Passarella surprised everyone today, putting players such as Abelairas, Andres Rios, and Sciorilli as starters and leaving usual starters like Farias, Belluschi, and Ponzio on the bench. It ended up being a pretty good idea. The team, despite not creating too many chances, improved it's style of play and reached the goal more often than in previous games.
Belgrano started off winning with a penalty shot taken by Marcelo Delgado, an ex-Boca player. The goal itself was really controversial: Lussenhoff jumped with his arm in the air, but the ball didn't seem to have touched him. Still, Baldassi didn't doubt to take the call and "helped" el Pirata get the lead.
River later tied the match in the second half thanks to Augusto Fernandez. We were after the win, which we deserved more than Belgrano, but we were not able to find it.
The Player Review -
Juan Pablo Carrizo: Although he wasn't the star player of the game, he did some important saves and increased the level he had shown lately.
Federico Lussenhoff: Not exactly what I expected from him. He caused the penalty (although I still doubt he actually touched the ball), and seemed kind of slow. A great defender, but his lack of games this semester is noticeable.
Cristian Nasuti: He was part of the "Colorado" duo in the defense today (alongside Lussenhoff). I liked what I saw and I would continue giving him opportunities. Federico (Lussenhoff) wasn't very good today, and Gerlo has been a disaster the whole semester. I'd love to see Nasuti receive more minutes.
Augusto Fernandez: The right midfielder just keeps on getting better and better. He was the best player of the field, causing danger to the opposition everytime he had the ball. He's fast, he gives nice passes, has the ocassional juke, and scored our only goal. The goal itself was Augusto's "traditional" shot: strong and aimed towards the bottom. I've always liked this guy, and if I would have had the money, I would have invested it in him years ago. I see a great future ahead of him.
Sebastian Sciorilli: The 17 year old surprised everyone and made his debut today. He was, in my opinion, our second best player. He had some interesting things and gave nice centers. He should be a player to watch for.
Matias Abelairas: Just like Sciorilli, he was given a shot as a starter today. He started off well, but his level decreased as time passed. Still, he played a looot better than Zapata and may be a good option since Zapata probably won't continue playing for River and Sambueza is injured.
Fernando Belluschi: He entered in the second half and wasn't exactly the Belluschi from last semester. Even though he still isn't completely back, I think he did much better now and made an interesting partnership with Augusto Fernandez.
Marco Ruben: He let me down and disappeared in the second half. I would continue giving him opportunities, though.
Next week we are facing Boca and must get the three points. One reason is because we must always win the Superclasico. Another reason is to not stay away from the top (if we lose we'd be 9 points away from Boca, but with one game less). The last reason is to give all the River fans a small joy, after a bad season so far. If we play like we did today -or better-, we have many more chances of getting a good result,, compared to past performances. Still, Boca have been doing very good lately and will not be easy to beat.