David Trezeguet was playing. Juan Sebastian Veron was not. This is not the Argentina I know.
At least, in terms of personnel, it wasn’t, though a well-played, cagey affair between two big clubs is what the first page of a Primera Division brochure would offer any new fan.
River came out with more energy, but by halftime Estudiantes seemed in control. In the second, two goals from Rogelio Funes Mori gave the game to the Millionarios, both goals coming on ball played (or, landing, as is the case with the second) behind a high Estudiantes line.
After losing on Sunday to Belgrano (at the Monumental), River needed this one. They needed something to prove they belonged in the first division. Yes, they have the name, so nobody’s ever going to thing of them as something other than a Primera Division club. But on the field, at the same level they had collapsed from less than two years ago, they needed something, if only for confidence’s sake.
They got it on Saturday. Estudiantes had ways to get to them thanks to Gaston Fernandez and Maxi Nunez. And with Leandro De Sabato and Justo Villar at the back, scoring was never going to be easy. Yet River not only found a way to get it done, they played out a comfortable final 15 minutes as if they had never gone down.
With their first three points to the season, River’s fully back.
Players you’d want on your team:
Estudiantes: German Re, Leandro De Sabato, Roman Martinez, Gaston Fernández
River Plate: Gabriel Mercado, Jonathan Maidana, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Ramiro Funes Mori, Rogelio Funes Mori, David Trezeguet