Simeone's Last Match In River
With Diego Simeone playing his last match as coach of River Plate, the atmosphere in the Monumental Stadium was intense. There was a mix of emotions largely due to River’s poor campaign in the Apertura and the recent elimination from the Copa Sudamericana. Regardless, the unconditional support from the fans keeps getting stronger and this game proved to show that love. With a final score of 3-3 against Huracan, River remained at twelve matches without a win and in last place.
Huracan came out playing against a River who was greatly affected by its negative results. They knew that in order to create more stress on the Millonarios, they would have to come out first and make a goal. It seems that their plan worked at the 4th minute of the first half. Huracan’s H. Barcos was the culprit of the first goal of the match and it caused a great stir in the crowd. Suddenly, there was great anger and disappointment and chants could be heard all around the stadium trying to motivate River. An interesting note is that Diego Simeone did not receive any negative chants but instead positive ones. The blame was directed more on the team and that pressure could be felt immensely on the pitch.
As River struggled to regroup, Huracan took advantage of this and provided another goal past River’s Juan Ojeda’s goalpost. Thirty minutes after the first goal, the same player scored once again and the reality of a loss was imminent. I have noticed that once River is down, it is hard for the team to bounce back in all areas of the field. Not a minute later, Huracan again scored off a counter attack to put the game at 0-3. As the half ended, it was certain that something had to be done to take away this bad luck. The atmosphere was horrible and silence took over for the next fifteen minutes.
River made some changes in the start of the second half, most notably of Oscar Ahumada who has become a target for every fan. Oscar has a tendency to say things against the fans and this caused him to get a tremendous amount of whistles and jeers from the crowd. Despite this, River pushed forward with a new look and at the 6th minute as Matias Abelairas put River on the scoreboard of a free kick. This was one of the most beautiful goals of the tournament as it graciously went over the block of defenders and into the net. One of the players that really changed during the break was Radamel Falcao. He appeared to be everywhere on the field, fighting all possessions and the fruits of his labor paid off in the 23rrd minute. He was awarded a penalty and he skillfully shot it straight to the net to put River a goal behind in the game.
With one goal behind, the illusion to tie and possibly win the match was real. River pushed and pushed while Huracan saw their lead slowly diminish. At the 31st minute, Eduardo Tuzzio scored of a header to equalize the match. To celebrate the goal, he quickly dashed to Diego Simeone and gave his trainer a hug, dedicating the goal to him. Although the match was not won, it showed the world that despite the setbacks, support to the club is important. On a final note, I wish Diego Simeone the best of luck in his future endeavors and I thank him for bringing back a championship to Nuñez after four years.