River Plate may have been missing some key players but it made little difference as Marcelo Gallardo’s side marched into the Copa Argentina quarter finals with a 3-0 win over Defensa y Justicia in Formosa.
Two goals in two minutes from Ignacio Scocco early in the game effectively ended the contest before Exequiel Palacios wrapped up the victory late on.
Adrián Cubas’ handball presented Scocco with a simple opener from the penalty spot but his second immediately after was the mark of a top striker, full of confidence. The 32-year-old burst between three Defensa y Justicia defenders before clipping the ball over the body of Gabriel Arias.
River were cruising into the next round but shortly before the final whistle, Exequiel Palacios, who had replaced the injured Nicolás De La Cruz, fired a third into the net.
Given how the draw has opened up, River Plate are now heavy favourites to lift the Copa Argentina but Belgrano or Atlanta are next up.