River threaded this Wednesday his fourth victory in a row with 2-1 against Platense that qualified him for the 2023 Copa Libertadores and did not lower him from the fight for the title, although he had few chances with two dates remaining.
The Uruguayan Nicolás De La Cruz and Matías Suárez converted for River, while Mauro Zárate discounted for the visit in the Most Monumental, for the 25th. date of the Professional Soccer League.
River reached 44 points and was four leaders Boca (48), which owes a match. In the annual table, the “Millionaire” reached 73 points and secured a place for the next edition of the Copa Libertadores.
Platense (31) achieved his permanence in the first division last date, but suffered the third fall in a row.
The start of the match was cut short by two specific actions: Emanuel Mammana’s kick to Jorge Benítez (which was on the verge of receiving a red card) and the injury of Ignacio Schor, who was taken off on a stretcher, due to a bad fall that caused an injury to his the left shoulder.
Platense stopped with a line of 5 in the background and complicated River when he adjusted the mark in midfield. This move delayed key players like Juan Fernando Quintero, Esequiel Barco, De La Cruz and Enzo Pérez.
To make matters worse, the few times that River approached the area with danger before the “Squid” wall, he tried to deepen with passes in the area. In one of those situations, Enzo Pérez criticized Barco for not having shot on goal when he had a chance.
Half an hour into the game, Agustín Palavecino paid attention to Pérez and his shot, just a few centimeters above the crossbar, was the first dangerous situation for the “Millionaire”.
River, with more incidence from Quintero and De La Cruz, plus projections from Herrera and Casco, looked for intensity in attack, but it was harmless against a too cautious Platense.
The erratic night of the Colombian Miguel Borja, in his role as the only striker, did not help either.
For the second half, Gallardo ordered changes with more presence in attack through Lucas Beltrán and Matías Suárez and with Barco in the middle (in his best version), now without Quintero.
Meanwhile, Platense did not budge from his plan and sought River’s desperation as the minutes passed until Suso’s mistake. A poor clearance, including a slip, was intercepted by Barco, who sent the center for De La Cruz’s scoring shot.
The goal lifted the 72,000 fans who took over the Monumental for the 24th. consecutive time, on a spring night that was further inflamed by Suárez’s goal, opportune in the rebound that the stick generated after Beltrán’s shot.
The entry of Mauro Zárate in Platense strengthened the chant of the fans, who reminded him of his time in Boca and the Copa Libertadores final won in Madrid in 2018.
Shortly after the “Squid” discounted with the players he had on the bench of substitutes. Vicente Taborda took a formidable shot that he hit the crossbar and the rebound found Zárate alone, who pushed it for discount.
River’s momentum, already without Mammana due to injury, was stopped with the goal of former Vélez and Boca and the match was balanced with a more offensive Platense through modifications.
The best of River in attack was generated by Barco and through their attempts, De La Cruz and Suárez had possibilities to settle the dispute that they did not know how to take advantage of.
With some suspense, River celebrated the victory, in a year full of disappointments, with the consolation of a guaranteed presence in the next Copa Libertadores.
On the following date, River will receive Central without Borja or Casco, who accumulated the fifth yellow card. Meanwhile, Platense will visit Hurricane.