Gallardo’s team returns to the city where they lost the final of the Libertadores to Flamengo. Before Binacional, he will go in search of a victory that leads the classification to the second round.
Lucas Pratto loses a ball in the rival field with his team turned to attack. Flamengo players travel many meters with the ball. Those of River withdraw. Bruno Henrique makes a great play, filters the pass to De Arrascaeta and he serves Gabigol on a plate. Follow the game. Long and deep pass from Diego, behind the back of Javier Pinola, who fails in clearance, Lucas Martínez Quarta is badly stopped and Gabigol not forgiving: deadly left foot. Everything was unleashed when there were less than four minutes to go until 90 in the last final of the Copa Libertadores. River caressed the trophy but ended up stunned by two roars from Flamengo, who won the glory that November 23, 2019 at the Monumental stadium of Lima. The same city that River returned to face Binational for the fourth date of the group stage of the current edition of the Libertadores, with the idea of closing a painful wound.
Apart from the unpleasant memory, River is good at playing in Lima. Doing so meant saving himself from rising to 3,825 meters above sea level in Juliaca, the city of Binacional. The move was determined a month ago by the Peruvian Sports Institute, because the curve of coronavirus cases had grown a lot in that Peruvian town. Then, she had to move to Lima, which has been hosting all the matches of the local tournament in Peru.
The immediate statistics favors River. Binacional won (2-1) in Juliaca against Saint Paul before the pandemic and fell (0-1) in Lima to the Quito League, last Thursday. In addition, on the plain, Marcelo Gallardo’s team beat the Peruvian team: they thrashed 8-0 at the Monumental. It was on March 11, four days after Núñez’s team lost the Super League and a day before Conmebol announced the stoppage due to the coronavirus. As if that were not enough, Binacional lost one of its most outstanding players, the forward Aldair Rodríguez, who is going to play America from Cali.
He record River also winks against Peruvian teams in Peru: out of 15 games, he won six, drew five and lost four. And he has three games without losing, with a win (in 2017, a 3-2 over Melgar, at the height of Arequipa) and two draws. However, there are a streak to cut: It has been 22 years since he won at the National Stadium in Lima, the scene of the confrontation against Binacional this Tuesday from 9:30 p.m. The last time was for the group stage of the 1998 Copa Libertadores: 3-2 a Sporting Cristal.
Gallardo’s idea is to repeat the team that came out to play 2-2 against San Pablo last Thursday at Morumbí, in a good presentation by River, especially if one takes into account that he had not played for six months. The eleven players will then be: Franco Armani; Gonzalo Montiel, Lucas Martínez Quarta, Javier Pinola, Fabrizio Angileri; Ignacio Fernández, Enzo Pérez, Nicolás De La Cruz; Julián Álvarez, Rafael Borré and Matías Suárez.
On the substitute bench will be: Germán Lux, Enrique Bologna, Jorge Moreira, Paulo Díaz, Robert Rojas, Santiago Sosa, Bruno Zuculini, Leonardo Ponzio, Cristian Ferreira, Jorge Carrascal, Federico Girotti and Lucas Pratto.
River is going for a victory that will leave him well standing for the last two dates of the group stage. He wants to come back from Lima with a victory and leave behind those images of the final against Flamengo. So that, although I can hardly forget them, they end up being part of the past.