Copa Libertadores: River visits Sporting Cristal

River Plate will play a large part of its chances of accessing the Copa Libertadores de América round of 16 when it visits Sporting Cristal, from Peru, tomorrow in a match for the fourth date of Group B. The match will be played at the stadium Nacional de Lima, this Thursday from 9:00 p.m., with the arbitration of the Chilean Cristian Garay and television from Fox Sports. Previously, at 7:00 p.m., for the same group, the local The Strongest, from Bolivia, and Fluminense, from Brazil, will play at the Hernando Siles stadium in Las Paz. The group is comfortably led by Fluminense with 9 points, followed by the rest of the participants with three units each, The Strongest (goal balance, 0), Sporting Cristal (-3) and River (-4).

The great objective of Martín Demichelis’ River in 2023 is the Copa Libertadores and so far it has not been doing a convincing job, after losing to The Stongest (3-1), beating Sporting Cristal in Núñez (4-2) and being thrashed by Fluminense in Rio de Janeiro (5-1).

The effectiveness that River shows in the Professional Football League (LPF) is far from being reflected at an international level. In La Paz there was, it was evident, a decrease due to the altitude, but in the Mas Monumental against Cristal the team was at a 1-2 disadvantage and in Brazil the performance was forgotten, especially in the second half.

This irregularity and lack of effectiveness outside the LPF environment has led River to find itself in a difficult situation, although the important thing is that everything depends on the “Millionaire” and that the last six points of the group are settled in Buenos Aires against Fluminense and The Strongest.

Fluminense is virtually classified with the three matches it won, but the fight will be hard and demanding for the other three teams in the group and for this fight it is essential that River get points in Lima, a victory would put it on a very safe path to qualifying to the second round and a tie would give him oxygen to go for the six points in Nuñez

Demichelis himself clarified the situation by saying: “It will be very important to win in Peru and that’s why we’re going to go looking for those three points, because it’s like a triangle with Sporting Cristal and The Strongest, since we all have three points.”

Sporting Cristal, led by the Brazilian Tiago Nunes, is third in the Apertura tournament with 28 units, eight behind the leader Alianza Lima and last date they beat Cusco 3-2.

The Peruvians also fell in Buenos Aires against River, they were defeated in Lima by Fluminense by 3-1 and beat the Bolivians, also in Lima, by 1-0. The great disadvantage that Cristal has compared to River is that they have the last two matches left, in La Paz and Rio, so tomorrow they have to win.

Cristal, led by the experienced Brazilian coach Tiago Nunes, has players with international experience such as midfielder Yoshimar Yotún, a figure of the Peruvian national team, and fast forwards such as Washington Corozo, who can hurt River’s defense, the weakest point of the team. team so far in the Demichelis cycle.

In the Copa Libertadores history between the two, River Plate supremacy is total with seven matches, six victories for River and one for Sporting Cristal, in Lima in 1996, 2-1 in the round of 16.

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