River drew at the Maracanã Stadium in the CONMEBOL Libertadores debut El Millonario remained strong in Brazil, took the lead thanks to a penalty goal by Montiel and was close to winning, but Fluminense counterattacked and evened the score.

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The beginning of the match was locked in the midfield and both teams were sizing each other up. However, right after the 10th minute, el Millonario made its first clear penetrating run: Rafael Borré tried to catch a through pass from Gonzalo Montiel and, on the goal line, the goalkeeper, Marcos Felipe, dropped to the floor and committed a foul on the Colombian player. Cachete took an excellent penalty kick and River took the lead at 1-0 at the Maracanã Stadium.

Fluminense responded with two consecutive plays: first, Franco Armani blocked Luccas Claros’s good header aimed at the corner and, then, he saved another shot by the defender, who had remained in an attacking position, aimed at the middle of the goal. Later, Nenê made a shot-on-goal from outside the box, but his left-footed shot went high over the crossbar. For its part, Gallardo’s team had another chance to score thanks to a long-range shot by Agustín Palavecino. River remained strong at the back and in the midfield, with Enzo Pérez playing judiciously and Nicolás De La Cruz constantly moving around.

In the second half, el Más Grande was very close to widening the lead. Off a corner kick, Borré took control of the ball in the middle of the box, after a header by De La Cruz, but the goalkeeper quickly came off his line and prevented the forward from scoring. River was dominating the match and played firmly on the rival’s half of the field, but in a counterattack play, Juan Cazares made an assist to Fred, who fired a low shot toward Armani’s right post, scoring the equalizer.

In another counterattack play by the home team, Fabrizio Angileri practically ran from the middle of the field to obstruct Lucca, who was about to have a one-on-one against Armani. Then, after a great collective play, Borré received the ball at the edge of the box and fired a left-footed shot that missed the goal. Toward the end, Armani made a spectacular flying save after a right-footed shot by Cazares aimed at the goal's left angle.

Thus, River’s debut in this edition of the CONMEBOL Libertadores ended in a draw. Its next match will be on Sunday, against San Lorenzo, at the Monumental Stadium, playing for the League Cup; while next Wednesday, it will welcome Junior de Barranquilla on matchday 2 of the CONMEBOL Libertadores group stage.

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