River come out strong since minute one, with the head on the game and a remarkable temper, ideal for this type of matches. And so, the goal situations started coming.
First, Lucas Pratto started with a header that Gabriel Arias managed to block, and then it was Juan Quintero’s turn, who made an excellent individual play and went very close to the left post.
The third one, was an Exequiel Palacios shot that Arias half rejected, and Rafael Borré could not finish, because he was already past the line of the ball. The relief came after a great collective play and a precise and powerful definition by Pratto, thanks to a right pass by Gonzalo Montiel.
In the following, Franco Armani denied Racing’s chance of drawing the game by blocking Matías Zaracho’s left shot. The rival team dropped the ball during a free kick, and Palacios, taking advantage of a rebound, when Arias stepped away from the goal, got the ball on the back of the net. Since then, the odds turned to River’s favor, who was close to the third in several opportunities: Nacho Fernandez lost it three times, Pratto did not get to score a long pass and Palacios almost scored another goal with a shot from outside the area that scraped the right post.
In the beginning of the second half, “El Millonario” took a different approach because of the advantage obtained in the first part. The players kept a more conservative position and practically did not receive much threat. Armani pulled a great safe by cutting a center and then River had a couple of good goal opportunities that weren’t meant to be. In Racing’s last attempt, Armani blocked a tremendous header made by Gustavo Bou.
River stopped the change when Rodrigo Mora was going to replace Borré, and on the next play the Colombian made a clinical finish after a corner kick. Then, there was an uproar, and the referee ordered an early bath for Enzo Pérez and Centurión.
Now, in the quarterfinals, “El Millonario” will face Independiente: first the team will play in Avellaneda and then, will define the series in the “Monumental”. Also for the Superliga, this Saturday they will be visiting San Lorenzo de Almagro.
RIVER PLATE: Franco Armani; Gonzalo Montiel, Jonatan Maidana (C), Javier Pinola, Milton Casco; Enzo Pérez, Ignacio Fernández, Exequiel Palacios, Juan Quintero; Lucas Pratto and Rafael Borré. DT: Marcelo Gallardo.
Substitutes: Germán Lux, Jorge Moreira, Lucas Martínez Quarta, Santiago Sosa, Gonzalo Martínez, Rodrigo Mora and Ignacio Scocco.
Changes: Scocco by Pratto, Sosa by Quintero, Mora by Borré.
RACING: Gabriel Arias; Renzo Saravia, Leonardo Sigali, Lucas Orban, Alexis Soto; Nery Domínguez, Ricardo Centurión, Matías Zaracho, Neri Cardozo; Lisandro López (C) and Gustavo Bou. DT: Eduardo Coudet.
Substitutes: Javier García, Alejandro Donatti, Marcelo Díaz, Augusto Solari, Guillermo Fernández, Pablo Cuadra and Jonatan Cristaldo.
Changes: Fernández by Cardozo, Cuadra by Zaracho.
Goals: Pratto, Palacios, Borré (RP).
Admonished: Pérez, Palacios, Pratto, Fernández, Montiel (RP); Centurión, Soto, García (RC).
Expelled: Pérez (RP); Centurion, Soto (RC).
Referee: Mario Díaz de Vivar (Paraguay).
Assistants: Eduardo Cardozo and Milcíades Saldívar (Paraguay).
Fourth referee: Julio Quintana (Paraguay).