One of Argentina’s great football institutions River Plate are struggling big time at the moment. The Buenos Aires outfit finished bottom of the 20-team league at the end of the 2008 Apertura season and, although beginning the new Clausura in competitive fashion, find themselves in grave danger of being dumped out of this year’s Copa Libertadores tournament at the first stage.
Last night River dropped two more massive points in their bid for qualification to the next round of the Copa Libertadores, held to a goalless draw by Uruguay’s Nacional. But the game was memorable for an unbelievable quadruple miss by River during the first half.
Looking threatening early on, in the 23rd minute River should have taken the lead. Freed in the inside left channel striker Radamel Falcao Garcia had a shot palmed out by Nacional keeper Rodrigo Munoz. But the keeper’s save fell straight into the path of the onrushing Cristian Fabbiani who was forced to improvise a shot with the ball ariving at pace.
Amazingly, Fabbiani’s shot hit the bar and rebounded back out. Cue effort number three as Diego Barrado collected the loose ball to fire off another shot. This time Nacional’s number 3, Federico Dominguez, was equal to the task but again the ball fell to a River’s Falcao. Low and behold, after connecting with a fine scissor-kick Falcao’s effort was cleared off the line by another covering defender, Adrian Romero.
River Plate’s crazy quadruple miss can be seen one minute into this video.