By Gabriel Pessoa
The quarterfinal stage of the Copa Libertadores is nearly at its halfway point, with six of the eight remaining teams having already faced off this week. And to round off the first leg action, the organizers have saved the best till last.
River Plate (ARG) vs. Cerro Porteno (PAR) – Thursday @ 6:05pm ET
For a second there, River Plate fans thought the dream of a repeat Libertadores title was over.
Despite looking out of sorts for large spells in the Round of 16, Los Millonarios managed to scrape past Cruzeiro on penalties and will now set their sights on a possible Super Clasico clash in the semifinals, after arch rivals Boca Juniors put one foot in the penultimate stage with a 3-1 first leg win away to LDU Quito on Wednesday.
Vamos todos unidos 🤜🏻🤛🏻— River Plate (@RiverPlate) August 22, 2019
⏳ 19.15 hs.
🆚 Cerro Porteño
🏠 Estadio Monumental pic.twitter.com/zLO9Y8j2mK
Standing in the way of Marcelo Gallardo's men are Cerro Porteno, the last remaining Paraguayan club in the competition following the eliminations of Libertad and Olimpia in the Round of 16.
While El Ciclón broke Argentine hearts to reach the quarterfinals by sending out San Lorenzo, Fernando Jubero's charges are not expected to repeat that feat against River. Not only do the reigning champions have the weight of history on their side, but also possess Argentina international Franco Armani between the pipes and the goal-scoring exploits of Lucas Pratto.