Monday, September 24, 2007

Tigre: 4 - River Plate: 1 - Torneo Apertura 2007

It finally seemed as if River Plate were getting their act together. Several interesting wins had been accompanying the team at home, yet the phantoms in our away games are still present. Just like vs. San Martin (SJ), we were humiliated yet again by another recently ascended team. This time it was Tigre, who managed to literally destroy us by putting the ball past the net four times.

One of the most unfortunate things happened just barely two mintues into the match: Alexis Sanchez was fouled by Tigre captain and defender Juan Blengio, and had to be substituted by Radamel Falcao Garcia. The most tragic part of the story is that he'll be out for three months, and won't make another appearance for the remainder of the year. Ironically, Argentine ref Saul Laverni did not even call a foul in favor of River for this play. He would later make more horrible decisions, though it still isn't an excuse for the team's poor level of play.

Tigre managed to find an early goal in the first half, but it wasn't till the second part of the game that the demolition began. "El Matador"'s second goal arrived through a clear handball, though the referee surprisingly failed to see it. This opened the door for the third goal, which arrived just two minutes later. River was eventually able to minimize the difference, thanks to Marco Ruben, but this didn't help much: in the 84th minute, Tigre scored the finishing goal to finalize a 4-1 match.

As if his failure to see the foul vs. Sanchez and Tigre's handball weren't enough, Laverni finished up the match with two more controversial decisions: Ariel Ortega was shown the second yellow at the 86th minute for a foul that wasn't even equivalent to a card. What was even worse was when Rene Lima was expelled at the 92nd minute. Just two minutes after entering the field, the defensive midfielder barely tapped a Tigre player (his first foul in the match) and was directly shown the red card. Can someone explain to me how this equals an expulsion, yet directly injurying a player for the rest of the year, like our rivals did, isn't even considered a foul? There is no logical explanation to this, but it could have highly changed the game. If Tigre's main defender and captain was expelled towards the beginning of the match, they would have lost a lot of offensive power and might have even lost. Other decisions, such as the allowance of a handball goal, were also vital.

Either way, River's performance was far from satisfying. With some very bad individual displays, especially from Leonardo Ponzio, Nicolas Sanchez, and Danilo Gerlo (three starting defenders yesterday), we were outplayed by a small club that had not beaten River for decades. In fact, the press is now stating that there is a huge disconnection between Daniel Passarella and our team squad. With the exclusion of German Lux last year, rumours were given that the team would not get along well with the coach. A few months later, Diego Galvan expressed his disconnection with the "Kaiser". Now, Passarella randomly decided to replace Juan Marcelo Ojeda with Juan Pablo Carrizo, despite the good performances delivered by the ex-Rosario Central goalkeeper. This was said to cause disharmony in the locker rooms, which could be an understandable explanation to the teams poor result vs. Tigre. With important matches vs. Botafogo and Boca Juniors coming up soon, this must be the worst moment for this situation to occur. One thing that worries me tremendously is the possibility of the players losing games on purpose so Passarella leaves in December, as he had promised. In a way, it would be good news to see the airs refresh and have a change on the bench, but it would be more than drastic to have to wait till June 2008 to have another possibility to win a tournament.

If the team is unsuccessful vs. Botafogo on Thursday, River will be eliminated in the first round of the Copa Sudamericana once again. If this occurs, will Daniel have the courage to stay, or will he finally show some respect and take a step aside?

1 comment:

loes said...

Thanks for the information again!
I hope you are not to sad!
I think they will be playing better on thursday!