Monday, February 11, 2008

River Plate: 2 - Gimnasia (JJ): 0 - Torneo Clausura 2008

River Plate defeated Gimnasia de Jujuy in our opening match of the Torneo Clausura 2008, with a final result of 2-0. The goals were scored by Matias Abelairas and Paulo Ferrari, both off of set pieces.

In the first half, River did not leave an overall good image. With Gimnasia's defensive tactical scheme (8 players defending, 2 attacking), it was hard for the team to find open spaces.

During the last 45 minutes, things changed: thanks to "Pitu" Abelairas' goal, the away team was forced to begin attacking and "los millonarios" began improving in terms of gameplay. Not only did Ferrari's goal arrive, but the team was able to create more chances that unfortunately did not go in.

Alexis Sanchez did not have one of his incredibly inspired nights, but he still managed to be one of the most interesting players on the field. Diego Buonanotte, who entered the field in the second half, was arguably the best player of the night.

The two goals:

Although it may not seem like that much of an important win, it truly was: in 2007 we were not able to defeat this same team (0-1 at home; 2-2 away). Looking into the present, it also had a great deal of matter, for none of the other "big 5" teams won (Boca tied with Central, Racing just got a point vs. Olimpo, Independiente lost to Lanus, and San Lorenzo were taken down by Newell's Old Boys).

With this game now officially a thing of the past, we must begin to concentrate on the future, which will included decisive compromises. The always-difficult Newell's Old Boys await us in Rosario for the next round of the Torneo Clausura, but we must first travel to Lima, Peru to face Universidad San Martin in our first match of the Copa Libertadores 2008.

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