Platense was classified as a finalist for the Professional League Cup by winning the definition with shots from the penalty spot to Godoy Cruz by 6 to 5, after drawing 1 to 1, in a vibrant match played at the Único stadium in the Buenos Aires city of San Nicolás.
The central defender born in Quilmes Raúl Lozano took charge of the tenth penalty for Calamar: he hit it hard low and in the middle to score the winning goal for Platense and place it in a final after 80 years.
In the 90 minutes the goals were scored by Ronaldo Martínez for Saavedra’s team and by Uruguayan Salomón Rodríguez for Tomba, both during the initial stage.
With this victory, Platense entered the second qualifying phase of the Copa Libertadores de América in its 2024 edition. The previous final that Platense played in Primera was with a defeat against Huracán for the Adrián Escobar Cup in 1943.
At the time of penalties, The hero of Platense was Ramiro Macagnoformer Atletico Rafaela and Newell’s goalkeeper, who saved the shots of Enzo Larrosa, Roberto Fernández, Thomas Galdames and Federico Rasmussen (Tadeo Allende threw it wide).
For the Mendoza team, Diego “Ruso” Rodríguez contained the shots of Leonel Picco and Jerónimo Cacciabue, while Luciano Ferreyra and Ciro Rius threw their executions wide.
The beautiful Único de San Nicolás stadium was filled with more than 10,000 Platense fans, while some 3,000 tombinos traveled the 900 kilometers that separate Mendoza from this Buenos Aires city.
For the match, Daniel Oldrá (Godoy Cruz’s coach) had a line of four, Nicolás Fernández and Cristian Núñez as recovery midfielders, later Tadeo Allende on the right, Tomás Conechny on the left and Hernán López Muñoz loose behind the only forward, Salomon Rodriguez.
While Martín Palermo, his colleague from Platense, opted for a double line of four and up top were the two forwards Mateo Pellegrino and Ronaldo Martínez.
The double line of four allowed Platense to hinder the offensive capacity of the Tomba midfielders, López Muñoz, Allende and Conechny. In the first minutes, Vicente López’s men managed to get “Ruso” Rodríguez to come out with balls to the forwards to avoid high pressure.
Godoy Cruz sought to dominate the game and manage it, but Platense fulfilled the position of blocking, recovering and getting out quickly with his forwards. While Martínez surprised with his speed, Mateo Pelegrino – son of Mauricio Pellegrino, former player and coach of Vélez – “fought” with his rivals and was the lighthouse that knocked down all the balls with his head.
At 17 minutes, full-back Raúl Lozano won a ball very poorly defended by Núñez near the rival area, he served it to Ocampo who got into the area and threw a low cross parallel to the line that the Paraguayan Ronaldo Martínez sent to the back of the net, giving the Squid the advantage.
Godoy Cruz took a few minutes to settle in, until at 27m López Muñoz and Galdames put together a play that led to a cross to the penalty spot. There Rassmussen drove it towards the six-yard box, the ball hit a defender and fell to Rodríguez, who scored right under Macagno’s nose.
With the goal, Godoy Cruz asserted himself, López Muñoz handled the ball again and Salomón smiled after breaking a streak of several games without scoring.
The actions continued at a fast pace, with speed in the movement of the ball, although at one point there were inaccuracies typical of a match played under a lot of pressure.
Upon returning from halftime, the game began to get stuck, infractions, hitting and pushing increased, and those responsible for handling the ball on each team began to appear imprecise.
With the game tangled, Platense opted for a dead ball, while Godoy Cruz insisted on handling López Muñoz, who played the second half with obvious pain in one of his ankles.
Then Palermo ordered the departure of their scorer Ronaldo Martínez and the entry of the winger Ciro Rius and the recovery midfielder Leonel Picco, and their team automatically retreated a few meters and closed in close to their goalkeeper.
To sustain the match, Platense showed rigorous defensive discipline to prevent gaps from opening up and Godoy Cruz being able to filter a pass to put a player facing the goalkeeper.
With this situation, both teams headed to penalties, where Macagno was able to give Platense the historic ticket to a final for an Argentine Primera tournament.
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