Five days on from sealing a place in the Copa Libertadores semi final, River Plate repeated the trick in the Copa Argentina and although Marcelo Gallardo’s side were not at their best they still proved too strong for Torneo Federal A club Sarmiento de Resistencia.
The lower league minnows have been one of the surprise packages of the tournament with victories over Racing and Unión but River proved a completely different proposition and as Los Millonarios’ momentum continued to roll, a new club record of 32 games unbeaten was set.
However, if Tuesday’s win over Independiente in the Libertadores was everything good about Gallardo’s River, little of that was on show against Sarmiento and in fact prior to the opening goal either side could have scored.
Luis Silba scuffed a glorious opportunity on the counter and defender Ronald Huth put a header over the top as Sarmiento posed a genuine threat on the River goal. But all that was undone when Rafael Santos Borré hurried some casual defending, forced an error and saw Juan Quintero run clear to leave goalkeeper and defender flailing before tapping in.
A sweeping move would see Borré slot in the second soon after but Sarmiento refused to give in. Silba scored from the penalty spot before the break to reduce the deficit and they continued to come forward after half time.
Quintero added his second of the game in the 76th minute and all but ended the contest.
River now play either Gimnasia or Central Córdoba in the semi finals and having not lost in the Copa Argentina for three years, you would likely not bet against a third consecutive cup win.