Abreu Saves River In Montevideo
With approximately 5,000 fans traveling to Montevideo to watch River’s debut in the Copa Nissan Sudamericana, a positive result was expected. The biggest expectation was the return of Sebastian Abreu from Israel to River. When he left the club after winning the Clausura tournament, he said he would always have the desire to come back. Although he promised this, many fans were against him because his reason of leaving the club was to play in the Champions League. Others believed he left due to his disagreements with Ariel Ortega. Whatever the reason, he chose to play in River while rejected offers from other clubs. Last night’s game with Defensor Sporting would be his return debut, and to top it all off, against the club who started his professional career.
As the half started, River proved to be the dominating team. Many chances were starting to form to score and Diego Simeone could see his side slowly gaining confidence once again. At the 8th minute, Sebastian Abreu scored the goal that would prove his position on the team. Off a defensive rebound and a goalkeeper slip, the “Loco” Abreu kicked the ball straight into the net causing massive celebrations for all the River fans of the world. All of a sudden, River started to dominate the match even more. Diego Buonanotte was controlling the ball at his best, River’s defense became solid, and the team’s spirit was back to being what it was a few months ago.
Through out the second half, the strategy and tactics of both teams seemed to change a bit. Defensor Sporting was more inclined in waiting for a counter attack while River tried to maintain the lead while attacking at open opportunities. A bit of hostility grew on the pitch as fouls started appearing more rapidly. Because of this, Augusto Fernandez was ejected from the game due to double yellow cards. At this point, fear of a possible tie became a reality being one man down but once again, Sebastian Abreu proved everyone wrong. His shot passed over Defensor’s goalkeeper sealed the deal. Unfortunately, the home team got one back as they scored a few minutes later off a blunder from our goalkeeper, Ojeda.
This victory leaves River with half the game won in Buenos Aires on October 2. It looks like this Copa Sudamericana is the only tournament left that River could win as the Apertura is far out of reach.