Soccer — Copa ArgentinaThursday, August 21, 2014
River beats Colón in penalties
Goalkeeper Chiarini saves two to put his team in quarterfinals
Julio Chiarini blocked two penalties in the shootout to help River Plate beat Colón and advance to the Copa Argentina quarterfinals.
SAN LUIS — River Plate advanced to the Copa Argentina quarterfinals yesterday after beating Colón, from the National B Division, in a penalty shootout in San Luis.
Goalkeeper Julio Chiarini saved two penalties and Bruno Urribarri netted the last to put River in the next stage. It will face the winner of the series between Rosario Central and Tigre.
Colón put pressure on River’s defenders in the first minute of play and almost found the net. Gabriel Mercado lost the ball to Cristian Llama, who sent the ball to the box before Lucas Alario failed to connect it properly.
River dominated the ball, but could not create scoring chances against its opponent’s solid defence. Alario had another opportunity to put his side ahead in the ninth, when he received the ball after a counter-attack, but his fierce shot was blocked by Chiarini.
Marcelo Gallardo’s side depended on playmaker Tomás Martínez, a 19-year-old midfielder who had a fantastic game against Rosario Central last weekend in the reserve tournament.
Martínez appeared in every part of the field looking for the ball and trying to assist his teammates. However, Colón continued creating chances with counter-attacks. Alario had his third opportunity in the 21st, but his shot went wide.
River finally reached the goal defended by Jorge Broun in the 23rd, but failed to score. Teófilo Gutiérrez assisted attacking partner Lucas Boyé and the young striker managed to leave Broun behind with his skills, but he could not dominate the ball to send it to the empty net.
Martínez appeared again in the attack two minutes later, but his shot went close to the left post.
Alario had his revenge a few minutes before the end of the first half, but referee Luis Álvarez disallowed his goal. The striker took advantage of Ramiro Funes Mori’s mistake and scored in his second opportunity as Chiarini had blocked his first shot. However, Álvarez awarded a free-kick to River as he saw a foul over Funes Mori that never existed.
In the second half, River kept the possession of the ball, but its best chance came with a counter-attack. Substitute Giovanni Simeone, who replaced Boyé, received the ball inside the box in the 70th and his shot went close to the left post.
Colón could not create as many scoring chances as it did in the first half, but the team from Santa Fe had the best of the match. Alario found himself in a one-on-one position with Chiarini in the 74th, but the striker failed to score again with a poor shot that was easily saved by the goalie.
The match finished 0-0 and River celebrated after winning the penalty shootout.