BUENOS AIRES (EFE) – Defense and Justice, from Argentina, which won its first title by staying with the Sudamericana 2020, receives this Wednesday the Brazilian multi-champion Palmeiras, who won the Copa Libertadores in 1999 and 2020, in the first leg of the South American Recopa.
The coach who won the Buenos Aires team was former striker Hernán Crespo, now coach of San Pablo. His replacement is Sebastián Beccacece, who in February began his third cycle in Florencio Varela’s Halcón.
Defensa y Justicia ranks 6th among 13 teams in Zone B of the Argentine Professional Football League Cup with 11 points, two behind Independiente, which is fourth and occupies the last qualifying place for the next instance.
On Saturday, those led by Beccacece dominated Boca Juniors at La Bombonera, but could not capture the superiority in the result and fell 2-1.
“We made a remarkable first half, looking for the leading role and taking charge of the game in a complex scenario, against a rival with great individual power. The feeling of going tied at halftime due to the marked superiority was unfair,” said the coach after the game .
In the first half, Walter Bou put the visitors ahead by scoring a goal after a play that included 25 passes.
Bou played in the place of Braian Romero, the starting center forward, who was absent due to injury but is now recovered and would return to the starting position.
The Palmeiras, directed by the Portuguese Abel Ferreira, also comes to this meeting at a great moment. The last Libertadores champion won the Brazil Cup at the beginning of March by beating Gremio de Porto Alegre with a 3-0 aggregate.
This was the fourth Brazilian Cup won by Palmeiras, also champions in 1998, 2012 and 2015.
Striker Wesley and midfielder Zé Rafael recovered from their injuries and trained alongside their teammates on Monday.
The one who is in doubt is the young midfielder Gabriel Menino, one of the revelations of last season, due to an injury he suffered in the ligament of his right ankle.
“Our goal is to go to Argentina, do a good job and bring a good result to Brazil. Defense and Justice is a team that fights to the end, that never gives up and I think it will be a highly contested match,” said striker Rony in statements to the club.
The return match will be played on April 14 at the Mané Garrincha stadium, in Brasilia, and not in São Paulo, due to the restrictions in force in that region due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The champion of the last edition of the Recopa Sudamericana was Flamengo (winner of the Libertadores 2019), who beat the Ecuadorian Independiente del Valle (champion of the South American 2019) with an aggregate of 5-2.