Funes Mori Destroys Independiente
This afternoon, River demonstrated in front a sell-out crowd why they are serious contenders in obtaining the 2010 Apertura Tournament. This time, the rival team was Independiente of Avellaneda, who is always a challenging adversary for River. This derby match dates back since foundation of the league in the early 1900s, so one can say that ‘bad blood’ exists between these two teams. For River, the winning streak was a motivational push to strive for the victory while Independiente’s rocky start in the tournament has kept the team in the clouds. With an outstanding performance by Rogelio Funes Mori, River defeated Independiente 3-2 in the Monumental Stadium. River’s ‘winning mysticism’ has reappeared.
Coach Angel Cappa had to rely on his youngsters in today’s match, particularly with Manuel Lanzini who replaced Ariel Ortega in the starting line-up. Lanzini did not fail, and he played an important role in distributing the ball up the pitch. Diego Buonanotte, already a leader in the team, created various chances in the first half but could not deliver the final touch. The youngster who made the most significant impact was Rogelio Funes Mori. At the 8th minute of the first half, he put River ahead with a short shot into the net off a center pass. With the match now controlled, Independiente surprised the Monumental Stadium and tied the match ten minutes later thanks to Nestor Silvera. At the 18th minute, Funes Mori dribbled the ball with a slider into Independiente’s net and caused the stadium to explode. Funes Mori’s presence has gained momentum since the beginning of the tournament and he is undoubtedly a dangerous presence on the attack.
Paulo Ferrari, one of River’s strongest players in the past few years, scored River’s third goal after a powerful shot from the side. The famous ‘tiki-tiki’ strategy, created by Coach Cappa, showcased an aggressive River upfront. The term ‘tiki-tiki’ itself references the continuous short passes to move the ball up the pitch. Matias Almeyda, River’s strongest pillar, controlled any push by Independiente but the second half showed some of River’s flaws in the backend. Independiente slowly gained control of the match, and became a serious threat towards the end. Minutes before the end of the match, Independiente scored their second and final goal of the match thanks to a header that rebounded of River’s goalkeeper. Despite his unfortunate own-goal, Juan Pablo Carrizo saved the match from a draw after a dangerous shot by Nestor Silvera graced Carrizo’s gloves to go above the post. A sigh of relief was felt after the final whistle, and today’s victory put’s River on top of the standings along with Velez Sarsfield.