RIVER IS THE CHAMPION OF THE RECOPA! Marcelo Gallardo’s team became a giant at the Monumental Stadium. It hammered Athletico Paranaense 3-0, turning the series around and celebrating a new title.

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In the first half, River was clearly superior to Athletico Paranaense. The team was focused, precise and created many goal situations, some of which were extremely clear. The first one consisted in a centering pass shot by Fabrizio Angilero from the left, but Lucas Pratto couldn’t connect it. Then, after an amazing collective play, Nacho Fernández penetrated the area and took a right-footed shot, bursting Santos’ right goalpost.

The next one consisted in a move from the left between Nacho Fernández and Rafael Borré, that met Angileri, but his right-sided shot was saved by the rival goalkeeper. From the left, River’s player no. 4 sent a good centering pass to the middle of the area and Pratto headed the ball, but Santos controlled it at the centre of the goal.

Another very clear opportunity for River consisted in Gonzalo Montiel running past his opponents from the right and Pratto taking a shot that the goalkeeper blocked with his hand, at the bottom, when it was meant to be a goal. In the only threatening move by the away team, Franco Armani performed a feat and spectacularly saved a shot by Luis González a metre away from the goal.

At the beginning of the second half, River was still clearly superior, even though it had difficulty getting close to the goal during the first minutes. Pratto tried a header after a corner kick, and then came the 1-0 score: thanks to the VAR, the referee, Roberto Tobar, gave River a penalty because González handled the ball. Nacho Fernández took the penalty, and even though his shot was controlled by the goalkeeper, he caught the rebound and scored the goal that evened the series.

Then, River went for more, so as to win before the 90 minutes came to an end and avoid extra time. Armani appeared once more to save a shot by Lodi from outside the area and, in stoppage time, Pratto caught a great assist from Matías Suarez in the area and scored 2-0, awarding a new Recopa to River. The final goal came thanks to a careless rival defence and a perfect definition by Suárez himself, setting the 3-0 score.

Thus, el Millionario added a new title, a new lap of honour and lifted the Recopa in this final that became possible after beating Boca Juniors in Madrid. The Monumental Stadium, which held a party from beginning to end, witnessed a new feat

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