River Plate booked their place in the Copa Argentina last 16 with a 4-1 win over Instituto on Sunday evening thanks to goals from Lucas Alario, Enzo Pérez, Jonatan Maidana and Rafael Santos Borré.
Having seen San Lorenzo dumped out by Deportivo Morón earlier, River were well aware of the dangers of a cup upset in Mar del Plata and were given a scare when, with the score still goalless, Gonzalo Martínez was shown a straight red card for a late challenge.
Despite the numerical disadvantage, Lucas Alario smashed in the opening goal during first half stoppage time.
Just after the hour mark, Enzo Pérez curled in his first goal for the club with an exquisitely struck shot from the edge of the penalty area and although Instituto pulled a goal back through Franco Olego, River made absolutely certain of the result.
Jonatan Maidana immediately restored the two-goal lead with a diving header before new signing Rafael Santos Borré opened his River account after seeing his initial shot saved.
There is plenty still to work on for Marcelo Gallardo but ultimately River’s far superior individuals pulled them past Instituto to set up a last 16 clash with either Temperley or Defensa y Justicia.