Estudiantes crowned Copa de la Liga winners

The Pincharrata beat Vélez Sarsfield on penalties, with goalkeeper Matías Mansilla once again the hero

Estudiantes de La Pata won the 2024 Copa de la Liga after beating Vélez Sarsfield 4-3 on a penalty shootout after the game ended in a 1-1 draw. Eduardo Dominguez’s team won it’s second title in five months after winning the Copa Argentina last December.

The final, played at the Madre de Ciudades stadium in Santiago del Estero, was a high-paced game from kick-off where both sides pushed for an early lead. Despite some clearer chances for Vélez, it was the Pincharrata who took the early lead, with a long-range goal by defender Eros Mancuso in the 14th minute. The Fortín kept pushing but to no avail, as the first half ended 1-0.

Things got even more uphill for Vélez in the second half, as defender Damián Fernández was sent off following an elbow to the face of Colombian winger Edwuin Cetré in the 59th minute. However, Gustavo Quinteros’ side — which had a player sent off in all three playoff games — surprised Estudiantes four minutes later by scoring through a fast counter by youngster Alejo Sarco, getting his first goal ever for Velez’s first team.

The game took another tumble in the 70th minute, when Estudiantes’ Gaston Benedetti was sent off for fouling Vélez winger Francisco Pizzini when he had a direct path to a goal, making the game a 10 vs. 10 affair.

At that point, the high stakes of the final took over and no team was able to wrestle control of the match. Vélez looked exhausted and seemed unable to do more than resist Estudiantes’ timid attacks. The game finished 1-1 and went to extra time, but the match remained the same. Thus, the final was decided on a penalty shootout.

Estudiantes goalkeeper Matías Mansilla proved to be the key once again after his heroics against Boca in the semifinal. He saved three of six shots to allow midfielder Fernando Zuqui to score the decider.

“I’m proud of coaching this team,” said Estudiantes coach Domínguez, who shied away from any comparison with the Pincharrata’s last title-winning coach, the late Alejandro Sabella. “I know my place and it’s the player’s who get us where we are. I was under the spotlight when I played; now I’m just part of the supporting cast.”

When does the Liga Profesional kick off?

There’s very little time for celebration and disappointment for Argentine football teams and fans, with the Liga Profesional kicking off on May 10. The competition for the second semester of the year is the traditional Argentine championship. It will be played in a league format across 27 matchdays, with all teams playing each other once.

River Plate, the defending champion, starts its campaign on Saturday when it hosts Central Córdoba, while Boca Juniors visits Atlético Tucuman on Sunday.


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