After the first threat posed by Argentino de Merlo, a left corner kick that Cristian Barrios couldn’t head, everything was on River’s side, but Marcelo Gallardo’s team wasn’t definite enough in the last few metres, despite having created several opportunities to score.
Nacho Fernández shot a low centring pass from the left and Matías Suarez gave it a left-footed kick, but his shot was blocked by the rival defence. The clearest opportunity came by Enzo Pérez’s feet, with a left-footed frontal shot that was slightly deflected by Guillermo Pedelacq’s left goalpost.
Nicolás De La Cruz had his chance, with a free kick that passed close to the goalkeeper’s right goalpost. El Millionario kept on insisting and practically did not suffer any distress in the defence. The last chance in the first half was in the hands of Suárez, who wasn’t able to aim a good head assist by Lucas Pratto.
River’s superiority was even more evident in the second half, but the team wasn’t precise in the first twenty-five minutes. The first attempt was made by Nacho Fernández who kicked a shot by De La Cruz over the crossbar and then, the Uruguayan tried it from the outside without success. The incoming Exequiel Palacios, who returned after an injury, assisted Suárez but player no. 7 couldn’t aim a header at the second goalpost.
Nacho had a clear opportunity, with a one-to-one ball he couldn’t convert and, then, De La Cruz hammered Pedelacq’s chest with a free kick. Rafael Borré, who had been brought on some time before, readily caught a rebound with a close angle and, from the left with his right foot, scored the well-deserved 1-0 for River.
With River in the lead, Suárez put together a good individual play, but he was stopped when he was about to kick the ball with his left foot in front of Argentino’s goal. However, player no. 7 got his revenge: Borré escaped to the right, kicked a centring cross and the forward caught it at once with his left foot, setting the 2-0 score and securing the team’s qualification.
During the last ten minutes, Suárez took advantage of a great assist by Borré, left the goalkeeper behind and scored the final 3-0. In the next phase, the round of 16, River will face Gimnasia y Esgrima from Mendoza, which has recently eliminated Aldosivi.