Wednesday, October 31, 2007

River Plate: 0 - Defensor Sporting: 0 - Copa Sudamericana 2007

In what was a generally bad and boring game, River Plate were able to tie 0-0 with Defensor Sporting and find their way to officially becoming one of the four best teams in the Copa Sudamericana.

As mentioned previously, the match wasn't too pretty, but we got the job done. No worries, though: I've seen River play some great matches and still lose... I prefer the first option.

The Player Review -
Juan Pablo Carrizo: Carrizo was great last night. Despite giving away the ball and almost costing us the qualification (Tuzzio saved the ball on the line), JP had some amazing saves and was the closest thing to the "old" Carrizo we've seen yet.
Leonardo Ponzio: The Argentine International played yet another good match and continues improving in the left-back position. He didn't hesitate to clear the ball when he had a chance to, something that players like Villagra and Lussenhoff often forget to do.
Eduardo Tuzzio: Our best defender last night. He stopped a shot on the line and recuperated ball after ball. Very solid.
Nicolas Sanchez: The youngster had a fantastic season (notice the word "had"). Unfortunately, the ex-Nueva Chicago central defender was injured in the second half and won't be appearing until 2008. His spot will be taken by Cristian Nasuti and/or Danilo Gerlo from now on. :(
Paulo Ferrari: Our captain did well... until he was expelled! With just one minute left (93rd minute of the match), Ferrari "spoke too much", causing the referee to show him the red card. We will now be missing two key defenders vs. Arsenal (N. Sanchez being the other one).
Matias Abelairas: "Pitu" attacked efficiently in the first few minutes of the game, but later disappeared. He didn't show much more after that.
Oscar Ahumada: The defensive midfielder didn't prove the authority he had been showing in the last few games.
Fernando Belluschi: Despite not being praised by neither the media nor the fans last night, I thought Belluschi played a good game. Nothing espectacular (.. he did miss an easy goal), but he played with heart and fought for every ball. He's been doing that this whole season, reason for which I would love to see him stay past December.
Ariel Ortega: "El Burrito" was almost completely blocked by the Uruguayan defenders in the first half. In the last 45 minutes, though, he started appearing more (mostly towards the end of the match). When he was on he was one of the best, but he still underperformed overall.
Mauro Rosales: The ex-Ajax foward had some of River's clearest opportunities, including a shot on the post. Unfortunately for Mauro, everything seems to indicate that he will be a substitute in the Semi-Finals since Buonanotte has been inscribed in the squad list.
Radamel Falcao Garcia: The Fox commentators constantly bashed him by calling him a ball hog, but I believe they were being a little too harsh. Has Falcao spoiled us all with his goal-scoring spree? I guess so! His performance was neither bad nor good, though.

In the next round we will be facing Arsenal de Sarandi, another Argentine side. Although we are the bigger side in terms of history, Arsenal are a very tough team and have even beaten us in this year's Apertura. It will be even harder to defeat them missing both Paulo Ferrari and Nicolas Sanchez, but I still have faith on the team. Vamos River!!

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