It wasn’t the most convincing display but River Plate responded to Tuesday’s defeat to Banfield with victory over Rosario Central in Avellaneda on Saturday evening.
The impressive Nicolás De La Cruz burst through the visiting defence after 20 minutes to slot River in front yet Marcelo Gallardo’s side were indebted to an in-form Franco Armani for keeping the scoreline intact.
Central were reduced to ten men on the hour mark when Joaquín Laso brought down Gonzalo Montiel and soon after Lucas Pratto doubled the lead. The veteran striker could hardly miss after Matías Suárez’s effort bobbled across the face of goal but standing in for the absent Rafael Santos Borré it was a timely confidence boost for Pratto.
Ten-man Central pulled a goal back in stoppage time after Paulo Díaz tripped Lucas Gamba allowing Emiliano Vecchio to slot in the spot but it was nothing more than a consolation.
In the other game in Group 3, Banfield continued their strong start with a 1-0 win over Godoy Cruz.
Mauricio Cuero, who caused River all sorts of problems on Tuesday, struck the only goal with a free-kick that goalkeeper Nelson Ibáñez couldn’t keep out.
River Plate 2 – 1 Rosario Central
Banfield 1 – 0 Godoy Cruz
Ángel Romero scored an even better free-kick for San Lorenzo as the Ciclón defeated Estudiantes in Bajo Flores.
Brother Óscar set up San Lorenzo’s opener for Mariano Peralta Bauer and after Estudiantes had defender Mauricio Guzmán shown a second yellow card, Ángel curled in the subsequent set-piece.
Aldosivi join San Lorenzo on four points at the top of Group 5 after Federico Andrada snatched victory over Argentinos Juniors in La Paternal.
And also on Friday evening, Huracán won 2-1 in Paraná against Patronato.
Andrés Chávez’s shot on the turn broke the deadlock and a thunderous strike from former Boca Juniors midfielder Franco Cristaldo doubled the lead.
Junior Arias reduced the advantage for the home side but Patronato were unable to find a way past Argentina under-23 goalkeeper Facundo Cambeses for a second time.