In Guayaquil, River played its third match of the group phase of the CONMEBOL Libertadores Cup. It visited Emelec and obtained a key victory. With a goal scored by Javier Pinola, Marcelo Gallardo’s team won by 1-0 and now is the leader of the group with Flamengo. Both teams have 5 points.
River controlled the ball form the beginning and, during the first half, it controlled three quarters of the rival field, but it had a hard time scoring. On its part, the local team had a good opportunity at De Jesús’ feet, but Franco Armani reacted confidently on the one-on-one.
The only goal of the night happened at minute 43 of the first half. After a corner shot, the Ecuadorian play bounced in Enzo Pérez’s feet. He opened to the left for Pity Martínez, he kicked it to the area, and Pinola headed it into the goal.
River had a great chance for scoring another goal at the beginning of the second half after a mistake of the local defense, but Nacho Fernández kicked a deviated shot above the goalkeeper when he tried to score.
Then, El Millonario started feeling tired, and Emelec created some dangerous opportunities, but Armani, once again, showed his greatness, first against a free kick by Preciado, then, during the extra time in another one-on-one with De Jesús, who would score after touching the ball with his hand.
Thus ended the match, and The Greatest had a very important victory, which waits at the top of the group for the rematch against Emelec at the Monumental in a week. Before that, Marcelo Gallardo’s team will visit Arsenal and will seek to extend its winning strike in the Superliga.
Emelec: Esteban Dreer; Juan Carlos Paredes, Jorge Guagua, Marlon Mejía, Oscar Bagüí; Dixon Arroyo Espinoza, Pedro Quiñónez; Marcos Mondaini, Eduar Preciado, Ronaldo Johnson; Marlon De Jesús.
Substitutes: Adrián Bone Pinillo, Romario Caicedo, Osbaldo Lastra, Joao Rojas, Robert Burbano, Fernando Luna. COACH: Alfredo Arias.
River Plate: Franco Armani; Gonzalo Montiel, Jonatan Maidana, Javier Pinola, Marcelo Saracchi; Leonardo Ponzio, Enzo Pérez; Ignacio Fernández, Gonzalo Martínez; Rafael Borré, Lucas Pratto.
Substitutes: Enrique Bologna, Lucas Martínez Quarta, Camilo Mayada, Bruno Zuculini, Juan Fernando Quintero, Rodrigo Mora, Ignacio Scocco. COACH: Marcelo Gallardo.
Referee: Enrique Cáceres. 1st Assistant Referee: Eduardo Cardozo. 2nd Assistant Referee: Juan Zorrillo. Fourth Official: Arnaldo Samaniego (All from Paraguay).
Goals: 43’ PT Pinola (RP).
Booked: Arroyo Espinoza, Paredes (E); Saracchi, Pinola (RP).
Substitutions: Luna for Johnson, Joao Rojas for Quiñónez, Barbona for Mondaini (E). Scocco for Borré, Mayada for Fernández, Zuculini for Saracchi (RP).