Despite scoring in the most fortuitous of circumstance, River Plate were good value for a point against a São Paulo side desperate for victory after their opening day defeat at home to The Strongest.
River’s inexperienced central defensive pairing of Emanuel Mammana and Leandro Vega caused more than a few nervy moments and although the visitors opener came as a result of a poor headed clearance, there was no doubting it’s quality. The almost forgotten ‘next superstar of Brazilian football’, Paulo Henrique Ganso struck an excellent volley from the edge of the box that flew past Marcelo Barovero into the bottom corner.
River posed their own threat but were handed a gift wrapped equaliser by São Paulo goalkeeper, Dênis. His decision to punch rather than catch Sebastián Driussi’s corner from the left was ill-judged but his execution was even worse as he managed to bounce the ball off the back of defender Thiago Mendes and back over his own head into the net.
Neither side could force a winner but given River’s injuries in defence perhaps a point is not a bad result. Marcelo Gallardo’s side must travel to Bolivia next week to face The Strongest, who remarkably sit top of group one, having won both their matches.
River Plate 1 – 1 São Paulo