BUENOS AIRES - Relegation-threatened River
Plate went for broke against Colon on Sunday but the gamble of
playing three central strikers in the second half almost
backfired on the Argentine giants, who had to fight back from a
goal down to draw 1-1.
The solitary point was not enough to give desperate River
some breathing space as they battle to improve their poor
three-season average and keep their heads above the drop zone.
River are just above the bottom four with two matches to go
in Argentina's Clausura championship, but should they slip into
the zone they would face a play-off against a second division
With his team having made little headway in the first half,
River coach JJ Lopez took off two midfielders at half-time and
sent on centre-forwards Mariano Pavone and Gabriel Funes Mori to
join Leandro Caruso in a three-pronged spearhead.
The decision appeared to have backfired dramatically when
wily 38-year-old striker Esteban Fuertes, the oldest active
player in the Argentine top flight, put Colon ahead just before
the hour-mark, side-footing past goalkeeper Juan Pablo Carrizo.
River pressed for the equaliser, raining crosses into the
box and into the grateful hands of Colon keeper Diego Pozo.
However, with nine minutes left River snatched an equaliser,
"Tank" Pavone passing to Funes Mori in front of goal, and when
the youngster missed the ball it ran loose to Caruso and he
blasted it home to wild cheers from River fans packing the
Boca Juniors came from two goals down to draw 2-2 at
relegation candidates Quilmes, striker Martin Palermo scoring
from 30 metres in the 62nd minute and midfielder Cristian Chavez
hitting the equaliser four minutes later.
The title race continues on Monday when leaders Velez
Sarsfield host third-placed Godoy Cruz while Lanus, who are
second, visit Independiente.
Saturday's match in Rosario between Newell's Old Boys and
San Lorenzo was suspended after a police officer was shot and
It was the third match suspended due to fan violence in
the 19-round Clausura, the second of two championship in the
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