Gonzalo MARTINEZ sends River Plate to Copa Libertadores final after win against Gremio

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River Plate
River Plate players celebrate a goal.

Gonzalo MARTINEZ scored a dramatic penalty in injury time to send River Plate to the final of the Copa Libertadores, eliminating Gremio 2-1, 2-2 on aggregate.

It was a semi final match which had it all. Goals, drama and even VAR. River Plate started the match strongly but were unable to convert their chances. It was Gremio which took the lead in the first half through a goal by Leonardo GOMES.

The second half saw Argentina goalkeeper Franco ARMANI make a key save when 1 on 1 against Everton. That saved proved to be massive.

Rafael SANTOS BORRE pulled one back for River Plate in the 82nd minute, a header past the goalkeeper gave Marcelo GALLARDO’s team a chance to still qualify for the final. Controversy soon came afterwards when referee Andres CUNHA went to VAR to award River Plate a penalty kick and send off Marcelo GROHE of Gremio.

Up stepped Gonzalo MARTINEZ and he was able to dispatch his spot kick into the back of the net to send River Plate to the final.

This could set up an all Argentine clash as fierce rivals Boca Juniors play against Palmeiras, with Boca taking a 2-0 lead into the second leg.

38 COMMENTS

  1. RIVER ,mi buen amigo
    esta campaña volveremo’ a estar contigo
    te alentaremos de corazon,
    esta es tu hinchada que te quiere ver campeon ,
    no me importan esas fotos
    que saca la federal
    yo te sigo a todas partes

    CADA VEZ TE QUIERO MAS !

  2. Y dale alegría alegría a mi corazón,

    la Copa Libertadores es mi obsesión,

    copamos Belo Horizonte y Asunción,

    bostero vos lo mirás por televisión.

    ¿Qué vas a hacer?

    Si vos no tenés los huevos de River Plate.

    ¡Y SI SENOR , DE LA MANO DEL MUNECO VAMO A JAPON!

      • Yup, I just thought the same. De Paul can play on both wings as well as AM. Still prefer Pity Martinez on left side and Palacios as LCM but if the River players will not called up for Mexico De Paul may take Pity place while Pereyra instead of Palacios. Alternatively De Paul may play LW while Pity RW which give us set of inverted wingers. (Pity left footed, De Paul right footed). Gallardo also forgot Pity favourable position is actually RM/RW, not LW.

        Still I think De Paul would be best more in central area, as AM. Behind strikers. My midfield is:

        ……………..Lo Celso….Paredes/Battaglia…..Palacios
        De Paul/Pity…………………………………………………Pity/De Paul

    • Sadly, for now, Rulli is done! What ever talent he showed 2 seasons ago seems to have disappeared.
      Armani and Romero are both solid while Gazzaniga and Benitez could be the answer for the future but it must be said that the GK position is the most problematic position for Argentina right now.

  3. Another so much dramatic CL semifinall with River Plate. One year ago it was phenomenal 4:2 Lanus win over Millonarios after 0:1 on first leg.

    Yesterday I was just going to write Gremio is Argentinos beater with defeated Godoy Cruz (in final stages) and Lanus (in final) in previous edition and now defeated Estudiantes in 1/8, Atletico Tucuman in 1/4 and ALMOST River…

  4. Armani is such a key figure for River. Massive.

    If he just can replicate that for NT then we may have an inctedibleGK since long time. May be since the days of Goycochea.. He has 3 or 4 years left in his tank.

    And above all he is motivated to perform for the. NT..

    • You make it seems as if Argentina was in a goalkeeper crisis under Romero. Romero have been a solid and professional goalkeeper, leader and a loyal servant on the international level. Moreover, Romero did not cost his national team any of the finals he participated in. Armani couldn’t save a pk against France while against Holland during a semifinal game back in 2014, Romero under the most difficult circumstances came up with two big saves that took his home country to a final. Let me know when any of your other favorite Argentina goalkeepers can pull off such an impressive feat? You people live in an alternate dimension, acting as if facts and reality doesn’t matter. 2018 World Cup winning goalkeeper Hugo Lloris conceded 6 goals during the entirety of the tournament while in 2014 Romero conceded only 4 goals. Another thing is people like to argue over strikers, Giroud was pretty much useless at the 2018 world cup yet his team won the tournament. I mean, for a guy who is consider a striker to only put one shot on target (and this was during the final) for the entire tournament shows having ”ten of the best strikers” in the world on your team is massively overrated. The combinations of TECHNIQUE, PASSING, POWER, SPEED/ATHLETICISM, HEIGHT, A GOOD COACH and DISCIPLINE is the recipe for a world cup winning team in modern football. This mean you need your top midfielders (not necessary strikers) playing for the top European clubs in the UEFA Champions League season after season earning them BIG game tempo which will carry over on the international stage. Playing for a mid-table team in Spain, Italy, England, France etc. does not build a player character for the big international stage (Mpabbe is a perfect example). No way young Argentinian players should leave legendary South American clubs like River Plate and Boca Juniors and set their sights on mid table/relegation zone European teams. If you’re a Boca or River Plate player, then you should be able to represent any of the top 4/3/2 clubs in the major European leagues.

