River Plate may only have achieved Copa Sudamericana qualification with Monday’s victory over San Lorenzo but the club’s form and change in fortune since the turn of the year has been terrific.
With Juan Fernando Quintero in the starting eleven, River were constantly probing San Lorenzo, who were content sitting back looking to counter. Ignacio Fernández and Ignacio Scocco had both hit the woodwork and even after River lost Gonzalo Martínez to injury, they remained the better team.
The breakthrough came shortly after half time, Lucas Pratto threading the ball through to Fernández, who finished with aplomb past Nicolás Navarro.
River were then indebted to goalkeeper Franco Armani once again to maintain the lead before substitute Rafael Santos Borré fired in the second.
San Lorenzo’s place in the 2019 Copa Libertadores was already secure despite their troubling form over the past few weeks and while River only finished eighth, things are looking promising for the rest of this year.
River Plate 2 – 0 San Lorenzo
Without a win in nine prior to Monday evening, Gimnasia at least ended the season on a high and have since confirmed Pedro Troglio will return to the club as manager.
El Lobo needed to ride their luck against Newell’s with Luis Leal heading against the post for the visitors during the first half. However, it was Gimnasia that struck first, Nicolás Ortíz firing in at the back post after a free-kick had travelled across the penalty area.
Leal squandered a good chance to draw Newell’s level and then Ezequiel Bonifacio all but wrapped up the points for Gimnasia, smashing the ball past Nelson Ibáñez.
Both sides have had poor campaigns and while Omar de Felippe has already warned Newell’s that he needs backing in this window, Pedro Troglio will likely have made the same demands behind closed doors before returning to La Plata.