In the last match of the Diego Maradona Cup's Championship stage, River welcomed Independiente at Banfield’s stadium. Franco Armani was the protagonist of the first play, reacting excellently to an individual move and a crossed shot by Alan Velasco. El Millionario responded with two scoring attempts in a row by Rafael Borré and Bruno Zuculini, but Sebastián Sosa blocked both shots.
Nonetheless, the away team took the lead thanks to a nice goal by Velasco and, then, River found it difficult to make threatening plays. In a nice run up the center of the field, Alexander Barboza tackled Jorge Carrascal in the area; in the following play, Velasco fired from afar and the ball bounced off Armani, scoring the second goal.
River had a much better start in the second half and dominated the match. It had very clear opportunities to score, such as a goal line clearance by Fabricio Bustos after a touch by Borré, a free kick by Nacho Fernández, an offensive advance by Paulo Díaz, and a good play between Carrascal and Matías Suárez.
Besides, River’s no. 10 smashed Sosa’s right goalpost and the Uruguayan goalkeeper blocked a shot off a one-on-one with Cristian Ferreira towards the end of the match. Now, el Millionario will visit Palmeiras on Tuesday, in Brazil, hoping to reverse the first-leg result and qualify for the CONMEBOL Libertadores Cup final.