Fans in Rosario were treated to a thrilling, clichéd 3-3 draw as River Plate continues its slow start to the season. It was River who took the lead in the 6th minute with striker Lucas Alario rising above Rosario forward Marcelo Larrondo (I’m going to be using that name A LOT, by the way) to convert a corner with a well-timed header, the first goal Rosario has conceded this season.
The equalizer came in the form of 32-year-old attacker Germán Herrera, who pounced on Larrondo’s through ball and fired a shot into the top left past flailing goalie Marcelo Barovero. Of course, that would be incredibly boring. But thankfully replays showed a clear handball, a real-Maradona-style-slap-down, by Herrera in the build up which went unnoticed by the ref. Phew.
Winger José Fernández was forced off after a dodgy looking two footer from center back Jonathan Maidana, a straight red by European standards — ultimately a dubious yellow in South America, left him sitting on the bench with an icepack or two and the defender still on the pitch.
The relief was short lived as number 7 Rodrigo Mora finished from close range after some dawdling from the Rosario defense allowed for a cutback to put it on a plate for the Uruguayan. The misery was compounded when, although Los Millonarios were struggling to keep possession, Larrondo put them 3-1 up as he comically sent the ball past his own keeper, sticking a leg out clumsily as the ball was headed across goal. That’s literally what you get for having a top knot. I would go as far to say that were it not for the top knot, he’d have cleared it with a perfectly executed punt.
From 3-1 with 25 minutes to go, Larrondo was clearly suffering from a guilt trip as the former Tigre striker glanced a header off his man bun (yeah, it got an upgrade) when free-kick was whipped in from the right hand side to make it 3-2.
There was still hope left for Los Canallas as 10 minutes added time was shown, thanks mainly to a problem with the flood lighting causing a delay.
And in the 96th minute, with River looking visibly exhausted, a ball was pumped in optimistically from the center of the park and headed across for Larrondo to emphatically knock it in off his luscious, well-kept mane. Now that’s how you make amends. Our favorite computer game Football Manager would probably describe the resulting scenes as “pandemonium.”
Rosario remains top of the Group 1 table alongside San Lorenzo with 10 points, while Gallardo’s team is still without a win in three games and languishing down in ninth place.