Argentine soccer club River Plate pulled off an improbable victory on Wednesday night. River Plate were forced to play their Copa Libertadores match against Colombian side Santa Fe with just 11 healthy players after a COVID-19 outbreak on their squad. Twenty players tested positive and the team was also missing additional players due to injury.
Winning with no substitutes is an accomplishment in and of itself. But River Plate's feat is even more impressive given their goalkeeper situation. All three goalkeepers on their roster were unavailable for the match, so the club had to use midfielder Enzo Perez in goal against Santa Fe.
Despite the outbreak and the ridiculous roster, River Plate stormed out to a quick lead. They scored two goals in the first six minutes. Santa Fe eventually scored on Perez, the midfielder-turned-goalie, in the 73rd minute, but it was the only shot they got by him.
River Plate incredible night 🇦🇷— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) May 20, 2021
- 20+ Covid cases
- Goalkeepers ruled out
- No list changes allowed
- 11 players available (!)
- Midfielder Enzo Pérez starts as GK vs Santa Fe in Copa Libertadores 🧤
- Pérez plays through a hamstring injury
...and River won 2-1.
Pérez, MVP. 🏆 pic.twitter.com/qtmrDjbnxm
The victory put River Plate on top of Group D standings in the CONMEBOL Copa Libertadores, the South American equivalent to the UEFA Champions League. Here are the highlights:
"What place happened today will be not in my history, but in the history of our club, in the history of River Plate, in the history of our institution, River Plate head coach Marcelo Gallardo told reporters, including Sky Sports.
"I believe that we have never had a situation like this one today. I am sure this will be remembered and bookmarked. It was not normal to play under the conditions that we did."