Defensa y Justicia win Recopa Sudamericana in dramatic penalty shootout vs. Palmeiras


Defensa y Justicia got the 2-1 win on penalties (4-3 on aggregate) vs. Palmeiras with a lot of drama involved in the second leg.

It was Defensa y Justicia, the winners of the Copa Sudamericana up against Palmeiras, the Copa Libertadores winners in the second leg of the Recopa Sudamericana. The first leg ended 2-1 in favor of the Brazilian club.

It was Hernan Crespo, currently managing Sao Paulo in Brazil, who coached Defensa to their first international championship a few months ago. Now the responsibility fell to one of the best coaches in the country, Sebastian Beccacece to lead them to a second one.

The final at the Estadio Norberto Tomaghello in Argentina proved to be a memorable one. A penalty within the 90 minutes, a red card, extra time and more penalties made for constant drama. The defending Copa Libertadores champions would take a 1-0 lead after a foul in the penalty area. Up stepped Raphael Veiga as his penalty went in and the Brazilians had the advantage.

However, just seven minutes later, a lovely through ball would find Pizzini inside the penalty area and it was Braian Romero who was at the end of the pull back to draw Defensa level but they still needed one more goal.

Adonis Frias would bring Matias Vina of Palmeiras down but the Uruguayan would kick Frias in the back as the referee would go to VAR and Palmeiras would be down to 10 men. In the 93rd minute, Benitez with an effort from outside of the penalty area which the goalkeeper would not be able to block and Defensa would get their goal. A 2-1 score in regular time would mean extra time.

Braian Romero would turn from hero to villain. The scorer of the first goal would get himself sent off and Palmeiras would be awarded a penalty kick after getting fouled by the goalkeeper. However, Unsain would make up for his error and save the spot kick. The match would remain at 2-1 and go to penalty kicks.

Both teams would score their first penalty and it was Luiz Adriano who would miss his as Miguel Merentiel would scorehis to give Justicia the 2-1 lead. The next two for each team would be converted with Weverton Pereira da Silva missing his as Defensa y Justicia would be crowned as the 2021 Recopa Sudamericana champions.



  1. Many could question would be wise to have new CB in a tournament. In last Copa, we had a settled CB pairing of Otamendi and Pezzella. How did it work out?

    Before WC’14 knockout stage, Demichelis and Garay never played together. The result was 0 goal in KO stage until 113 minutes of final.

    Quality comes first.

    Both or one of Romero and Lisandro must start at copa. It can either be Romero Lisandro or Romero Otamendi.

    At GK Martinez is must.

    • if back is 4 man, then lisandro romero
      if three man then romero lisandro senesi..
      otamendi is substitute.
      point out
      senesi tall defender excellent in header
      romero and senesi both are excellent in defending and header
      in air romero, senesi, alario , acuna provider there will be no maching. based on the need air strenth.. and others quality in air will be extra

  2. Romero and Lisandro would be such a nice pair of CB. Both of them very young, yet so mature for their age and high level of performance with consistency. Then we have Damian Martinez at Villa, standout GK of PL.

    But Scaloni will pick Armani-Otamendi-Quarta. 34 years old, 33 years old and last one is having worst season of his career.

    Pure stupidity, bias and mismanagement. You can’t win trophies with these 3 flaws.

    • Mafioso, Otamendi is good he just had 6 consecutive clean sheets for Benfica.Otamendi C. Romero is best pair along with Emi Martinez as goalkeeper. Otamendi, C. Romero and Pezella must be Center Back.LMQ is not a Center Back for Argentina soon he will be perennial bench warmer for Fiorentina just passing is not good enough for acquiring a place in playing 11.

      • That is true.Otamendi is in great shape and form since March. He is doing really well. It went unnoticed because it’s Portuguese league and he is in advanced age for a footballer.

        For me, at Copa Romero-Otamendi pair is realistic one. Then after Copa, Lisandro can replace Otamendi.

        • i do like to otamendi as substitute romero lisandro and also want use senesi in the process, this are three quality in defence which will definately take argentina defence in another level romero senesi both are strong in defending header tackle man marking but both of them not have quality of lisandro ball controlling so this three could be something extraordinary for argentine defence.. not a lot of people speak about senesi.. but both of senesi and romero is what argentina need

  3. Watched Bayer Leverkusen and half time so far:
    Not the most impressive from Palacios in terms of attacking or passing, several back passes although some of them were understandable because Koln were attempting to press a lot and they seem to really want to win to avoid relegation. I wish he played in a little more attacking role as he is kind of sitting in a double pivot waiting for balls to recover or passes to receive from the center backs. He was fairly good in winning back the ball with a stat to back up 7(5) ground duels won. I hope to see more vision and long balls from him in the second half.
    Alario: not playing yet and even the commentators mentioned that “he scores goals and plays well but throughout his time in Bayer Leverkusen the bench has followed him. If this stays like this he should go to another club and both Atlético Madrid and Sevilla are interested”. If he goes to Atlético he would probably stay on the bench but at Sevilla he would be able to fight his way into being a starter rightfully and it would be a dream to see both Montiel and Alario go to Sevilla in the summer. Let’s keep our fingers crossed

    • Yes, Palacios has been static in double pivot role. Not only in today’s match, previous match too. Painful to say but he is doing nothing special, many players can win ground duels but he must show his vision and passing . We expect special things from him.

