On the second matchday of the Playoffs for Qatar 2022, Argentina won at La Paz’s altitude once again after fifteen years and, as the National Team’s history tells, it involved a crucial River Plate contribution. As in the team's winning debut against Ecuador, Franco Armani and Gonzalo Montiel were in Scaloni’s starting XI; this time both played all 90 minutes.
But, also, the 2-1 victory against Bolivia evidenced another tradition of Argentine football: the talent born in el Más Grande’s breeding ground. Not only Montiel, but also other five football players who played during the match and contributed as members of Scaloni’s team were part of River during their formative stage.
The most prominent one was Exequiel Palacios, who gave a high-quality performance becoming the midfield axis and was the undisputed star of the match. For their part, Lucas Martínez Quarta and Lucas Ocampos were in the starting XI again, while Guido Rodríguez and Facundo Medina came onto the field in the second half. Having also been trained in Nuñez and having taken part in the call ups, Giovanni Simeone was not on the list of players for this match.
On that matchday, River’s foreign players also played for their respective national teams. Robert Rojas came on in the last part of Paraguay’s 1-0 victory against Venezuela, Nicolás De La Cruz played the second half of Uruguay’s 4-2 defeat against Ecuador, and Paulo Díaz played the full match which resulted in Chile 2 - Colombia 2. Furthermore, two other football players with a history in River Plate had a key role in this last match. Alexis Sánchez scored an amazing goal which set the score 2-1, leaving Colombia one goal away from a tie; and Radamel Falcao, close to the end, scored the tie goal.