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America Gets Past River Plate


The first two meetings this year between Club America of Mexico and River Plate of Argentina were tight affairs, so why should the exhibition match Saturday night at the Coliseum have been any different?

Well, while Club America, which is preparing for the semifinals of the South American-based club tournament Copa Libertadores, brought its entire team, River Plate had few familiar faces.

The result: a 2-1 victory for Club America, champion of the Mexican first division summer tournament, over River Plate, winner of the Argentine closing tournament.

In front of a heavily pro-Club America crowd of 19,793, Las Aguilas delighted their fans by scoring first, in the 21st minute.

America forward Ivan Zamorano, closing in from the right flank, lofted a high pass to the left of the penalty box, just over the head of teammate Christian Patino.

With River Plate goalkeeper Jose Buljusavich giving chase, Patino gained control of the ball and lobbed a pass back to the middle of the box, where forward Reinaldo Navia headed it home.

Club America scored its second goal in the 75th minute when Manuel Rioss, on a breakaway opportunity, found Hugo Norberto Castillo drifting in from the left side.

Castillo, who had entered the game 19 minutes earlier, deposited Rioss' pass into the net for the score.

River Plate's goal came in the 90th minute, with five seconds remaining in regulation, when Maximiliano Lopez drilled a shot past goalkeeper Adolfo Rios on a broken play in front of the net.

The teams' previous two meetings this year were a 1-0 Club America victory at Buenos Aires on Feb. 28 and a scoreless draw at Mexico City on March 13.

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