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Rosario Central end two decades of hurt with Copa Argentina title win

The Canalla defeated Gimnasia La Plata 4-1 on penalties in a dramatic final at the Malvinas Argentinas stadium in Mendoza, after a 1-1 draw in 90 minutes. 

Friday 7 December, 2018
Rosario Central celebrate their Copa Argentina title, after defeating Gimnasia y Esgrima on penalties.
Rosario Central celebrate their Copa Argentina title, after defeating Gimnasia y Esgrima on penalties. Foto:NA/DELFO RODRÍGUEZ

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Rosario Central end 23 years of hurt last night, claiming the Copa Argentina title on penalties.

The Canalla defeated Gimnasia La Plata 4-1 on penalties in a dramatic final at the Malvinas Argentinas stadium in Mendoza, after a 1-1 draw in 90 minutes. 

The victory, coming 23 years after the Rosario side won the now extinct Copa Conmebol in 1995. The title win secures them qualification for next year's Copa Libertadores.

Central now become the sixth Argentine side to qualify for next year's incarnation of the iconic tournament, joining Boca Juniors, San Lorenzo, Hurricane, Godoy Cruz, and Talleres de Córdoba. A seventh qualifier will be decided on Sunday, when Boca face River Plate in the Copa Libertadores final second leg in Madrid.

In an intense final last night that swung both ways in the 90 minutes, Central started the better of the two sides, taking the lead with a goal from Fernando Zampedri in the 19th minute. However, Gimnasia levelled the scores in the 51st minute through Lorenzo Faravelli (51).

For some of the Rosario side's fans, a curse in the Copa Argentina has now been put to bed: Central had lost their last three previous finals in the competition, against Huracán (2014), Boca (2015) and River (2016).

The celebrations in Mendoa stretched long into the night. 

The match's final moments were defined by penalties, with Néstor Ortigoza, Marco Ruben, Alfonso Parot and Matías Caruzzo all converting their spotkicks for Central. For Gimnasia, only Jan Hurtado scored, with Santiago Silva firing his shot over the crossbar. Manuel Guanini's penalty was then saved by Central's Jeremías Ledesma.

- TIMES/AFP

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