Defense and Justice and Lanús, hand in hand for glory
The long awaited wait is over. On an atypical date due to the coronavirus pandemic, this afternoon a new winner of the Copa Sudamericana, the second most important event in the region, will be known. From 5pm, at Mario Alberto Kempes, Lanús will collide with Defense and Justice. The referee will be the Venezuelan Jesús Valenzuela (he replaced the Uruguayan Leodán González) and the Chilean Julio Bascuñán will be in charge of the VAR.
El Garnet, which was able to conquer this contest in its 2013 edition, arrives at this stage with a sensitive loss, since Lautaro Acosta, emblem and captain of the team, reached the limit of yellow cards. Among the options that Luis Zubeldia is considering to replace Laucha are Lucas Vera (he would use a 4-3-3 scheme), José Luis Gómez (the defender would play in the middle of the field) or the youthful Franco Orozco, who is nicknamed Lauchita, for having similar characteristics to ‘7’.
The other variant that the South set would carry out is the entry of the experienced Guillermo Burdisso in defense instead of Matías Pérez. The former Boca and Independiente was preserved in the second leg of the semifinals due to muscle discomfort.
Lanús reached the final with a mixture of youth and experience (REUTERS / Marcelo Endelli)
To reach the definition of the tournament, Lanús had to go through a hard road, since he had to go to the height of Quito (Catholic University of Ecuador) and La Paz (Bolívar of Bolivia) and prevail against three champions of the Copa Libertadores: San Pablo, Independiente and Vélez.
El Halcón, for his part, seems to have everything much clearer to go in search of his first title. Hernán Crespo would bet on the same eleven that come from beating Deportes Coquimbo 4 to 2 in the second leg of the semifinals at the Norberto Tomaghello, although he could change the tactical drawing and go on to play with a 4-3-3 to try to counter the opponent’s attacks.
Those of Florencio Varela, who went on to the Copa Sudamericana after finishing third in their group in the Copa Libertadores, they did not lose in any of their eight presentations. In this way, if he is proclaimed champion, he will be the fifth to do so undefeated (Inter de Porto Alegre in 2008, Universidad de Chile in 2011, San Pablo in 2012 and River in 2014). On his way he beat Sportivo Luqueño from Paraguay, Vasco da Gama (Brazil), Bahia (Brazil) and the aforementioned Deportes Coquimbo from Chile.
Defense and Justice are undefeated in the South American Cup and have Braian Romero, scorer of the tournament with 9 goals (. / Natacha Pisarenko)
In addition to their tandem starring the young Enzo Fernández and Valentín Larralde, who are in charge of handling the threads of the team, both in defense and in attack, they have an offense to fear. Walter Bou, register four assists in just four games; while Braian Romero is the tournament’s top scorer with nine screams in eight games.
In case of converting a doublet, the Argentine forward will become the top scorer in an edition of the Copa Sudamericana, reaching the feats of Chileans Eduardo Vargas (11, Universidad de Chile, 2011) and Humberto Suazo (10, Colo-Colo , 2006).
It is worth noting that This will be the first South American Cup final featuring two teams from the same country, something that did happen in the Copa Libertadores in its editions of 2005 (San Pablo-Atlético Paranaense), 2006 (San Pablo-Inter de Porto Alegre) and 2018 (River-Boca).
The story between the two makes a nod to Defense and Justice, since he won four of the eight times they met (they tied two games and Lanús could only celebrate twice). He Garnet don’t defeat the Hawk for almost 4 years (2016, February 14). The last time they saw each other was in Complementation Zone A of the Diego Armando Maradona Cup, with a 1-1 draw at La Fortaleza.
Judge Jesús Valenzuela will be the third time he has handed down justice to the Falcon. In its two antecedents, the Argentine team ended up equaling the match 0 to 0: against San Pablo in the South American of 2017 and against Deportes Coquimbo in the first leg of the semifinals of the current edition. Lanús, who was never able to celebrate before a Venezuelan judge (three defeats and two equalities), will be the first time.
Beyond sports, this edition of the Sudamericana will award a succulent financial prize for the winner of the trophy bearing that name since 2002. The champion of the new edition will win 4,000,000 dollars, while definition loser will get 2 million of the US currency.
In addition, thanks to obtaining the championship, whoever wins the title will ensure participation in the next edition of the Recopa against the winner of the Copa Libertadores that will be defined on January 30 at the legendary Maracana in Rio de Janeiro between two Brazilian teams, Palmeiras and Santos.
The other possible definition for the South American winner would be to dispute the renowned cup J.League YBC Levain Cup / Conmebol, former Suruga Bank. The 2020 version was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic and there are no details of what will happen in the match that the new champion of the South American Cup should play with the champion of the Japanese J. League Cup.
Lanús: Lautaro Morales; Braian Aguirre, Guillermo Burdisso, Alexis Pérez, Alexandro Bernabei; José Luis Gómez or Franco Orozco, Facundo Quignon, Tomás Belmonte, Pedro De la Vega; Nicolás Orsini and José Sand. DT: Luis Zubeldia.
Defense and Justice: Ezequiel Unsain; Emanuel Brítez, Adonis Frías, Héctor Martínez, Rafael Delgado; Enzo Fernández, Valentín Larralde, Eugenio Isnaldo; Francisco Pizzini, Braian Romero and Walter Bou. DT: Hernán Crespo.
Stadium: Mario Alberto Kempes (Córdoba)
Referee: Jesus Valenzuela (Venezuela)
VAR: Julio Bascuñán (Chile)
Television: ESPN and DirecTV
I kept reading:
Behind the scenes of Lanús’s youth project that led him to play the final of the Copa Sudamericana
The secrets of “Pepe” Sand, the eternal scorer who is in search of a new record with Lanús surrounded by boys who are twice his age