River Plate upbeat about Copa Libertadores despite absence of captain and coach

Source: Xinhua| 2018-11-07 08:49:00|Editor: mmm
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BUENOS AIRES, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) -- River Plate goalkeeper Franco Armani said Tuesday that his team will not dwell on the absence of captain Leonardo Ponzio and coach Marcelo Gallardo in the Copa Libertadores final against Boca Juniors.

Gallardo was suspended for four matches for entering his team's dressing room at halftime in the second leg of their semifinal against Gremio while serving a ban.

Ponzio has been ruled out of the first leg of the final at Boca's Bombonera with a hamstring injury but could be fit for the return fixture between the Buenos Aires rivals at River's Monumental in November 24.

"We have to leave everything aside and focus on the game," Armani told reporters.

Armani, who joined River from Colombia's Atletico Nacional in January, said his 2016 Copa Libertadores triumph with the Medellin club left him wanting more.

"I came to River to win titles, to fight for all the tournaments and, thankfully, now we are in the Copa Libertadores final. We are going to do everything we can to win it."

Boca are aiming for their seventh Copa Libertadores crown while River are hoping to be champions for a fourth time.

The champions will play in the FIFA Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates in December.