The Hope Ends in Guadalajara
River’s hope of ending the year in good terms ended with a 2-2 draw with Chivas in Guadalajara, Mexico. Through out the week, much was discussed as to how Diego Simeone would showcase the Millonarios in Mexican soil. The usual starting line up slowly arrived in Guadalajara and it wasn’t until early this week that everyone got together to practice. Each practice looked good and River was determined to turn around the 2-1 result in Buenos Aires. Fans from all over the world agreed that River would win and a recent poll in La Pagina Millonaria proved this with a 63% result.
Unfortunately, each fan’s desire to win was crushed last night. In front of large crowd in Jalisco, River proved to be one of the most inconsistent teams in Argentina. Playing horribly through out the Apertura season, River played a great game against Chivas. They were able to dominate on the pitch and regroup quickly after losing possession. At the 2nd minute of the first half, Gustavo Cabral put River on top off a header. Suddenly, there was a sense that River would be passing through onto the next round. After the goal, there were many chances for River to score. Each time, it was either a missed shot or Chiva’s goalkeeper that denied another goal. The pressure was on the local side to score, and River took full advantage of that when counter-attacking. Fast forward eighteen minutes later, and River’s second goal was scored by Radamel Falcao. Up two goals and in possession, this game seemed to be won.
When the second half commenced, I noticed that Chivas shifted their formation on the pitch. They put more pressure on top and relied heavily on their midfield to create situations to score. Once again, Diego Simeone relied on his same tactic and this put River in an offset. As Chivas began attacking more frequently, River needed to stop their efforts in the midfield section but this was not done. At the 14th minute of the second half, Chivas’s De la Mora scored to put the Mexican side on the score board. Now things turned for the worse. With a global tie of 3-3, it seemed that the match was heading to penalties and luck would be the only solution to save River. Well, there was no need to worry about penalties because six minutes later, Chivas’s Alberto Medina tied the match. This complicated River and the Millonarios needed a goal to tie the global score. As the minutes dwindled, the frustration became enormous and it got the best of Diego Simeone as he was sent off with a red card. The dream was over.
River started the match great and ended it pathetically although the players did put their best. The same could be said about this year so far. Winning the Clausura championship in June and being in last place in the Apertura in November. Nothing to play for until the year ends; River now heads home with no motivation. There will be lots of chants against the coach and players in the next home game and hopefully this will put the “nail in the coffin” for the Millonarios. On a positive note, Diego Simeone and a few players will be heading out, making room for new change. We need change. We need Obama. We need everything.