River Is Robbed In Mendoza
What a disaster! Just when I thought that River had won the match seconds from the final whistle, I realized that the linesman had indicated to the ref that Rogelio Funes Mori’s winning goal was not allowed. The frustration in my face and the anger that I felt was immeasurable. Tonight’s match against Godoy Cruz of Mendoza was important for River. A victory would have pushed River to a fourth spot in the standings and move the team away from the relegation zone. Unfortunately, only a draw was achieved after a poor defense allowed Godoy Cruz to tie the match twice. Additionally, Coach Cappa’s substitutions weren’t the best either; a move that I was surprised that.
Already a custom when River is the visiting team, a great multitude of fans went to support the squad. In various occasions during the match, River’s crowd was louder than the home crowd. Of course, this was more pressure for River to win, especially as ‘La Pagina Millonaria’ stated in an earlier report that River had not won as the visiting squad since February 2009. So much to play for, and so much to give back to the fans. Coach Angel Cappa decided to bench Ariel Ortega for the first half since Ortega’s last performance was not so great. Once again, Coach Cappa opted for the youngster Erik Lamela. Although Lamela is a promising star, he continues to lack the necessary skills to start in the first half and it clearly shows on the pitch. His frustration takes over him, and he is pretty much a ghost on the pitch.
I don’t want to put a lot of blame on him, so let me focus on the area that did fail the team tonight: the defense. When Godoy Cruz approached River’s defense, everything seemed to collapse! The defense had a difficult time clearing the ball away and it struggled to cover each player. To top it off, Juan Pablo Carrizo had another difficult night and could not grasp the ball as much. In the second half, Godoy Cruz had three or four clear shots to put the ball in the net. Luckily for River, it was their bad accuracy that kept the score the way it was. Lots of improvement has to be done in this area because each adversary easily creates trouble for the defense and goalkeeper.
The best player on the pitch tonight was Mariano Pavone. ‘The Tank’ was everywhere on the field, fighting each possession with determination. As a result, he earned himself two goals in the match and the ‘Player of the Match’ in my book. In every instance, he was there contributing to the team despite being the only attacker in River’s formation. Coach Cappa brought out Rogelio Funes Mori towards the end of the match to help the attack, but Pavone was clearly in control of this section. At the end of the match, Rogelio Funes Mori should have been the hero with his winning goal, but a bad ref call seconds before the final whistle was enough to ruin the win. This match ended with controversy amongst the ref and River’s coaching staff, but all the yelling and foul language will not change the result.