  4. Angel Di Maria must be in the Argentina squad look at his performance against Bayern Munich,a complete beast. I do not know whether he wants to compete Champion league or loves to play against Bayern Munich, he was better than Mbaape and Neymar against Bayern Munich. Now he is no more injury prone. He will be very valuable for Argentina.

  5. Spent the morning watching Udinese. De Paul is special. This summer he must move. He is 26. Prime age to get a good 4-5 year contract. Inter is super interested in him. There are some other interests too. Hope this happens soon. He should be in a big club.

  6. Good thread on the River players. Though I think its a generic problem. I don’t know if it is the River media who is guilty of overrating players or national media or River fans in mundo. But it was the case in past. Like Kranevitter is Mascherano. Until couple of years back “world class” was thrown around like anything. Gonzalo was largely responsible for that, in this forum. I personally feel it is better here in the forum these days, more level headed and we are giving the players the time needed.

    @cox I agree to your post. These days due to social media and other channels, kids and their parents are losing the plot. They cannot wait for the success. This is where the institution plays a role. A great institution knows how to take care of a talented kid and develop them. If River is failing to control this aspect then they are failing as an institution. They have a role to play to keep the kids head on the shoulder, manage the agents and family. That’s what I feel. Hope they are also not getting bandwagon and trying to cash the kid as quickly as possible.

    • Something I must add onto this, which goes with what you and cox were saying, is that we on this forum define a failed career based on if the player reaches the national team. We have every right to do so because the end goal is for Argentina to win trophies, but some of these players feel as though their career is over when they have money and live in a nice place. It is everyone’s team to play for Argentina obviously, but some players lack the determination and grit to go beyond the money and focus on trophies and their career. Take for example Ronaldo, he is unbelievably rich, but he has a hunger for trophies and for staying at the top as a player for as long as possible. That is what some players lack and it causes their careers to be failures by our perspective. Some players grow up poor and struggling and I don’t blame them for feeling complete once they make money, but some players care not only about getting out of their bad situation but also about making an impact on the sport and winning titles.

    • things in football changed very much my friend. it is not same like 15 years before.River plate and every club like River plate have not fault anymore because they can t control and play the role you speak in your post anymore. not in the level they could do in the past at least.The main reason is the contract rules and restrictions that favors the players anymore. not like 15 years before and second reason the damn managers.they are one constant open woond in the body of every club.
      let speak with one real example to understand better.the same you can use for every player you desire. we have Angileri. River coaching staff work with the player and bring him in one good level. Here comes the manager. IF Angileri care for money first then his manager come to River president and say “i find one team in….with this money and i am taking the player.i convince player and he want that”. then River what can do?D Onofrio and coaching staff be sure they speak to Angileri and every Angileri but the players should have the brain to understabd that it is more benefit to their career to stay longer in River than risk their future for fast quick money that come with one good season performance. in this modern era of football it is very difficult to say no to the first contract that can come to one player with money that look like fortune for one poor kid and their family.

      what i am trying to say to you my friend is that even one great institution like River plate (allow me to say that for my club) or if you prefer even one of the best institutions around the world they can t ANYMORE play the role they USED TO 15 years before. times and football changed unfortunately.

  7. if the play is for three man defence then
    romero,lisandro,senesi the best bet in defence
    dybala/dimaria/messi-dybala/lautaro-nico gonzales

    substitute would be foyth for romero, otamendi for lisandro, sen
    both midfield and attack has overwhelmed with quality player, some player will only play substitute or bench only if other injured such example as buendia vs r depaul

    if play is in 4 man defence

    back defence could be rotate with the chemistry of romero lisandro otamendi senesi

    if senesi,romero,lisandro don’t finds it’s importance it is big failure

  8. Emi Buendia has been targeted by Aston Villa…..will be a very good move for him….if it happens…..he sould be considered for the Argentina National team…..

