River Ties Colon In Santa Fe
It was an interesting afternoon in the “Cemetery of Elephants” stadium. A lot of people have asked me why this stadium of Colon is called this way and after some research, I found out that Colon had defeated many important clubs from the past in Santa Fe. The most memorable was defeating Santos of Brazil, with Pele, and then the Argentine National team. Additionally, Colon had defeated many important clubs from Buenos Aires, including River Plate and Boca Juniors, so it was hard for “foreign” teams to win in Santa Fe.
This legend seems to be more valid as the time passes by. On Sunday afternoon, River started opening match of its season playing against Colon in the “Cemetery of Elephants”. New faces were seen in River’s squad and old, familiar faces were missing. The biggest piece missing from last season’s squad was Ariel Ortega as he got transferred to Independiente of Rivadavia. River started the match calmly and testing out the field. The first fifteen minutes of the match were even on both sides but a lack of attack was shown. River and Colon observed each other but the club from Santa Fe seemed to be more daring in attempting to score a goal. As the minutes passed on, Colon attacked more and more while River was defending its side. River’s midfield section struggled to maintain possession and this caused confusion for the defensive players. Towards the end of the first half, Colon started complicating goalkeeper Ojeda’s goal area. With center lobbies flying left and right, Colon’s Capurro drilled a shot past Ojeda at the 39th minute.
Before the second half commenced, Coach Simeone realized that something had to be done to give more spirit to the team. The playmaker in situations like this is Diego Buonanotte but since he is in Beijing for the 2008 Olympics, Simeone had to find the alternative. At the 9th minute of the second half, Robert Flores tied the match for River off a center pass from forward Rosales. The newly acquired Uruguayan player won the hearts of River fans as he celebrated the goal but everyone knew that a win was needed to start the season on a right foot. Matias Abelairas became the leader of River’s squad and started to push the team forward. Many chances were created to score but many misses were the outcome. With shots going over the top bar and some shots hitting the post, River started to get nervous amongst the pressure. As the final minutes creeped on Simeone’s side, Colon began to take advantage of the situation and suddenly started to create many dangerous situations. It was now Colon’s turn to miss clear shots and make every River fan nervous. The last shot by Colon’s Valdemarin almost passed Ojeda but luckily River’s defense was there to save the line.
Although the tie was appropriate to the way River played the match, it is obvious that more is needed to make the team more stable and create more chances. River’s next game is with Rosario Central on Sunday, August 17.