River Plate too strong for Central, Racing snatch draw from Aldosivi, Lanús gain revenge & Estudiantes win (SATURDAY’S HIGHLIGHTS)

Back at the Monumental for the first time in almost a year, River Plate enjoyed themselves on a newly laid pitch and made relatively light work of Rosario Central.

Rafael Santos Borré’s poaching instincts saw the Colombian slide in the opener after 36 minutes and a handball against Joaquín Laso allowed Gonzalo Montiel to double the lead in the second half.

If Central still harboured hopes of a comeback they were ended in the next few minutes as Joan Mazzaco was shown a red card for a clumsy challenge on Nicolás De La Cruz before the Uruguayan brushed himself off to fire a third past Jorge Broun.

Montiel and De La Cruz both on the scoresheet after signing new contracts and an opportunity for new signing Agustín Palavecino to make his debut capped off a positive week for River following last week’s defeat.

Racing Club also tasted defeat on the opening weekend yet were unable to bounce back on Saturday instead needing a late goal to salvage a point from the visit of Aldosivi.

Fernando Gago’s side were excellent during the first half and deservedly lead when Malcom Braida skipped past Iván Pillud to pull the back for Leandro Maciel to drill a low shot in from the edge of the box.

Juan Antonio Pizzi needed a change and introduced forward Enzo Copetti at the break, the former Atlético de Rafaela man needing only eleven minutes to head La Academia level at a corner.

Racing though were level only for minutes before Eugenio Mena underhit a backpass and gifted Federico Andrada the chance to go round Gabriel Arias and restore the lead.

It looked as though Racing were heading for a second straight loss but four minutes from time Tomás Chancalay found a way through, another of the new signings on this occasion wrong-footing Luciano Pocrnjic with a low free-kick.

In a repeat of last month’s Copa Sudamericana final, Lanús managed to find some redemption with a 2-1 win over Defensa y Justicia.

A desperately poor display in Córdoba saw the Halcón lift their first trophy but Lanús started far more positively in La Fortaleza and midfielder Tomás Belmonte needed only five minutes to force a shot through a crowded penalty box and into the net.

With Hernán Crespo gone as manager, Defensa y Justicia had the familiar Sebastián Beccacece back in the dugout and despite the change of coaches, Braian Romero maintained his fine form with a deserved equaliser.

Parity didn’t last long and Ezequiel Unsain was again at fault when trying to play out from the back, the goalkeeper’s wayward pass handing possession to Lucas Vera and forcing Enzo Fernandez into a penalty box challenge. Fernando Espinoza pointed to the spot and José Sand made no mistake.

Two wins from two for Lanús at the top of Zone B.

And finally in Mendoza, Estudiantes picked up a valuable 2-0 win over Godoy Cruz.

Ricardo Zielinski already appears to be having an impact with the Pincha and by the time Leandro Díaz thumped them in front just after half time, Estudiantes should already have been one or two up.

Substitute Pablo Sabbag’s deflected volley in the 89th minute made sure of the points and with back-to-back wins there is a renewed sense of confidence around Estudiantes.