Last Minute Goal Ruins the Victory Over Quilmes
After last week’s loss against Newell’s, I expected the atmosphere to be a bit tense at the Monumental Stadium. To add more suspense, River had to close the day’s matches against Quilmes. If one looks at the standings, River is not that far from first place but it continues to struggle in closing matches and scoring goals when the opportunity is clear. Tonight’s match should have been an easy victory for River, especially since the adversary was the last-place team. The partial victory was almost achieved if it wasn’t for a last minute goal that ruined Juan Pablo Carrizo’s empty net and River’s chance of climbing up the standings.
There were a few minor changes in this week’s starting line-up for River. In the midfield, Adalberto Roman and Josepmir Ballon made their presence while Erik Lamela and Mariano Pavone made their initial debut in the attack. River came out strong, with more confidence than in previous matches. Right away River’s offense began giving Quilmes a difficult job. Between Diego Buonanotte and Rogelio Funes Mori, many clear chances were created to get on board. In one opportunity, Funes Mori had the perfect chance to score but his shot was a few centimeters wide causing everyone to hold their breath dramatically. For a number of fans here in ‘La Pagina Millonaria’, Funes Mori continues to be a debatable player: you either love or hate him. With all of his missed chances lately, it is becoming more difficult to support the young star.
In the second half, Ariel Ortega returned to the pitch to replace Josepmir Ballon. The Peruvian player has had more minutes on the pitch, but it still adapting to a more rapid-paced football than he was used to. At the 47th minute of the match, Mariano Pavone scored his first goal for River after receiving a corner kick from Ariel Ortega. After River’s early second-half goal, things became more one-sided on the pitch. Quilmes had a difficult time control counterattacks on the side, and River rapidly managed to get to their side fast. Unfortunately, Quilmes became desperate and started creating fouls throughout each play. The referee in this match, whose name I refuse to state due to resentment, looked the other way during certain moments which would have given River a few penalty shots. Once again, poor refereeing ruined the match. Just when the match was coming to a close and an important three points were at an arm’s reach, Quilmes tied the match off a free kick. The ball managed to elude all of River’s defense and J.P. Carrizo, quickly forcing the match to end on a draw. The match was not lost, but the illusion of winning was nowhere to be found.