Such has been the number of upsets in this year’s Copa Argentina that River Plate are in the semi finals and are yet to face fellow Superliga competition. For 83 minutes in Santa Fe it looked as though the Millonarios’ opponent in the last four would be Federal A club Central Córdoba de Santiago del Estero only for a late equaliser and a penalty shootout victory to seal it for Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata.
The top flight club were understandably heavy favourites in spite of their struggling league position but after a goalless first half found themselves behind almost immediately after the restart when Alfredo Ramírez poked in from close range.
Having already knocked out Vélez Sarsfield and Tigre it looked as though Central Córdoba may do it again and face giants River for a place in the final. However, seven minutes from time a hopeful long ball forward found the run of substitute Jan Carlos Hurtado, the 18-year-old chested the ball around goalkeeper Maximiliano Cavallotti and rolled the ball into the empty net from an acute angle.
Forced straight to a shootout luck swung in favour of Gimnasia. Lucas Licht’s weak spot kick sneaked under Cavallotti as the Superliga club dispatched every single kick and after Javier Rossi had hit the crossbar it was down to Renso Pérez to at least force Pedro Troglio’s side to score. The striker stepped up but couldn’t keep his effort down and as it whistled over the crossbar, El Lobo celebrated victory.
Gimnasia are set to face River on November 14th in Salta.
Gimnasia 1 – 1 Central Córdoba de Santiago del Estero (Pens 4-3)