River Plate hand title to Boca Juniors
River goalkeeper Armani saved a penalty in the last minute, helping rivals Boca lift the league title in Argentina.
Stories sometimes have unexpected heroes. This is what happened when Franco Armani, a River legend, saved a penalty in the 90th minute to prevent Racing winning the league title in Argentina and hand it to arch-rivals Boca Juniors.
River, Boca, Racing and Independiente have the strongest rivalries in Argentina and all four sides faced each other on the final day of the 2022 league campaign. To make matters worse, Boca and Racing depended on their biggest enemies (River and Independiente) to win the title.
After almost 90 minutes in both matches, Independiente did their part for their rivals Racing away at Boca, drawing the match 2-2 and handing the title to Racing on a plate. River, through Borja, equalised in a match that Racing needed to win to lift the title, when suddenly, the referee awarded a penalty in favour of Racing.
At this point, a Racing goal practically made them champions, but Franco Armani had other ideas, and saved the penalty. The Millonario goalkeeper dived to his left, guessing the right way to stop Galván’s effort and prevent a winning goal. But it was not only there that Armani became a hero in the blue and yellow part of Buenos Aires.
Armani helps Boca lift title
In two previous attempts by Copetti, the keeper smothered the chances, and deflected a Carbonero shot onto the woodwork. He also had his hand in it once more after saving the penalty, as Romero tried again with a header, but Armani responded to perfection by deflecting away the shot.
Armani, who looks set to travel to Qatar for the World Cup with Argentina, became the hero for Boca, who, if it were not for the goalkeeper, would probably not be celebrating another league title in the Argentine capital today.