River and Rosario Central played to a 1-1 draw. The game ended in a furious, end to end pace with Andres Rios hitting the post on the last play of the game.
Over 40,000 River fans were on hand to see Matias Almeyda’s team try to stay atop the B Nacional table and keep momentum going from the victory in Puerto Madryn. Instead the home fans were treated to another slow start and another match where River are forced to come from behind. Also of note was the return of Paulo Ferrari, this time wearing a Central jersey, who was greeted with a mix of cheers and jeers.
Early alarm bells rang as Rosario Central came close to scoring several times. Thankfully for River, the visitors have their own issues and the game would see the first half end 0-0. The problems in defense continue for River, with Alexis Ferrero struggling to contain his man and Luciano Abecasis having his worst game as a starter. Almeyda opted for the Argentine U-21 member Leandro Gonzalez Pirez in place of the injured Jonatan Maidana in the center, but while the youngster was arguably the most solid defender, the entire back line was shaky.
Add to that a couple of poor decisions by keeper Leandro Chichizola and it was only a matter of time before River were staring at a 0-1 scoreboard. The second half was barely 3 minutes old when a counter put Chichizola to the test. On the first shot though, Chichizola managed to send a rebound back towards the middle of the box where two Central players waited. A deft touch into space let Gonzalo Castillejos skillfully place a shot past Chichizola for the lead.
The wheels started turning for River as Alejandro Dominguez and Fernando Cavenaghi started to find each other in attack. First, a ball found Cavenaghi darting into the area but the quick Central keeper Jorge Broun, who began to become a key protagonist, would deny the goal.
River kept pressing and eventually found their reward. Again it was el Chori Dominguez setting up Cavenaghi with a pass into the Central area. As the keeper came out to challenge, Cavegol this time chose to go under and the low shot would roll right into the empty net. The goal set off the home crowd who thought it was destined to see River come from behind to snatch the three points.
For the rest of the game it looked like they would get their prize, but in the end Broun did enough to keep the score level. On the last play of the game, a long ball towards the Central area saw substitute Andres Rios beat Broun to the ball just outside the Central area but his chipped shot would agonizingly hit the post before being cleared by the defender.
With the draw River stays in a tie for first place with Instituto who have a game in hand. Almeyda again will have to address the team’s inconsistent play as River face a trip north to face Boca Unidos.