Back-to-back Superliga victories and lifting the Supercopa before the international break suggested River Plate might be stirring from their six-month long hibernation and on Saturday, Marcelo Gallardo’s side enjoyed a 3-0 win over Universidad de Chile.
Despite the television companies annoyance, Gallardo selected a young, reserve side for the friendly but there were promising performances from Exequiel Palacios and Rafael Santos Borré.
After a goalless first half, Nicolás de la Cruz broke the deadlock from the penalty spot shortly after half time and a late brace by Santos Borré wrapped up the win.
With Lucas Pratto, Ignacio Scocco and Rodrigo Mora all ahead of the Colombian in the pecking order, opportunities have been increasingly hard to come by but Santos Borré served a reminder for Gallardo.
Luciano Lollo made a rare start after his countless injury problems but youngster Palacios was the real highlight. There was also a debut for Mauro Burruchaga, son of 1986 World Cup winner Jorge.
River: Lux; Moreira, Lollo, Martínez Quarta, Casco; Palacios (Ferreira), Zuculini, Rojas (Rossi), De la Cruz (Burruchaga); Auzqui y Borré
U. de Chile: De Paul; Vilches, Vaz, Pizarro, Araos, Díaz, Jara, Arancibia, Reyes, Schultz, Saavedra