SAO PAULO (AP) — Argentine club Defensa y Justicia won its first Recopa Sudamericana title by beating Brazil’s Palmeiras in a penalty shootout Wednesday after scoring a last-gasp goal to force extra time.
The game pitting the winner of the Copa Sudamericana against the Copa Libertadores champion also featured two red cards and a missed penalty by Palmeiras in extra time.
Marcelo Benitez scored in second-half injury time to give Justicia a 2-1 win on the night and a 3-3 aggregate score following an identical victory for Palmeiras in the first leg last week.
Palmeiras had opened the scoring in the 22nd minute with a penalty by Raphael Veiga, while Braian Romero equalized in the 30th.
The Brazilians had the best chances until its left-back Matias Viña was sent off in the 68th minute.
Palmeiras then had a great chance to to net the winner in extra time but defender Gustavo Gomes’ penalty was saved by goalkeeper Ezequiel Unsain. That penalty incident also sparked a scuffle that led to Romero being sent off.
Justicia then won the shootout 4-3 after Luis Adriano and goalkeeper Weverton missed their efforts for Palmeiras.
“We had the trophy until the last minute and it is obvious we are upset, but we can and will improve,” Weverton said. “This is the third game of the season for us, it will be a long year.”
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