River Plate Vs. Godoy Cruz: Visitors Secure Impressive Comeback Victory

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River Plate Vs. Godoy Cruz: Tomba Get First Ever Win At Estadio Monumental

For the first time ever, Godoy Cruz have defeated River Plate at Estadio Monumental, putting together an impressive 2-1 comeback victory on the road. Incredibly, Godoy Cruz have won at both the Monumental and at La Bombanera in the same tournament. River Plate went up 1-0 in the first half and looked very much like the better side for the majority of the match, but the Tomba were able to score twice against the run of play, leapfrogging River Plate in the standings and further complicating the absolutely absurd Torneo Clausura 2011. 

Zelman García scored the equalizer for Godoy Cruz early in the second half, and from then on, they defended extremely deep in an attempt to preserve their point. River Plate had a couple of opportunities, including a bizarre sequence in which a goal was disallowed because the whistle blew for a backpass before it was scored, but it still appeared for most of the second half that a draw was on the cards. Then in the 84th minute, Mariano Donda delivered an absolute golazo, scoring a stunning winner with a shot from almost 30 yards out.

Godoy Cruz are now just one point behind league leaders Velez, who inexplicably lost 3-2 to Quilmes, a very poor side, in a wild match. The table is a giant cluster right now, with at least half of the teams having a decent shot at winning the title, at least from a mathematical standpoint. 

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River Plate Vs. Godoy Cruz: 1-0 Halftime, And Madness Elsewhere That Benefits Los Millonarios

River Plate are up 1-0 on Godoy Cruz at halftime from Estadio Monumental, but that's not the real story right now in Argentina, incredibly. Despite the fact that there's a very good match going on between two teams at the top half of the table, the real drama is taking place on another side of town at Estadio José Amalfitani, where Velez Sarsfield, the Clausura's leaders, are down 3-1 to Quilmes, one of the worst teams in the division.

Inexplicably, substitute Pablo Vasquez scored twice in two minutes in the second half for Quilmes, as the Velez defense completely fell apart. Meanwhile, Estudiantes La Plata have fallen 2-0 to Colon, and the former leaders have now completely lost touch with the front of the pack.

That result means that, if the result at the Monumental holds, River Plate will pass Velez and go to the top of the table after this week's action. Based on their first half play, there's no reason that they shouldn't. Godoy Cruz haven't looked that potent going forward, and their defense was poor on Jonathan Maidana's goal. Diego Buonanotte provided a nice assist with a floating cross across the box, and despite the fact that he didn't direct his header well, Maidana managed to hit the back of the net. It was a well set up goal, despite the poor defense, and River look like they might have another goal in them.

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River Plate Vs. Godoy Cruz: Lineups

River Plate are a team noted for their defense so far in the 2011 Clausura, allowing only four goals while scoring just nine. However, their lineup looks like an entertaining and attacking one tonight, and they should be able to create chances against a Godoy Cruz side who has been just the opposite so far this year; potent offensively, but mediocre defensively.

River is playing an attack-minded 3-4-2-1 formation, with their most recognizable star players at the moment, Diego Buonanotte and Erik Lamela playing behind a central striker. Godoy Cruz appear to be playing a more orthodox (at least by the standards of the Anglo football world) 4-4-2 setup. River should be the better team in the middle, but the opportunity will be there for Godoy Cruz to exploit them down the flanks. Here are your lineups.

River Plate lineup (3-4-2-1): Carrizo; Maidana, Roman, Ferrero; Ferrari, Acevedo, Almeyda, Diaz; Lamela, Buonanotte; Pavonne

Godoy Cruz lineup (4-4-2): Torrico; Russo, Sigali, N. Sanchez, Garcia; C.A. Sanchez, Damonte, Falcon, Villar; Ramirez, Navarro

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River Plate Vs. Godoy Cruz: Great Defense Meets Great Offense, But Neither Team Is Complete

Both Godoy Cruz and River Plate look like possible title contenders early in the 2011 Clausura, but both teams are far from complete. River Plate have some decent veteran forwards and a budding star in the middle in Erik Lamela, but they're lacking the firepower to be considered a surefire title contender. Godoy Cruz appear to have all of the offense required to win the Clausura, but their defense is what most would consider to be substandard. Tonight, at 6 pm ET at the Estadio Monumental in Buenos Aires, something has to give.

Uruguayan forward Alvaro Navarro was disappointing in the last tournament for Gimnasia La Plata after a few successful years at Defensor Sporting, but he's shined early on in the Clausura for Godoy Cruz. At River, all eyes are on Lamela, who many are calling on to make the national side shortly.

Both teams are largely veteran sides, built more to win now than to develop youngsters. With Velez Sarsfield looking like the current class of Argentina, three points against a fellow contender would go a very long way for both teams.

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