River stunned at Copa Argentina, eliminated by a second division side

Martín Demichelis’ team failed to make a dominant performance count and fell to Temperley on penalties

River Plate suffered a shocking defeat on Tuesday by losing in a penalty shootout against Temperley that knocked them out of the Copa Argentina. Martín Demichelis’ team is now the second Primera División side to be eliminated from the tournament by a lower division team after Racing was ousted 2-1 by Talleres de Remedios de Escalada earlier in May.

The upset didn’t look to be on the cards for the River. The Millonario attracted a big crowd to the Malvinas Argentinas stadium in Mendoza province and took control of the game from the outset. However, it failed to make it count on the scoreboard, as Claudio Echeverri missed a clear chance when his shot hit the crossbar in the 22nd minute. 

Demichelis’ side had to wait until the second half, where an impressive Esequiel Barco free kick made it 1-0 51 minutes into the game. Temperley, affectionately known as the Gasolero, kept pushing and its work paid off near the end of the game. In the 92nd minute of added time, a long throw-in put the ball into the box for defender Fernando Martínez to score an acrobatic scissor kick and tie the game 1-1.

Without extra time, the game went into a penalty shootout. Temperley goalkeeper Juan Francisco Rago became the hero, saving shots by Barco and defender Héctor Martínez to claim the win.

“I told them to convince themselves they could win it,” Temperley head coach Walter Perazzo said after the game. “The substitutions helped us; we balanced the game and realized we could tie it. It’s the kind of game you need to become heroes.”

Temperley will now face another second division team, Mitre de Santiago del Estero — a team they beat 2-0 less than a fortnight ago during a league game —, on a venue yet to be determined.

River will return to action this Saturday as they visit Argentinos Juniors in a league game. After that, the Millonario will wrap up its Copa Libertadores group stage campaign on May 30 against Venezuela’s Deportivo Táchira, having already secured qualification to the next phase.


All Right Reserved.  Buenos Aires Herald