River started with a defeat in the Professional League Cup. In La Plata, he lost 2 to 1 on the hour against Estudiantes, who had one less player during the whole complement.
The goals were scored by Matías Suárez at 17 minutes of the second half, while Mauro Díaz scored the tie at 33 minutes and at 50, and when the match was over, Fabián Noguera scored the victory.
River could never feel comfortable in the game. And in large part it was due to the merit of Students. Ricardo Zielinski made his debut at the Pincha, a coach who is used to embittering millionaires.
It must be remembered that the Russian directed Belgrano in the Promotion that sent River to the National B, and closer in time, it was the DT of Atlético Tucumán who tied with those of Núñez on the last date of the 2019/2020 Super League , equality that allowed Boca to be champion.
The truth is that Estudiantes went out to reduce the spaces for Gallardo’s men, scoring under pressure, dividing each ball and trying to take advantage of the stopped ball.
Thus he had a very clear chance of entry, when after a stopped ball, Julián Alvarez took a header on the line.
But River was looking with the same intention as always, and Andújar, one of the figures, covered Santos Borré a heads-up goal. River was more, dominated the ball with a very good job from Enzo Pérez, but it was difficult for him to reach the goal.
The truth is that the first 45 minutes were gone, and Fernando Tobio went to dispute with too much vehemence a divided ball with Borré. The defender raised his leg and jabbed the plugs into his ribs. The referee did not hesitate and sent him off.
Students had to rearrange to play the whole complement with 10. But he no longer defended in the same way. It was a matter of River finding the spaces to put itself ahead, and it did so after a good collective move that Suárez scored into a goal.
With the result in favor, everything belonged to River, who dominated and took advantage of the spaces left by an increasingly disorderly rival. But when it seemed that the second of the millionaire was close, the surprise came.
A center to the area (another one), was at the feet of the newly entered Mauro Díaz, who defined in an excellent way to put the 1 to 1 partial.
River came out determined to seek the tie, and had some chances, but he lacked clarity in the last section, and when he did, Andújar appeared.
There were seconds left to finish the match and the tie seemed sealed. Students lived it as a victory and River suffered it. But Leandro Díaz, another of the Russian’s changes, made a great play near the area and they committed an infraction.
From that free kick, after the other Díaz’s center, Noguera connected in the small area with a head and put the 2 to 1 that tasted like a feat.
The end was dramatic, because on the last play, when all Estudiantes were crying out for the end of the game, Andújar reflexively took a header from goal.
The millionaire lost an incredible game in his debut, showing defensive shortcomings such as stopped ball, which are already common in Gallardo’s team. Zielinski made River bitter again, and he left happy because he knows he has what to put together a Students to suit him.