BUENOS AIRES - River Plate fans had a
double cause for celebration on Sunday, their team beat
Independiente 3-2 at their packed Monumental stadium while
arch-rivals Boca Juniors were sunk 2-0 by promoted All Boys.
River joined Velez Sarsfield, who beat title holders
Argentinos Juniors 2-0 at home on Saturday, at the top of the
Argentine Apertura championship standings as the only teams
with maximum points after three matches.
Coach Angel Cappa's River side, much improved from last
season, took the lead in the ninth minute with their first
chance by striker Rogelio Funes Mori who turned in a mishit
shot by defender Jonatan Maidana.
Striker Andres Silvera equalised in the 18th minute with a
low shot from the left past the diving Juan Pablo Carrizo.
River were ahead again within a minute when teenage
midfielder Manuel Lanzini, standing in for suspended veteran
Ariel Ortega, laced a superb ball through to Funes Mori who
scored his second.
River's right-back Paulo Ferrari then increased their lead
in the 25th minute from Diego Buonanotte's pass with a shot
that keeper Adrian Gabbarini touched but could not keep out.
Cappa praised veteran holding midfielder Matias Almeyda for
the "huge job he is doing" and said River, who need to boost
their low three-season points average to stave off relegation,
"must always be thinking of winning the championship".
Independiente almost stole a point at the death when a shot
by midfielder Federico Mancuello hit the post and bounced off
Carrizo into the goal, before the keeper made a fine diving
save from a Silvera shot heading for his top left corner in
stoppage time to ensure River won.
Boca, without playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme who is
recovering from knee surgery, lost for the second successive
game after All Boys scored twice in the first half with a Mauro
Matos penalty and an Eduardo Dominguez header.
Of the three other teams that were equal with River and
Velez on six points after two matches, Banfield and Estudiantes
drew 0-0 while Racing Club were beaten 2-1 by San Lorenzo.
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