Rosario Central suffered their first league defeat of the season at the weekend but bounced back in Montevideo to record a crucial victory over River Plate in the Copa Libertadores.
Despite falling behind early to Michael Santos’ diving header, Eduardo Coudet’s side responded perfectly. Alejandro Donatti’s powerful headed goal as a result of some slack marking at a César Delgado free kick brought the visitors almost immediately level but for both sides a draw was not ideal.
After the break, River were pushing forward and Central were able to expose their hosts on the break. Germán Herrera ran clear after the home defence had gone missing and he unselfishly rolled the ball across goal for Jonás Aguirre to tap in the second.
The impressive Franco Cervi ensured the victory with a simple third in stoppage time and ahead of Central’s clash with Palmeiras, this positive result in Uruguay was paramount.
With Nacional beating Palmeiras last night they look almost certain to take one of the two qualfication spots and could seal that with victory over River Plate in their next match. Victory for Central over Palmeiras would seal their place too and the Brazilians will be wary of El Canalla’s propensity to counter given that the visitors to Rosario must go for all three points.