River and Cruzeiro drew 0-0 in the first leg Marcelo Gallardo’s team drew 0-0 at the Monumental Stadium. At the end, Matías Suárez couldn’t score the penalty and grant River the victory. The series will be decided next week in Brazil.

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After an even beginning, River began to dominate the ball. However, the first opportunity of the match was for Cruzeiro, after a shot by Luis Orejuela went above the crossbar. El Millionario answered approaching the goal from the sides a few times, with center passes by Gonzalo Montiel and Fabrizio Angileri.

Julián Álvarez caught the ball out of the area, adjusted himself and fired a shot which was easily controlled by Fábio. Then, Matías Suárez directed a header to one corner, the goalkeeper blocked it, and Nacho Fernández couldn’t catch the rebound comfortably, coming from the Brazilian team’s left goalpost.

On another opportunity, Nacho Fernández tried a free kick and Fábio blocked it, sending it towards the centre of the area; Exequiel Palacios caught it and fired a deflected shot. The youth player had another chance, with a shot from outside the area, and later Nicolás De La Cruz couldn’t leverage a pass by Suárez who had effectively run past rival players on the right. In the last attempt of the first half, Robert Rojas (he replaced Javier Pinola) won the header in the area but it was deflected.

The second half began with a nullified goal for Cruzeiro due to an offside position and, thereafter, River took control of the match, even though it had difficulties creating goal opportunities. De La Cruz created the first one by means of a deflected shot, and then Suárez tried a bicycle kick after an assist by Lucas Pratto. The forward also headed the ball, which passed very close to Fábio’s left goalpost.

Cruzeiro hardly brought about goal situations in the second half and the last one was a high shot by Egídio. During extra time, through VAR, the referee Julio Bascuñán awarded a penalty to el Millionario, but Suárez fired a shot that went above the crossbar, thus ending the match 0-0. Next Tuesday, the bracket will be decided in Brazil.

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