River draws 1-1 in Lima

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The team managed by Martín Demichelis was far superior to Sporting Cristal, having several chances to score, but conceded one goal. Toward the end, Rodrigo Aliendro scored the equalizer.

Levelheadedness and calm embraced River in Peru, as the team was determined to assert its superiority in the first half, cornering Sporting Cristal, pressing upfield for the rival team to make mistakes, and having many clear scoring situations. Despite good attacking combinations, River lacked precision in the final meters: In the attack, Lucas Beltrán kept moving and linked up well with the attacking midfielders.

El Millonario had some good chances thanks to Rodrigo Aliendro, Nico De La Cruz made several interventions, and Nacho Fernández had an incredible chance but his pass to Beltrán was blocked. Then, River had two chances off a free kick (De La Cruz and Nacho), and De La Cruz struck a good shot that was saved by Renato Solís. The home keeper was put to the test by Beltrán and Enzo Pérez. Toward the end, Esequiel Barco was the key figure in the most dangerous play: on a one-on-one with Solís, his right-footed shot smashed the crossbar.

At the start of the second half, Sporting Cristal’s Jhilmar Lora had a chance: he ran up one of the wings and struck a right-footed cross that went wide of the far post. River responded with two upfield runs by De La Cruz (a low pass that bounced off the defense and a cross saved by the keeper). The home team took the lead thanks to Yoshimar Yotún. River kept going for it and Miguel Borja struck a right-footed shot that went high.

A penalty was awarded for a foul on Nacho Fernández. Borja took the penalty, but his shot was saved by the home keeper. Having had so many chances, River finally scored the equalizer following a series of rebounds off a shot from Barco, which smashed the crossbar: Aliendro got in the right position to strike a low shot on goal, setting the score at 1-1. Then, River almost set the score at 2-1 thanks to a cross from Beltrán, which Andrés Herrera failed to touch in the box.

In stoppage time, Armani made another great save low to his right on a crossed shot from Joao Grimaldo. With this draw, el Millonario will seek to qualify for the CONMEBOL Libertadores Round of 16 in the final group-stage matches, against Fluminense and The Strongest, both at the Mâs Monumental stadium.