corner.
Boca had a great chance to make it 2-0 minutes later, a poor clearance from Diaz fell to Felix Formica-Corsi, with the whole goal to aim at, the striker shot straight into the hands of Diaz. The Boca players and fans couldn’t believe it.
As the game went on Boca grew in confidence and Magpies struggling to cope under pressure. The game evened out with Magpies having the majority of the shots on goal but Hermida was able to keep them out. With less than 15 minutes left Philip Hermida pulled off an unbelievable save to keep out a shot from Tom Hudson.
In injury time Magpies were awarded a penalty as Hattabi was brought down in the box. Referee Andrew Parody pointed straight to the spot, a decision which infuriated the Boca players and management. Arif Hattabi stepped up and smashed his penalty past Hermida.
With second remaining Boca went down to 10 men as midfielder Nathan Sene was given a straight red for an alleged headbutt on Magpies wing-back Harry Perry. The game restarted and referee Andrew Parody blew for halftime.
This result sees Magpies remain fifth while Boca move into sixth.