Anything goes in the Cup
Liberators. There were games of this edition that were held in Colombia while social protests were unleashed around the stadiums. From the field, gunshots could be heard. Now, tonight, a sports paper will be drawn that surpasses any fictional story. The thing is River he will play without a “real” goalkeeper. The four inscribed on the list are among those affected by the massive Covid-19 outbreak that affects the workforce. That is why a field footballer will be the goalkeeper and, to complete the 11, will include an injured.
This situation ends up being crowned because River suffers 20 positive cases, 15 were confirmed a day before the Superclásico with Boca and the other 5 the day after. Among those affected are the four goals listed on the Libertadores list: Franco Armani, Enrique Bologna, Germán Lux and Franco Petroli.
In this context, River had asked Conmebol for an exception to include Alan Leonardo Díaz, the second goalkeeper of the Reserve, still without a professional contract, appears on Sunday in the Bombonera in a consecrating debut.
Although to sustain this competition several times the regulation was run, this time Conmebol decided to stick to what was written (it is only accepted to include a goalkeeper in case of serious injury) and to ignore River’s request.
The real reasons for allowing this role are twofold. On the one hand, Conmebol does not want to set precedents of this type. On the other hand, it is a kind of revenge with the ‘millionaire’ team. Why? Because coach Marcelo Gallardo chose to include 32 players, although the regulation allows registering 50 in the event of possible massive outbreaks of Covid-19.
The real thing is that first River was wrong, but now the mistake is Conmebol. If it was flexible before, why now does it do nothing to prevent a match from being distorted from the start?
This match of the most important team tournament in America will resemble a party of friends. “Who saves?” is often asked in those postcards far from professionalism. “Who saves?” everyone in River is wondering at this time.
Trials with the veteran middle Enzo Pérez under sticks
Gallardo surprised in the section of the last session putting under the sticks the experienced midfielder Enzo Pérez. Former Valencia, a World Cup player in Brazil 2014 and Russia 2018, was on the disabled list with a muscle strain in his right hamstring. He could put on his gloves today to save from the start and complete all 11.
If Enzo Pérez’s goal is too big or he suffers from his injury, there are three other teammates who could replace him, all defenders: Milton Casco, Jonatan Maidana and Tomás Lecanda also tend to have fun on goal in recreational training. As it happens in the matches of friends, as the regulation allows it, River will be able to rotate the goal during the match as many times as he wants. As long as the role exchange is with a player who is on the court, there will be no problems. Just in case you will have several goalkeeper divers prepared with different numbers …
River, in addition, could have another injured as the only substitute. Javier Pinola has not played since February due to a broken forearm. He is not yet discharged, but he asked Gallardo to please be included in the bank. Yesterday he did some light work with the ball on the sidelines of his teammates. The Doll will decide.
Above River is obliged to add. He has 6 points in Group D and is second next to Junior, behind the leader Fluminense (8) and ahead of the last Independiente Santa Fe (2).
Tonight will be as historic as it will be shameful for South American football. River will play with a field footballer as a goalkeeper and using an injured person because it does not reach 11 players. The Libertadores will add another stain. It will happen because Conmebol allows it. It seems like a story, but it is not.