The first of Sunday’s two clásicos lived up to the name as, in a frantic encounter which barely saw the pace let up at any point, River Plate and Racing Club drew 3-3 in a match which saw no little rain, late chances to win for both sides, a red card right at the death, and Santiago Salcedo’s first goal for Diego Simeone’s side. As this story goes to press, Estudiantes and Gimnasia are kicking off in La Plata…
The scoring began early with Leandro González evading two River players and sending a ball into the box from wide which River full back Facundo Quiroga, doing a far better job than Racing’s strikers often do for themselves, met with a hashed clearance to beat his own goalkeeper and put Racing 1-0 up. River, fielding for the most part a reserve side to keep back their man men for the Copa Sudamericana during the week, struck back just nine minutes later with Salcedo’s first for the club, a towering header from the Paraguayan.
Racing continued to press forward though, dominating the ball and pushing River back. Their reward came a few minutes before half time when Maxi Moralez, who otherwise had had quite a quiet half by his standards, sent a left-wing cross over for González, arriving at the far post, to head past Juan Manuel Ojeda and put Racing 2-1 up going in at the break.
Diego Simeone was clearly unhappy with his side, and within ten minutes of the restart he’d used up all his substitutes, sending on Matías Abelairas, Andrés Ríos and Diego Buonanotte, in that order, to give the Millonarios more attacking bite. He was rewarded with an equaliser from Buonanotte just eight minutes after his introduction, El Enano pouncing after goalkeeper José Luís Martínez Gullota spilled a shot into his path. Pablo Caballero put Racing back into the lead as both sides opened out and started to go for it as the rain fell down, beating Ojeda with a well-placed shot, but just three minutes later River regained parity as Facundo Quiroga redeemed himself for his earlier own goal, heading one into the correct net to make it 3-3.
There was an all-action finish which saw forward from both teams have good chances saved by the goalkeepers, before Gabriel Mercado was sent off in stoppage time for pulling back Abelairas as the latter skipped past him and into what would have been 40 yards of clear space in front of Racing’s goal, just inside the Racing half. 3-3 it finished, more of an opportunity missed for Racing, but a match which was highly entertaining for all the neutrals anyway.