River took the round pass again in Brazil. This time it could not be with goals that remain in the memory of the fans, but without the tackles of Franco Armani who was once again a figure, first in the 90 minutes, with a spectacular stop and then stopping two of the four penalties that kicked him.
However, River’s fans had already become accustomed to having the result, whether positive or not, in the 90s, or failing that, in 120. The last time he had defined a series of Copa Libertadores since the penalties was in 2004 and in the remembered semi-final match against Boca, where he fell 5 to 4, after beating 2 to 1 in the Monumental (1-0 in La Bombonera for the venue).
In that same edition of the Liberators, it had also been the last time he had won at the international level. It was for the eighth round against Santos Laguna de México at the Monumental. That night, River’s goalkeeper was «Poroto» Lux, who, like his current partner, tackled two of the four shots. The last two internationals, two nightmares
In Copa Libertadores we already did the review, but the Millionaire had two other matches where he went to the definition by penalties and in both he was left out at the international level. The first was in 2007 and by South Americana. There, he fell to Arsenal de Sarandí in the semi-finals, which would later become champions.
The last was in 2018. Unexpected and painful, but that did River’s fans not so much harm. After winning the Copa Libertadores final from Boca in Madrid, Gallardo’s team travelled to the United Arab Emirates to play semi-Club World Cup. There, he was surprised with local team Al Ain, equaled 2-2 and on penalties lost 5 to 4. Now, in Belo Horizonte came redemption, and as more was going to do it if it were not with Armani’s hands, with Gallardo on the bench and a memory that will not be easily erased from the hearts of the fans who said present in the Mineirao.