Racing’s road to the final of the Professional League Cup was full of obstacles. The team did not start in the best way from football and little by little it was losing confidence.
The Juan Antonio Pizzi cycle was taking its first steps, and the results were not coming. Neither does the operation of the equipment.
The debut in the contest was with defeat: 2-0 away from Banfield. And then there were two ties in a row, at home against Aldosivi and away from Estudiantes de La Plata.
In the middle, the Academy received a blow in the final of the Argentine Super Cup, where River beat him with a 5-0 win.
That result, despite the short time of work that the DT had, put his future in doubt. And everything was uphill from that moment.
But the coach and his coaching staff proved to be good storm riders to keep going. Three consecutive victories, against Platense, Central and Argentinos, gave Pizzi air. And then, with a very defensive approach, he returned to face River this time at the Monumental: he almost did not attack, but he rescued a point.
Later he defeated Independiente on the hour with a controversial penalty. It was just a little oxygen for a Pizzi who kept being questioned.
Irregularity was a constant in this tournament, to the point that those from Avellaneda reached the last date with the obligation to beat San Lorenzo, and by more than one goal. In the Cylinder they were up to the task and won the classic by 2 to 0. It was a true final, because that is how it displaced the Cyclone from the quarterfinal.
Already at that moment the face of the team was different. He had been consolidating in the Libertadores and the idea of the game proposed by the coach was clearer, supported by a more even performance at the individual level.
This is how he reached the quarterfinals, against Vélez, where he did not shine, tied 0-0 and went through penalties. As against Boca, where after equalizing without goals he also won from 12 steps.
The Academia de Pizzi, of course, has nothing to spare. He reaches this final without scoring so many in the 90 minutes from the quarterfinals. But with the strength that the results give and a collective game that without shining, shows a solidity that it did not have before, is excited.