Palmeiras 0-2 River Plate (3-2 agg): Comeback falls just short in semi-final thriller

By Sports Desk January 12, 2021

Palmeiras reached their first Copa Libertadores final since 2000 after edging River Plate despite a thrilling second-leg loss on Tuesday.

First-half goals from Robert Rojas and Rafael Santos Borre had River on track to sensationally overturn a 3-0 deficit in the semi-finals in Sao Paulo.

Champions in 2018, River had a goal ruled out early in the second half and a penalty call overturned after Rojas' red card, Palmeiras holding on for a 3-2 aggregate victory.

River found their way back into the tie before half-time.

Rojas produced a brilliant header from a Nicolas De La Cruz corner before Borre nodded in a Matias Suarez cross in the 44th minute.

River thought they had levelled the tie in the 52nd minute, but Gonzalo Montiel's volley was ruled out for offside following a VAR check.

There was more drama to follow.

Rojas was sent off in the 73rd minute after being shown a second yellow card.

But River were awarded a penalty just two minutes later for a challenge by Alan Empereur on Suarez, only for the decision to be overturned following a VAR check.

There was another check for a penalty for River in the 100th minute, but Palmeiras held on to move into the final against either Santos or Boca Juniors.

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