2-0: River, to the round of 16 in the Libertadores

River Plate sealed their qualification to the round of 16 of the Libertadores Cup by beating The Strongest 2-0 with goals from midfielder Rodrigo Aliendro and Colombian striker Miguel Ángel Borja on the sixth and final day of Group D.

With barely 13 minutes to play, Aliendro opened the scoring for the Millonarios with a shot from grass level that left visiting goalkeeper Guillermo Viscarra without an option. The tabby team came out determined to tie the match, although River’s rapid change of play and control of the ball complicated the situation for the team led by the Portuguese Ricardo Formosinho.

Despite the offensive approach of The Strongest, the interventions of the Argentine goalkeeper Franco Armani prevented the fall of River, whose coach, Martín Demichelis, tried to maintain a script with rigorous defensive care in the background to avoid surprises.

Already in the second half the opportunities multiplied, although also the lack of effectiveness of both teams, in a duel that was fought for every meter of the field, which took the Paraguayan defender of River, Robert Rojas, who had to retire injured of the field.

Rojas (River) left injured

Rojas (River) left injured

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Near the end, striker Pablo Solari, who came on to change the pace of the match, escaped down the right side and sent a cross that triggered a series of rebounds between the goalkeeper and the attackers to finish at the feet of Borja, who scored to the second goal and ensured the classification to the eighth.

River finished in second place in their group stage with 10 points. This year the second of the eight groups of the Copa Sudamericana will play a ‘playoff’ with the third of each tie in the Libertadores. The eight that prevail in this round trip will advance to the eighths.

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