Marcelo Gallardo’s team deservedly beat Banfield 1-0, with a goal by Matías Suárez, even though it should have widened the lead.
River went onto the Monumental’s field determined to assert its leader status and put pressure on the ones who are behind. It was thus how the first danger situation came about, after a center pass by Gonzalo Montiel and a right-footed shot by Rafael Borré, but Iván Arboleda blocked it on his left goalpost.
Banfield gave a warning by means of a shot from afar by Reinaldo Lenis, but wasn’t too dangerous. Then, Robert Rojas opened the scoring with a header. The first goal came after a great center pass by Montiel, including a sombrero kick, and a header bounce by Matías Suárez. In the next play, no. 7 also had his head shot: this time, the goalkeeper saved it.
El Millionario was awarded a penalty kick, due to a handball by Luciano Lollo after a pass by Montiel, but Borré’s shot hit the crossbar. River was much better at the end of the first half and deserved going into halftime break with a wider lead.
Gallardo’s team began the second half in the same spirit and in the first minutes disturbed the rival defence: first, with a crossed shot by Borré (great assist by Nacho Fernández) and then with another attempt by Suárez. In both cases, Banfield’s goalkeeper reacted well. Another clear opportunity was a header by Borré which hit an angle.
Suárez had another very clear chance: the forward got comfortable at the edge of the area and fired a shot which made Arboleda fly towards his left goalpost. Gallardo resorted to the substitute bench and, with Ignacio Scocco’s entrance, River almost scores the second one: the forward had two clear chances to widen the lead. Lucas Pratto, near the end, also disturbed the goalkeeper with a right-footed shot.
In this way, having the matchday yet to end, River widened its lead over its runner-up to six points. In the next Superleague matchday, el Millionario will visit Estudiantes in La Plata.