River and Argentinos Juniors drew in Avellaneda Marcelo Gallardo's team was not able to hold the lead and drew 1-1, on the first match day of Group A’s Champion Stage.

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In the debut of this new stage of the Diego Maradona Cup, River welcomed Argentinos Juniors. From the beginning, the rival team threatened with a clear approach by Edward López, who was not able to score off a center pass from the left. El Millionario responded with a sprint by Julián Álvarez, who tried to reach Rafael Borré by means of a center pass backwards, but Carlos Quintana was able to deflect it by a hair’s breadth.

Lucas Pratto, on the right, made a center pass that failed to reach Bruno Zuculini, who was once again in the right place to score. Argentinos had another chance with a cross volley by López. Thanks to a good long pass from Fabrizio Angileri, the goalkeeper, Lucas Chaves, knocked Rafael Borré down and Álvarez took the penalty kick, setting the score at 1-0.

The away team insisted again with a play from the right, but Enrique Bologna responded well with a hand blow. In the last play of the first half, Pratto almost scored the second goal with a nice right-footed shot that was slightly deflected.

At the beginning of the second half, Argentinos brought about the first threatening situation through Hauche, but River had a very clear chance to widen the lead: Pratto escaped, but was not able to score in front of the goalkeeper. The team from La Paternal had another clear chance at the feet of Hauche and, in the following play, evened the score thanks to Mateo Coronel.

El Millionario went for the victory and had two concrete chances: in the first play, Chaves, the goalkeeper, saved a right-footed cross by Álvarez and, in the second one, he responded again to a shot by Jorge Carrascal, who had come onto the field some minutes before. Towards the end, Santiago Sosa headed the ball off a corner kick, but his header went over the crossbar.

In the last play, Carrascal took a dangerous free kick, fired it with great skill and Chaves flew towards his right goalpost to prevent the second goal from being scored. On Thursday, el Millionario will play the second leg of the CONMEBOL Libertadores quarterfinals against Nacional, after its 2-0 victory in the first leg.

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