River lost in its debut against Colon El Millonario lost 2-1 in its first local tournament match, which took place on Sunday afternoon at the Monumental Stadium.

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River didn’t have a good start to the game: Colon scored in its first penetrating run by means of a crossed shot by Rodrigo Aliendro. Nonetheless, el Millonario kept going for the equalizer and made good connections in the attack. Jorge Carrascal tried to score from outside the box and Gonzalo Piovi got sent off for denying him an obvious goal-scoring opportunity.

Fabrizio Angileri failed to powerfully kick the ball off that free kick and Ignacio Chicco saved his shot. In another play, Jose Paradela fired a header coming in by the far post, but the ball hit Colon’s right goalpost. The away team set the score at 2-0, after it recovered the ball on River’s half of the pitch and Yeiler Goez scored thanks to a low shot. Gallardo’s team could have reduced the deficit in some penetrating runs: a cross from Angileri that found no teammates and a scoring attempt by the newly-entered Braian Romero from outside the box.

In the second half, River stood in the opponent’s half and started bringing about plays and goal-scoring chances. Matias Suarez almost found Federico Girotti in a counterattack play and, then, Romero set up No. 15 for a goal, but Chicco saved his left-footed shot. Colon also had its chance, by means of a crossed left-footed shot by Aliendro that was saved by Javier Pinola. Angileri took a dangerous free kick to the far post that was blocked by the keeper.

Maidana had a chance to score through a clear header off a play by Carrascal, but it deflected off Garces when he was coming in by Chicco’s right goalpost. River kept trying to score until the end and, in stoppage time, managed to reduce the deficit thanks to a header goal by Suarez. River had some more goal-scoring chances (Romero had a very clear one), but it wasn’t able to even the score. On Wednesday, el Millonario will visit Argentinos Juniors in La Paternal to play the second leg of the CONMEBOL Libertadores round of 16.

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