(EFE) – River had to redouble its efforts to beat Nacional 2-0 this Thursday in a first leg match in the quarterfinals of the CONMEBOL Libertadores Cup that only secured at 96 minutes with a goal from Bruno Zuculini.
Gonzalo Montiel, from a penalty in the 67th minute, opened the scoring for the ‘Millionaire’ and after at 41 minutes the Colombian Rafal Santos Borré missed one by finishing without much power to the center of the goal defended by Sergio Rochet.
River dominated the meeting from the beginning and with Nicolás De la Cruz as the axis, who was able to make up for the absence of Enzo Pérez, positive for covid-19 this Tuesday.
With the experienced Leonardo Ponzio replacing Pérez, Marcelo Gallardo opted for his gala offensive with Rafael Santos Borré and Matías Suárez.
On the Nacional side, coach Jorge Giordano arrived in Buenos Aires to play his game of retreating and going on a counterattack with Alfonso Trezza and Gonzalo Bergessio as offensive pieces.
It was precisely Bergessio that in the 21st minute connected a center from the right that found the save almost in the line of Paulo Díaz, while Trezza in the 26th minute beat Angileri in speed, but goalkeeper Franco Armani also reacted with speed to shrink spaces.
For River, in the 33rd minute it was Matías Suárez who demanded the appearance of Rochet, who in the 38th minute went hand in hand with Rafael Santos Borré in a penalty sanctioned by the Colombian referee Andrés Rojas for a foul by Oliveros on Suárez himself.
Borré executed with indifference and Rochet covered the shot to leave the score at zero, which could not be changed in the last minute after a goal by River canceled by the VAR due to Suárez’s forward position.
In the 66th minute, the referee Rojas sanctioned a new penalty for River for a hand by Laborda in the area, and this time the executor was Gonzalo Montiel, who defined with great category to the left of Rochet.
The result seemed that it would not be modified again, but in the 93rd minute it was Bruno Zuculini with an accurate head blow after a cross from Suárez that once again overcame Rochet’s resistance, a move that was reviewed and ratified by the VAR for possible position advanced and sowed controversy and anger in Nacional.
The return match will be on Thursday, December 17, and the winner will face Libertad from Paraguay or Palmeiras, who drew 1-1 in the first leg.