      • Kid, you don’t belong here, you are a Colombia fan. You were supposed to be self-exiled. Have some decency and keep yourself exiled instead of writing your long, irrelevant rants.

        Go – Bogota, Cartagena, Barranquilla and Medellin and are beaming with diversity unlike white supremacist Argentina.

        • Exiled from the internet? lol Not supporting Argentina is one thing, commenting on football blog with different topics is another thing. My recent Uber driver was from Buenos Aires Argentina and we had a good chat about everything.

          • Flip flopping and backpedaling like a politician. Exiled from this blog, you said yourself. One of your numerous contradictions. At the end of the day, you’re just an obnoxious troll.

      • Couldn’t agree more about Romero. Excellent servant to the NT, I always felt confident with him in net. He gets a ton of undeserved criticism when his position was never an issue. Easily one of the best keepers in wc14 and copas. Were lucky to have him…

      • Well I respect ur opinion, and it’s nice to here from u, as always detail write up.

        But I don’t agree. If we r saying Armani was bad against France 4-3 in the WC.. And u r talking about Romero 2014 WC, Where was Romero during 2010 WC thrashing vs Germany 4-1,Then u may say that (it was Romero starting time only, he was young etc) wasn’t it Armani’s second match. That too in a damn WC quarter final.

        Romero is average and was average, its only because of our past coaches obsession of not trying any other GK which made him the number 1 for such a long time. One thing which may be true is his presence in Dressing room may be he is gud there. But he is by no way a great GK.

        He can’t and won’t be Man Utd number 1 if he was that gud he would have already went to some better club. The same argument most use against Argentine primera Liga players can be implemented in case of Romero too.

        I just wish he didn’t had that injury we would have really seen Romero saving our ass in 2018 WC isn’t it? Moreover he was about to concede some 4 or 5 goals during that Spain friendly too. But for some reason luck always favors Romero. May be for that reason of luck may be we can still use him.

        But I would never consider him a gud GK. Well different opinions.

        • ”If we r saying Armani was bad against France 4-3 in the WC.. And u r talking about Romero 2014 WC, Where was Romero during 2010 WC thrashing vs Germany 4-1,Then u may say that (it was Romero starting time only, he was young etc) wasn’t it Armani’s second match. That too in a damn WC quarter final.”

          The difference is Romero went into the 2010 World Cup as a goalkeeper rookie. Armani went into the 2018 World Cup in his prime, the River Fans even stated once ”Armani starts in goal Argentina will never lose.”

          De Gea once conceded six goals against Manchester City.

          ”Romero is average and was average, its only because of our past coaches obsession of not trying any other GK which made him the number 1 for such a long time. One thing which may be true is his presence in Dressing room may be he is gud there. But he is by no way a great GK.”

          Romero average? This is absurd, Romero is hands down one of the most consistent international goalkeeper in the last decade or so. The problem with Argentina was that the youth teams were failing to perform at U20 tournament since post 2007/2008 (I say 2008 because of the 2008 Olympic Gold medal team that follow the 2007 U20 world cup). So Rulli horrible performance at the Rio 2016 Olympic games warrant him a starting spot for the Argentina senior team? Oh please, the most noteworthy goalkeeper for Argentina other than Romero was Abbondanzieri. Óscar Ustari was supposed to be the next big goalkeeper for Argentina post 2008 Olympics but he fell of the rails and since then Romero emerged as a potential future Argentina starting goalkeeper. Note: Both Sergio Romero and Óscar Ustari were apart of Argentina 2008 Olympic team.

          Venezuela U20 goalkeeper is now his national team starting goalkeeper, the same kid Icardi failed to score against at River Plate stadium during a World Cup qualifying must win game. Why is this? Because Venezuela made it to the 2017 U20 final, he was also voted the best goalkeeper at the tournament. If Venezuela had crashed out in the group stage this kid would not be starting for the senior team.

          Where were the potential Romero replacements in goal during the 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017 U20 Tournament? Where were the Romero replacements during the 2012 and 2016 Olympic soccer tournament?

          ”He can’t and won’t be Man Utd number 1 if he was that gud he would have already went to some better club. The same argument most use against Argentine primera Liga players can be implemented in case of Romero too.”

