Copa Libertadores Report: Palmeiras 0 - 2 River Plate (Palmeiras win 3-2 on aggregate)

Wed, Jan 13 2021

Credit: Wikicommons

While Palmeiras progressed to the final, the story of last night’s Copa Libertadores semi final second leg belongs to River Plate, who fought to the final second to overturn a 3-0 deficit.

Los Millonarios had a dream start at the Allianz Parque in Brazil with goals from Robert Rojas and Rafael Borré giving them a 2-0 half-time lead.

The first goal came from a corner by Nicolás De La Cruz and the second was the product of an excellent cross from the Uruguayan which was pocked in by Borré.

This left Palmeiras, on the stroke of half-time, on the ropes and all River needed was one goal to bring the game to penalties.

River charged out of the tunnel from the break and within minutes they thought they had equalised through Gonzalo Montiel.

What should have been the sucker punch was undone by a stray foot from Enzo Perez and the goal was ruled out for off-side.

The dismissal of Rojas for a second yellow card did nothing to deter River’s swashbuckling attack. As soon as the goal-scorer headed for the tunnel, La Banda charged forward and won a penalty when Matías Suárez went down in the box. After a lengthy VAR consultation, a free-out was given.

River continued to attack and Palmeiras held firm. Weverton produced an excellent save and an attempt to rebound came off the post. From this, River fired again and the ball was taken off the line and Palmeiras broke 3 v 1 only to scupper the chance and give possession back to the Argentinians.

Eight minutes were added on. River, who were chasing third successive final appearance, had everyone forward in search of the third goal.

Inside the crowded box, at the 98th minute, Benjamin Kuscevic tripped Borré and once again River had a penalty. While this was a stonewall penalty, an off-side was found in the build up and the decision was overturned.

The Palmeiras dropped to their knees at the full-time whistle, not because they played 101 minutes of football, but because of their great escape.

They will face either Santos or Boca Juniors in the final, with the pair meeting on Wednesday evening with a 22:15 kick off.

 

Palmeiras: Weverton (gk), Luiz Adriano, Gustavo Scarpa (Breno Lopes 46’), Roni, Matias Vina, Danilo (Raphael Veiga 81’), Ze Rafael (Emerson 69’), Gabriel Menino, Alan Empereur, Gustavo Gomez (Luan Garcia 41’), Marcos Rocha (Benjamin Kuscevic 81’).

Subs not used: Lucas Garcia, Lucas Esteves, Lucas Lima, Jailson, Vinicius, Renan Victor, Willian.

 

River Plate: Franco Armani (gk), Robert Rojas, Javier Pinola (Federico Girotti 87’), Gonzalo Montiel, Paulo Diaz, Enzo Perez, Ignacio Fernandez, Fabrizio Angileri (Milton Casco 87’)  Matíaz Suárez,   Nicolás De La Cruz (Julian Alvarez 87’), Robert Rojas.  

Subs not used: German Dario Lux (gk), Bruno Zuculini, Santiago Sosa, Cristian Ferreira, Leonardo Ponzio, Enrique Bologna, Benjamin Rollheiser.

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