  9. Santiago Simon from River Plate is a talent to look out for. I know that many people have had problems with overrating River players in the past, and it is true that the press does rate some local players too high, but I do truly believe he has a lot of potential. Not as much as Sarmiento (from Estudiantes) but more than Alvarez or Beltran. I don’t want to get ahead of myself because it was only one game but it was his first as a starter and played as if he had a lot of experience. Very good dribbler and provides perfectly weighted passes for attacks. He is 18 years old. Remember his name. Angileri with another goal and solid performance, balanced contribution in attack and defense when needed. Good option as back up to Tagliafico and Angileri. I also would like to ask you Cox, what is your opinion on Borre? On one hand he is the top goalscorer of the Gallardo era but personally I am critical of him because of the amount of chances he needs to score. Girotti comes in and scores with his first touch while Borre needs 45 minutes.

    • my friend we don t overrate our players inside River family. this is the important firstly. we have people with high level of knowledge about football. this is our guarantee for bright furure. Secondly comes the character factor. exist many kids over the years that begins very promising and with high potential but because they or their managers or their family members without they arrive to their maximum they stop work hard to improve because they thought that they arrive (in their brains only) to the everest. the “i am new Maradona” way of thinking destroy many kids believe me my friend. this is their managers fault mostly. River plate have no fault. if somebody leaves because of money without look carefully his future career then in River we can t do anything about that. in those cases we just try take as much money we can. not as much we could take if that player stay to work to involve more. examples like that DOZENS my friend.

      Angileri is one very hard working kid which i like very much and i have high hopes too.
      everything is going well in his case at the moment. BUT my friend we can t know the future. it is very early and personally in my age i am not getting exited easy anymore. with nobody. not about Angileri. my eyes have see many things over the years. i just wait future to see.

      now as about Borre. i will say to you what i had said to some of my friends River fans too when we spoke about him recently because Borre contract expire in June.
      i want we renew his contract just only to sell him imidietely and take as much money we can. i am thankfull to Borre and i will be always gratefull for everything he offer to the team all those years BUT i don t want he stay longer because i believe he can t go higher. he reach his limits i believe. While i believe that comes the next question to myself. in River the past 20 years (no value to go more back ) passed strikers like Salas, Trezeguet, Falcao, Higuain, Cavenaghi and others. Does Borre can stand beside those players we had recently? the answer to myself is clear NO HE IS NOT and he will not reach that level in future too i believe. So it is time for River to move on and find someone better or try build someone better than Borre.this is my opinion.

      • Once again, couldn’t agree with you more my friend Cox4. I have said it many times, the talent is there but talent alone is certainly not enough. Proper development is equally important to talent and has to do with the character of a player, the player must stay on the ground, be humble and simple and keep on working hard. It is true that people in our age 😁 have learnt not to get excited very easily, being cautiously optimistic and wait to see what happens eventually, either talking for a player or for our beloved team.
        I would also like to say something else: Csabalala, not too long ago, when i was reading your comments i have to say that quite many times i was getting frustrated or even dissapointed but now, i have to say exactly the opposite, you are surely one of the people in here that i really enjoy reading their comments carefully and i am really glad about that! Keep it on amigo!

    • > overrating River players in the past

      Are you referring to LMQ and Armani?

      Palacios has high expectations but his current situation is holding him back. I don’t think there’s any reason to doubt him right now but he does need to gtfo of Deutschland.

      Armani was in crazy form so people were excited especially after ol’ reliable Romero exited. He managed to save our assess with that penalty and didn’t get a fair shot in the WC as he was tossed into Sampaolis nightmare without proper preparation. He would have done much better if he started from the beginning but trainwreck Sampaoli happened. i do like Armani and will not criticize his NT performance but i would prefer Martinez right now.

      LMQ is another with high expectations and is unfortunately on the receiving end right now. Yeah mistake that led to goal but overall, he fit naturally and it seemed been starting for years. In league, LMQ simply needs more time. People need to breathe a little. Romero, Martinez, LMQ, Foyth, Otamendi are the top picks right now

    • Julian Alvarez a little bit remains me of Thomas Mueller, not the most talented but very intelligent player, on and off the ball too, 3 assists again, not the first time, he played cca. 3000 minutes in River so far, and provided 16 assists.

  10. Hello guys.. just thinking the following 11 will be our best olympic squad under ideal condition.
    ……………..Lautaro Morales…………
    …………….Alexis McAllister………

    Is there a better squad than this?

    • Sadly Romero, Foyth, Palacios, Nico Gonzalez and Lautaro will play on Copa and wont let by their clubs to Olympics. My ideal and strongest team: GK (overaged one)—Montiel-Foyth-Romero-Facundo Medina—Palacios—Lisandro Martinez (i dont like Ascacibar)—Macallister—Nico Gonzalez—Lautaro—Thiago Almada. Maybe Fausto Vera in DM pos, and Lisandro in CB or LB.

