rgentinian side River Plate secured a remarkable 2-1 Copa Libertadores victory over Colombia’s Sante Fe – despite playing the entire match with an outfield player in goal and not having any substitutes.
River’s squad had been decimated by a Covid outbreak which saw 20 players test positive and left them with a bare XI for the group stage game.
Four goalkeepers were among those affected but a request to register their fifth and sixth-choice goalkeepers was rejected by the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL).
Veteran midfielder Enzo Perez, who was carrying an injury, started in goal behind an inexperienced team but was rarely troubled by Santa Fe, who have yet to win in this year’s Libertadores, the South American equivalent of Europe’s Champions League.
Fabrizio Angileri put River ahead after just three minutes and Julian Alvarez doubled their lead three minutes later.
Kelvin Osorio spoiled Perez’s bid for a clean sheet when he scored after 73 minutes for Santa Fe, who introduced 15-year-old Hollman McCormick to the action late on.
River held on to secure the win and go top in Group D, with nine points from five games.
Additional reporting by Reuters.