River made its debut in the new Professional Football League Cup. El Millonario was clearly superior during the first 45 minutes at Estudiante’s stadium, even though the rival team also brought about threatening situations; nonetheless, River Plate controlled the ball most of the time. Out of the first three scoring attempts, two featured Matías Suárez (he fired a blocked shot off a pass from Rafael Borré) and a run up the field by Milton Casco on the right.
Estudiantes responded with a mid-range shot by Manuel Castro that deflected and was turned into a corner kick. Fabián Noguera fired a header off that play, but Julián Álvarez blocked it over the goal line. River kept on insisting by means of a header by Borré and another very clear one by Bruno Zuculini, but Mariano Andújar blocked them out of pure reflex. El Millonario didn’t ease off and had some good collective plays. In the last attempt of the first half, Franco Armani outdid himself before a crossed shot by Federico González.
In the second half, River continued dominating the match, though it didn’t bring about the same clear situations of the first half. After a good play, with a precise pass from Álvarez to Angileri, the defender located Suárez, who fired a shot into the far post, setting the score at 1-0. Everything was going smoothly for El Millonario, but Estudiantes reduced the deficit thanks to an isolated play by Mauro Díaz. When the five-minute stoppage time was about to be up, Noguera won the ball in the area and set the final score at 2-1.
In fact, River could have evened the score with a header by Franco Girotti that was saved by Andújar. Gallardo’s team will now play against Rosario Central on the second match day. The match will take place next Saturday at 9:30 PM.