Marcelo Gallardo’s 2015 Copa Libertadores champions have struggled for form of late but had little trouble in breezing past Gimnasia in San Juan and claiming a place in the Copa Argentina final thanks to a goal apiece from the dynamic duo of Sebastián Driussi and Lucas Alario.
River’s margin of victory could and perhaps should have been far greater such was the level of dominance but it was a relatively simple evening’s work which sets up an intriguing final with a final Libertadores qualification spot up for grabs.
After bossing the first half from kick off it took until the 40th minute for River to finally break the deadlock. Ignacio Fernández drove down the right and his low cross was met powerfully by Sebastián Driussi, who thundered the ball on the volley past a motionless Alexis Arias.
Gimnasia needed half time but within minutes found themselves further behind when Pity Martínez attacked down the opposite flank and this time his cross was headed into the net by Lucas Alario.
El Lobo were desperate for a break and should have got one in the closing seconds of the first half when Jorge Moreira clearly brought down Facundo Oreja for what should have been a penalty but Darío Herrera’s decision to wave play on all but ended Gimnasia’s challenge.
River’s dominance continued but somehow Gallardo’s side were unable to extend their lead. Instead Los Millonarios strolled into the final where Rosario Central lie in wait. Eduardo Coudet’s side desperate not to lose three consecutive finals, River determined to qualify for the 2017 Libertadores – it promises to be an exciting clash.
River Plate 2 – 0 Gimnasia