River didn’t make the most of its chances and lost in the first leg Marcelo Gallardo’s team deserved to lead in the first half, but Atletico Mineiro scored in the second half and beat River 1-0 in the CONMEBOL Libertadores quarterfinals. The second leg will take place on Wednesday, in Brazil.

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River Plate took the reins at the beginning of the match and began to threaten the rival goal. First, Braian Romero made a move on the left side and, then, Jorge Carrascal threatened with a shot toward Everson’s near post. Fabrizio Angileri had a very clear opportunity when he struck a left-footed shot, which smashed against the right corner after being deflected by Atletico Mineiro's keeper.

On another opportunity, Nathan Silva obstructed David Martinez after a rebound off a corner kick. Angileri made a fast and piercing run up the left side and River almost opened the scoring thanks to a header by Romero. Mineiro began to threaten River near the 35th minute, with a deflected shot by Matias Zaracho off an assist from Eduardo Vargas in the box.

By the end of the first half, el Millonario had two other very clear chances: Julian Alvarez put Everson to the test with a crossed shot. Later, Romero failed to accurately strike a cross from Angileri on the left side. River deserved to go into halftime with a lead, considering all the scoring situations it created and the confidence it displayed in the midfield and the defense.

In the first few minutes of the second half, the rival team had an offensive outburst and made things difficult for River. Franco Armani reacted very well to block a shot from Vargas and, later, Arana struck a powerful shot that went slightly off target. On another occasion, River’s no. 1 reacted very well to stop another scoring attempt by Vargas. River had a chance to score from outside the box through Romero, but Everson saved the shot.

Near the 60th minute, Mineiro took the lead thanks to a low left-footed shot by Ignacio Fernandez off a header assist from Hulk. River felt the blow and failed to get an attack together. The away team almost scored a second goal, thanks to a long-range shot by Allan that smashed against the crossbar and, later, a free kick by Hull that was saved by Armani.

Mineiro suffered a blow when Fernandez was sent off for a studs up lunge on Angileri. River almost evened the score off the subsequent free kick, but Everson saved Alvarez’s right-footed shot. River was not able to even the score and will now travel to Brazil to seek the qualification for the next stage on Wednesday. Meanwhile, on Saturday, it will play against Velez, at the Monumental Stadium, on Matchday 6 of the local tournament.

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