River Plate will remain in Florida for the third-placed playoff against Vasco da Gama on Saturday after being beaten by São Paulo on penalties in St Petersburg following a goalless draw.
Marcelo Gallardo opted to start with a number of his recognised first eleven on the bench and so defeat wouldn’t have hurt had it not been for the serious knee ligament injury suffered by Denis Rodríguez. The 20-year-old fell unchallenged and will now face several months out, which Gallardo has admitted means River will be looking for reinforcements.
The match itself was a dull affair and only once River introduced a number of the first eleven did they look like winning it. Gonzalo Martínez hit the crossbar but with neither side able to force a winner it went to penalties.
With both sides missing one in their regulation five it went to sudden death and eventually 18-year-old Matias Moya saw his tame effort saved to hand the Brazilians victory.
River Plate 0 – 0 São Paulo (7-8 on pens)