River Plate wrap up pre-season, return to Argentina

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Buenos Aires, July 19 (IANS) River Plate returned to Buenos Aires on Wednesday after wrapping up its pre-season training in Orlando, Florida, and the club said players were now focusing on the Copa Argentina match this weekend against Fourth-Division team Central Norte from Salta.

“The team is in Buenos Aires and will have a rest day today. They’ll get back to work tomorrow at 9 a.m. in a closed-door practice at River Camp,” River Plate management said in a Twitter post, reports Efe news agency.

The legendary Argentine First-Division club played three friendlies in North America, beating Costa Rica’s Saprissa 1-0 and Colombia’s Millonarios 4-1.

River Plate played Colombia’s Deportivo Independiente Medellin to a 0-0 tie.

“Beyond the victories, the important thing was getting in the work that we did, doing what (coach Marcelo) Gallardo asks of us and getting ready for the tournaments that are coming – the Copa Libertadores, the Copa Argentina and the local tournament,” Uruguayan forward Rodrigo Mora said in a press conference.

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Defender Javier Pinola said the pre-season went well and River’s players just wanted to get on the field and compete.

River Plate will travel to the central province of Santa Fe to take on Central Norte on Sunday at Brigadier General Estanislao Lopez Stadium, known as “The Graveyard of Elephants.”

The winner will then take on Second-Division club Villa Dalmine in the next round of the Copa Argentina.

River Plate will take on Racing Club on the road on August 9 in the first leg of the Copa Libertadores round of 16. The second leg of the series will be played at Monumental Stadium here on August 29.

–IANS

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