03/06/08RIVER NEWS -ENGLISH-
Even Closer to the Clausura in Santa Fe
Only two more games separate River from obtaining the title. Only two more separate River from giving the fans a new sense of relief after four years of deception. Only two more games are needed to close the first chapter in Diego Simeone’s coaching experience. Finally, only two more games are needed to prove the world that River is the champion of the best competitive league in all of the Americas.
This afternoon, River defeated Colon of Santa Fe thanks to goals by Alexis Sanchez and Cristian Villagra. Although the match seemed fairly simple based on the statistics of both teams, Colon came out playing with a lot of heart to escape relegation. River, leader of the Clausura tournament, needed a win to keep the dream alive and escape Estudiantes for the title chase.
The first half of the match was unique because Diego Simeone decided to start the match with an unusual formation of 3-3-3-1. This formation is barely used in River’s game play but it proved to be successful this afternoon. After a wonderful week of practice, Ariel Ortega was put from the start and he became the star of the match. Week after week, the fans had been requesting to see the “Burrito” show his talent on the pitch but their requests fell on deaf ears. As Ariel’s game improved tremendously, Diego Simeone decided to include him in the starting line up. There was confusion in the match from both sides, especially in the midfield section for River, but the push to bring the ball forward was weakening Colon’s side. Unfortunately in the 19th minute, Leo Ponzio was ejected after receiving his 2nd yellow card and the formation had to adjust itself. This event, although unfavorable, was an awakening for the Millonarios and they took advantage of the motivation. As Ahumada and Ortega took control of the midfield, River began to take more control of the game.
With the second half starting, Colon made a change as well as River. Diego Simeone replaced Diego Buonanotte with Alexis Sanchez, a substitution well worth the risk. At the 6th minute of the match, Ariel Ortega lobbied a perfect pass to Cristian Villagra by the keeper’s right side and Villagra took full control of the keeper’s disadvantaged position to put River on top. This goal pushed River even further and at the 30th minute, Andres Rios (who happened to just enter the pitch) evaded two defenders and saw Alexis Sanchez running up beside him. As he passed the ball, Alexis already knew what to do and quickly shot a tremendous goal to put River on top by two goals. Although Colon took one back at ten minutes before the final whistle, everyone in River’s world knew that this game was won with something that lacked before, guts. Next for River is Olimpo in the Monumental Stadium and based on where the two teams stands, it should be a victory for River.