The defeat of River Plate against Atlético Mineiro at the Monumental struck and reaffirmed the negative statistics of Marcelo Gallardo’s team against Brazilian rivals at home, as well as it is true that based on comebacks in the neighboring country, the Doll convinced his fans to “to believe”.
In the Gallardo stage, the first hand-to-hand duel that demanded River go to win in Brazil starts in 2015. On May 16, Núñez’s team fell 1-0 against Cruzeiro with a goal in the end. But the response was better than expected: the Millionaire played a great game and won 3-0 in Belo Horizonte, thanks to goals from Carlos Sánchez, Jonatan Maidana and Teo Gutiérrez to get into the semifinals of the CONMEBOL Libertadores Cup.
The 2018 edition, the one that River fans will never forget was also special because of its key to the semifinals. Gremio went to Vespucio Liberti and with an intelligent approach, they took a 1-0 victory. The rematch in Porto Alegre was not easy. Although Gallardo’s team dominated in the first half, the local team hit first with a goal at 36 ‘, which put the series 2-0. The reaction was immediate: the millionaires went for the tie.
The Brazilians also became more aggressive in the second half and made it more difficult to lift the result. The reward came in the end, first with Rafa Borré’s goal and, already in injury time, with a penalty charged through the VAR and that Pity Martínez changed for the pass to the final. Then came Boca, Madrid and a well-known story.
The penultimate time that River de Gallardo had to play a heads-up against a Brazilian rival that started badly was in 2020 and although there was another comeback, on that occasion, it was not enough to advance to the stage.
Again it was in the semifinals, but against Palmeiras. In the first leg at home, an unknown River was seen that fell 3-0 and to top it off with a child expulsion of Jorge Carrascal.
For the return, Gallardo’s team showed its best version, which did not let the rival breathe and before halftime managed to get 2-0 with goals from Robert Rojas and Borré. It was all set for the epic night. But it did not happen. The Millionaire did not tire of searching, the VAR annulled two clear chances, the third goal never came and River could not reach its third consecutive final.
Now it is his turn to go to Mineirao, where Nacho Fernández will not be, but neither will Enzo Pérez, to try to reverse a 0-1 and get into the semifinals.