          De Gea is Manchester United undisputed number one goalkeeper, Romero knew this well before going to the club. Romero being second to De Gea at Manchester United doesn’t make him a bad goalkeeper. Romero at the end of the day won a Europa League with United, that was his fourth straight final he had played in at both Club and International level conceding only one goal. I would choose Man United bench over any mid-table team in Spain, Italy and England.

          Romero is also highly rated and respected by the Man United fan base and English media. When he got injured leading up to the 2018 world cup, all the pundits over at ESPN said it was a HUGE blow for Argentina. I’m still waiting to see Armani or Cabellero at least help Argentina to a world cup quarterfinal.

          Romero only conceded ONE goal against Spain. You don’t know what would have happened. Cabellero going into that friendly game for the injured Romero look so NERVOUS!

          Romero is a top national team goalkeeper. You can’t change this reality no matter how much you dislike him.

          • Romero had already played some matches before the thrashing in 2010 WC. He was always been in the youth setup too (obviously as a second choice). It was noway like thrown into the middle of a WC Catagstrophy which happened to Armani being experienced doesn’t matter. It’s a damn WC do or die match. He obviously will be nervous.

            2014 he was gud but why? He played in all the qualifiers, friendlies along with the likes of Otamendi, Garay, Fede Fernandez, Demichellis, Mascherano, etc etc so obviously he will have better understanding with the defence. Goal keepers and Defenders work in tandem.

            Armani didn’t have that luxury. Look at him at River. He is invincible there. Where as Romero is still not able to convince the Man Utd coach to atleast be considered in some league matches even against smaller teams. Why? Because he is not gud.

            Talking about replacements during 2010 to 2018 when did any of our coaches gave chances to any of our other GKs. For eg Caballero was in prime during 2014 so as Rulli did they played in any friendlies for us, No.

            Without being tried how on earth can anyone be said bad or anyone is said to be better.

            I just wish Romero should have started 2018 WC, so he also would have moved away from the NT. Even if he started the inevitable Catastrophy wouldn’t have changed. Same as that friendly against Spain. He would have damn eaten 4 or 5 goals minimum with that Shitty defence.

            Ask any of our past GK or any critics.(well critics r shit but sometimes their opinions about historicals also matter, not just their opinions about Argentine youngsters only) They will say that Armani is the best now. Romero can move away which he won’t. He is targeting Copa 2019 to win the damn thing for us. Let’s see how that goes.

            Irony is Even Scaloni seems obsessed with him. ROMERO TOP INTERNATIONAL GK.. sighsss.. No wonder we r now in this state.

  5. Armani saved that crucial from Gremerio striker like neuer or de gea, just based on France performance one should not write off Armani, after Croatia match Argentina dressing room become disaster, no confidence on defense still Armani performed good against Nigeria in debut match such a big stage. If anyone doubt Armani potential just watch Armani involvement in River Success and his performance against Columbia friendly at 31 not a long term solution but in short time Armani is the best GK for Argentina at moment.

  6. Pity Martinez was once weak mentally like Ronaldo. Today he is defferent player. So strong psychic construction. I like when see him taking the ball for penalties so much ‘selfishly’, decisively and graspingly.

    I hope assist and extra time goal in such moment will only boost his career.

  7. It’s simple, in Argentina, training school not good enough for training new young goalkeeper. It’s not normal that Romero who hasn’t played for his club for so long(Man United, Monaco and Sampdoria, almost 6 years) is still the number one. Many others tried to take his place but none was better. I have high respect for him, especially for his world cup in 2014. Armani is good for his club but he became international player only at 32, which also means already lot of things. So his performance against France wasn’t a big surprise to me.

  8. We have already seen Armani vs France Romero is best for Argentina even in 2022.Armani is very bad on penalties.Against class player Armani is nothing even 19 year old Mbappe got past him in WC.

    • I imagine Armani would have performed better if he played the prior 5-8 games. Keepers need to build confidence and getting into the rhythm is often critical towards their success. Instead, he was thrust into an incredibly intense and nerve wracking game. You could tell he was bit anxious which practice could have helped. Blame sampa

      • “I imagine Armani would have performed better if he played the prior 5-8 games”

        Of course. If everyone thinks older player don’t need the prior games to be preperad for high challenges he is wrong. No matter he was playing for a decade. If you are joining NT straightly for WC the pressure upon you is massive. Especially in Argentina NT. Sometimes I think older players may feel the pressure even more because they know being old you will probablu not got more opportunities in future. This is your first and last chance…

        I like both Romero and Armani. Not sure which of them shoulf be our No.1

  9. Armani is the best Argentina GK at moment we all should focas on copa 2019 first after that a long 3.5 year left and hope our U20 GK from cotif and lautaro become superstar before 2022 now Aguero as no9 and Armani as no1 with Romero as back up

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