ANDY SCHREUR - Sunday, June 9, 2013
Carlos Bocanegra and Racing Santander ended a disappointing season on a high note with a win over Hércules on Saturday.
Racing Santander 3-0 Hércules
Bocanegra played 45 minutes in his final appearance with Racing and is set to go back to Rangers next season.
With the Highlanders already being mathematically rele
gated, Saturday's match was mainly about pride. Santander controlled most of the first half but were unable to beat Hércules goalie Juan Carlos.
In the second half, Racing took control as rising star Jairo Samperio scored in the 56th and 80th minutes to seal the victory in front of about 7200 fans. With a double on Saturday, the Spanish U-20 midfielder finishes the season with 10 goals, in his first full professional season. Substitute Óscar Pérez added his second goal of the season to make it 3-0 in the 86th minute.
Frustration remained at the forefront for some Santander fans, who were involved in altercations with the police after the match. Riot police were dispatched after protestors began throwing rocks at the team bus. The Santander club has been relegated for the second straight year and was already facing steep financial issues.
There are some rumors that the club could be saved from relegation if several clubs enter into Administration despite doing well enough to remain in the second division. If two teams do go into Administration, much like Bocanegra's parent club Rangers did in Scotland, there is a chance they will move down several divisions and Santander and Real Murcia could have a chance to remain. Guadalajara is almost certainly going into Administration this off season and there is at least one other unnamed team with severe financial issues. If two teams enter Administration, Racing will be saved. Murcia finished one point ahead of the Highlanders.
Bocanegra has been selected into the 35 player pool for the US Gold Cup this summer after being left off the World Cup Qualifiers this week. The former US captain started 23 matches for the Highlanders during his season long loan.