In the first half River showed some interesting things and were able to take the partial lead thanks to Sixto Peralta. "Los Millonarios" continued being greater than Huracan in the first part of the second half, and could have easily extended the difference. In fact, River should have been awarded a penalty, but the ref amazingly saw it out of the penalty box and only gave us a free-kick (not to mention that Huracan's defender should have been expelled for being the last man, but he only received a yellow card). This could have changed the outcome of the game, but unfortunately the "man-in-yellow" saw things differently as compared to everyone else.
Later on in the game Antonio Barijho entered the field and the tables slowly began turning. As time passed, Huracan gained control of the match and were able to flip the score (though there was an offsides by Barijho in the second goal). For what they had done earlier on in the match, River's youngsters did not deserve to lose, especially considering that there were several strong calls in favor of our rivals given by the referree (1 penalty not called for us, 1 red card not given to them, 1 goal by them on offsides, and several other "minor" calls).
The Player Review -
Juan Marcelo Ojeda: Neither of the two goals were the ex-Rosario Central goalkeeper's fault. Despite making a few good saves, he did not show the same firmness he had shown earlier on in the season.
Carlos Valencia: The Colombian was one of the most impressive players on the field. His form did decrease as time passed, but he was unstoppable when at his best. Valencia is fast, full of technique, and has good touches. He is a very interesting option to replace Paulo Ferrari (we all know he will be transferred sooner or later).
Mateo Mussachio: The 17 year old is one of River's main defensive prospects for the future, but he did not leave a big mark last night. Bare in mind though that he is only 17 years old and has more than enough time to grow.
Federico Lussenhoff: "El Colorado" improved as compared to when we had last seen him vs. Botafogo, but he still committed a few errors every now and then. Overall I think he did a good job, but I still wouldn't even consider having him on our first team.
Emmanuel Martinez: This wasn't Martinez's first game in Primera, so we know him a little bit more than many of the other players that played last night. He had some great slide tackles and stopped a shot (that was almost certain to finish in the goal) right on the line. Still, he was often beaten by opponents on the right side, and one of the goals began just there.
Matias Abelairas: A few good passes were given by el "Pitu", but he did not managed to do much more than that. In a night where he was one of the players with most official minutes played, Abelairas was expected to be one of the key players. Despite that, he was one of the worst and a cold question is starting to arise: Was he meant for River? Matias has been given several opportunities this season, but he hasn't been able to perform even half as well as he had in pre-season Peace Cup tournament in Korea. Will Passarella continue giving him chances?
Matias Diaz: Not much was shown by Diaz, though he did well when he appeared. Nothing amazing, but a decent match nonetheless.
Facundo Affranchino: Little to nothing. Actually, I am being way too nice: Affranchino did nothing whatsoever. Except for a good cross early on in the game, the 18 year-old pulled a "Riquelme" and disappeared throughout the rest of the game. No positive thoughts for now on Facundo.
Sixto Peralta: Despite me still thinking he is a tremendous failure who doesn't belong in River, el "Mumo" played his best game since his arrival. He scored his first goal with "la Banda" (and it just happened to be vs. his ex-club!) and was one of the best players on the field. Still, I don't get convince that easily: he should not be anywhere near the starting line-up (or even the bench).
Damian Lizio: Arguably the most impressive debutee. Had some good jukes, a free-kick that was millimeters away from going in, and received a foul that should have resulted in a penalty. There is no question why Fiorentina of Italy called the 18-year old up to tryout last year.
Andres Rios: Rios continues on playing well and proves that he should be a serious consideration for the first team. Last night he played very well and assisted Peralta on our only goal. Even though he has received way less opportunities than Marco Ruben, he has done a lot for the team and has scored several goals (let's not forget that if he hadn't scored that one night vs. Botafogo, we wouldn't still be fighting today for the Copa Sudamericana). Many of us forget that he is only 18 years old and can develop into a tremendous talent in the near future.
Mauro Rosales, Rolando Zarate, and Rene Lima all entered in the second half. Lima was probably the best of the three, though none of them were able to make their prescence too valuable.
With the starting eleven yesterday, it was more than clear that River is concentrating purely on the Copa Sudamericana. The team must find a win on Wednesday vs. Arsenal, for Lanus's 4-1 win over Rosario Central on Friday has officialy left us out of the competition for the Torneo Apertura 2007 (chances were small previously, but now they have been destroyed mathematically). Unfortunately, Radamel Falcao Garcia will be absent, but we can still do it. Aguante River!