Friday, March 14, 2008

Universidad Catolica: 1 - River Plate: 2 - Copa Libertadores 2008

River Plate got through yet another difficult Copa Libertadores match, this time finding a win vs. Universidad Catolica of Chile. Just like in our previous encounter of the tournament (vs. America), we were able to scrape a win in the dying minutes of the game.

The overall performance of the team wasn't convincing at all, though the home side failed to impress as well. Lucily for us, the victory came in the hands of Sebastian Abreu and Mauro Rosales, who scored one goal each respectively.

The Player Review -
Juan Pablo Carrizo: The goalkeeper did not receive too many shots on behalf of the Chileans, and was more of a spectator than an actual player on the pitch. He did his job when he had to, and did not have fault in the goal. The bad news? His good performances have caused Lazio to confirm that he will officially start playing for them after this season.
Paulo Ferrari: In Simeone's tactics he seems to have less offensive duties. Defensively, meanwhile, he isn't the greatest player: the goal we conceded came in through his side, yet he was no where to be seen.
Gustavo Cabral: Like in previous games, the ex-Racing player was lost and was one of the worst on the pitch. He also gave away an easy ball that could have resulted in a goal for Catolica. On Sunday he will be resting, due to being expelled in his last Clausura match (vs. Estudiantes).
Eduardo Tuzzio: Arguably the best in the defense. Nothing fantastic, but solid nonetheless.
Cristian Villagra: More similar to the Villagra of last season than to the one we had recently been seeing. No contributions whatsoever, and he got an unnecessary yellow for pushing around a Chilean player (problems like this could effect us heavily in more important games).
Augusto Fernandez: The best player for "los millonarios". He ran non-stop, constantly went back to defend, and made good offensive runs (our first goal was completely thanks to him). A great game for a great player!
Leonardo Ponzio: Not as good of a game as his last few, but he was still one of our "better" players. He recuperated the ball all the time and didn't give the rivals too much space in the midfield.
Matias Abelairas: "Pitu" showed little to nothing and seems closer and closer to the bench as time passes. He has shown more when playing as a defensive midfielder than a winger, due to him not having too much offensive flare. Rumour has it that Archubi will now start over him on Sunday. This situation seems very similar to last season's with Passarella: he won himself a spot in the pre-season friendlies, played well in the first few matches, and then slowly started dropping after receiving regular opportunities.
Ariel Ortega: Played a role in the first goal, but other than that did not do much. He has been underperforming a bit lately, so hopefully his level of gameplay rises soon for the good of the team.
Alexis Sanchez: The Chilean was just not himself and seemed shy and pressured because of the bad treatment he received from the fans. He left with an injury, though he is expected to be fine by Sunday.
Sebastian Abreu: The Uruguayan scored his second goal with a River jersey, after being critisized for his lack of goal-scoring. Still, the goal was nearly "served" for him by Augusto Fernandez, so not much credit can be given to him.
The Substitutes -
Diego Buonanotte: The "dwarf" substituted Abelairas and helped the team tremendously, just like in our last game vs. America. He brings speed and quickness to our game, and he always pressures rival players (this is what led to Rosales' goal). A fantastic contribution to our squad.
Mauro Rosales: Came in in the second half and scored the winning goal. Besides that he seemed very active and with lots of will to leave a good image.
Oscar Ahumada: Played the last few mintues.. not enough to comment on.

The goals:

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