Martín Demichelis clenches his fists, smiles, celebrates. He sums up what he feels all River. End the match. It is a 2-0 victory against fluminense. The Monumental, packed with 86 thousand people, becomes another symbol of the celebration. The millionaires successfully overcame a limit situation and now have great options to qualify for the round of 16.
It was not an easy night. River had lost 5-1 against Flu in Brazil. Fears and doubts were intermingled. However, at home, River imposed conditions in the first half. He pressed well up top and cornered the Brazilians, but he lacked efficiency and a little more clarity in the last meters.
Demichelis’s team struck at the start of the second half. He recovered, changed the rhythm, disarmed the Brazilian defense, Pablo Solari put the center in and Lucas Beltrán scored. Fluminense, who had played far behind, at a disadvantage, cheered up more, came out of the bullying and also took advantage of River’s physical exhaustion, which suffered a couple of scares. And there was also a hand from Leandro González Pirez in the area. It was a penalty for the Flu, but the VAR did not even intervene.
A Fluminense goal left River on the brink of the abyss. There was uncertainty. There were nerves. Until in additional time Esequiel Barco accelerated, dribbled and was brought down in the area. That penalty was sanctioned. Barco himself made the most of it, executing with class, scoring 2-0 and closing the story.
It was a round night for River. The result at the height of La Paz also favored it: the local The Strongest lost surprisingly 1-2 against Sportting Cristal. Now, in Group D, River is second with 7 points, two less than the leader Fluminense, which has 9. Sporting Cristal appears third with 7 and last with 6 was The Strongest.
The millionaires will define the classification on June 27 at the Monumental against The Strongest. They need to win, although they could also pass with a draw. In a normal game, River shouldn’t have any problems to crown their leap to the round of 16. The worst is over.