River Loses to Velez in Liniers
What a tough night for River. After maintaining a draw for a short time into the second half, a ridiculous move by Jonathan Maidana gave Velez a penalty shot which quickly turned into the winning goal. River didn’t play a great match, but they could have maintained a draw if it wasn’t for the unfortunate penalty shot. Visiting Velez in the neighborhood of Liniers is a challenge, especially since they are considered the best team in Argentina. Diego Buonanotte became River’s hero, but it was not enough. Tonight proved that their superiority is still in place, and that River still needs to work hard to escape relegation.
River went into the match knowing that other results had put them into the relegation ‘red zone’. Maybe it was the psychological effect that had an impact on the players, but River demonstrated that there are slowly heading in a downward spiral. Last week’s match against Argentinos Juniors was a dreadful draw, so a victory was needed to maintain a strong role in the standings. During the first half, River struggled to clear away the ball during confrontations in the back end. Although Maidana and Ferrero made their presence known, Velez still managed to work their way into River’s goal area. In the 32nd minute, Velez finally broke through the defensive line and scored the first goal of the match. Ten minutes later, River responded with a superb shot by Diego Buonanotte and tied the match before half-time.
Buonanotte was going through some physical struggles in the past few matches, so it was important for him to celebrate the goal along with the fans. His excitement and determination motivated River’s side in the beginning of the second half, and for a moment it seemed that River would be scoring yet again. Velez reacted quickly and took possession of the ball; creating dangerous advances each time they counter-attacked. As a result, they were about to score their second goal when Jonathan Maidana tripped Santiago Silva from behind and forced a penalty shot. Juan Pablo Carrizo looked confident to stop the ball, but Silva knew exactly where to shoot it and scored the winning goal.
At the 67th minute, Velez’s Leandro Somoza earned a red card and he left his team with 10 men on the pitch. You would think River would take advantage of that, right? Wrong. River got more confused on the pitch, and became sloppier as the minutes passed. Coach Angel Cappa, already having a grudge against Velez Sarsfield, was silent and quickly made an exit out of the pitch. River’s next match is against Arsenal of Sarandi, the ‘surprise’ team who is now the leading team in the standings. Lots of work to be done this week, Coach Cappa.