  11. Papu Gomez had much better offers from Arab countries and American football but he choosed Sevilla so that he can play for Argentina otherwise he would have disappeared. This is his dedication for the Argentina national team. Papu Gomez must be in the team he is one of the best contender for Attacking Midfielder role.Lo celso and Papu Gomez are best for that role.

  12. I love having Pochettino as a coach in different teams. You can tell that some of the decisions he makes are for the benefit of the national team, like bringing Foyth out to Europe, buying Lo Celso, and granting Paredes a tactical renaissance. I will be very interested to see who he wants to buy next transfer window. Sadly PSG is not a club where he can bring out youngsters to develop. He will have to focus more on building chemistry with our big stars, bringing out players like Dybala to fix their careers, and doing Paredes type tactical changing to some of our players. Either way I only expect good and am excited to see what he will do next. Man city will be a hard game but if they can beat them they certainly can beat RM or Chelsea.

  13. emi martines, musso, marchesin,
    lisandro martinez,otamendi,romero,senesi,(lmq,perez,medina,pezella,garay)
    montiel,foyth,acuna, tagliafico (molina,angileri,saravia)
    paredes,Rdepaul,locelso,nicogonzales,palacios,ocampos,dimaria,guido rodrigues,(nico domingues,joaquen correa,buendia,angel correa, alezandro gomez, zaracho)
    lisandro is great if lisandro has same warrior mentality like macherano in defending then he is more quality then macherano,,,
    foyth play is weak when its come to team movement

    • Completely agree about Lisandro. I watched a little bit of the Roma game and despite his height he always goes for headers and always goes for action. He jumps as high as he can and wins some of them or destabilizes his opponent. If he is willing to do all he can to make up for his height it shouldn’t be a problem at all

  14. On other topic…

    I will be anxiously watching Barca final tomorrow. Their and Messi’s only chance to win anything this season, at club level. Will be eager to see if Messi shows up. I don’t like the fact that he is not been able to make any difference in big games or against big opponents. 5 years back he would kill Bilbao. Now you don’t know. Its not age completely. Its pure in the mind. I really hope he has a cracking game. Make no mistake he will be the creative focal point for sure, but I am not sure how decisive he will be. Lets see. Vamos.

    • Much harder against TOP teams or in big matches (every striker goal and assist ratio decrease drastically in those matches), CR the same no or minimal impact in big matches since years, maybe its teammates thing. CR didnt score 28 out of 30 matches against WC-winners top international teams career-wise, shocking, central defender statistic. Compare Messi vs Ronaldo in big matches against TOP3 Messi 54 matches 40 goals, CR 62 matches 28 goals, in UCL knock out Messi 73/49 CR 83/67, against english TOP6 Messi 32/26 CR 77/26. Messi in finals 42/29 and 13 assists, CR 34 matches 20 goals and poor 2 assits, overall Messi is/was definitely a better big game player, but he plays deeper and depper with years, on the other hand CR is more and more only a poacher.

      • Agree. That’s my point. I am not comparing Messi with Ronaldo as such. But Messi now against Messi 5 years back. I find it hard to believe he has not scored in a clasico for 4 years. He was the biggest difference maker against top teams. Hope he has a great game tomorrow.

    • I think part of Messi’s issue as of late as well in big games is he is the only player that really destabilizes defense. If dembele would score the chances that Messi provides for him as well it would offer Messi more space but unfortunately that’s not the case. That along with a shaky defense really hurts his cause because a more solid defense means the other team takes more risks which in turn gives him more space to work with. I really hope he leaves after this season because he can do so much more and I doubt Barca has the resources to provide him with a team where he can really shine.

  15. Villarreal vs Dinamo was a dreadful game. Dinamo down 1 goal and they refused the cross the center. It was hilarious when Rulli and CBs held the ball staring at the opposition waiting for them to stretch out a bit. Even the commentators were talking shit about the lack of pressing and motivation. Let’s hope Villa spanks Arsenal and we see Villa vs United final.

    Ajax vs Roma was disappointing. Stupid wet pitch led to a defender slipping and Roma scored. Regardless, Lisandro and Tagliafico played great, especially Lisandro with highest whoscored rating of 7.4.

    • Tagliafico did not play great he was average, mostly in opposition half, needs to improve his temperament and was involved in negative action.
      Lisandro Martinez was the best player for Ajax,most touches and even participated in build up.

    • Nico Tagliafico did not have a great game. He was not bad either. He also committed the foul that wiped out the crucial second goal of Ajax. You get a feel that he has already reached his peak. We have seen his best already. He will have great games here and there, or even a great half-season or a full one, but his level has peaked.

      At this point Acuna will be my first choice left back, backed by Nico. It won’t be bad if Nico moves to Italian league now.

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