Copa Sudamericana: River Plate wary of Libertad

The Argentine powerhouse hold a two-goal advantage after accounting for Libertad 3-1 in the opening leg of their last-16 tie in Paraguay last week.

Despite losing leading goalscorer Teofilo Gutierrez and Eder Alvarez Balanta to Colombia national duty, and Leonel Vangioni to Argentina, River still emerged triumphant after a three-goal second half at the Estadio Dr Nicolas Leoz.

The trio will return to the River line-up for the return leg in Buenos Aires after playing pivotal roles in Sunday's comprehensive 3-0 victory over Belgrano in Argentina Primera Division.

Vangioni opened the scoring, while Gutierrez netted a second-half brace.

And coach Marcelo Gallardo is aware his team must be at the top of their game if they are to reach the quarter-finals ahead of Libertad, who dismantled rivals General Diaz 6-0 on Sunday.

"We have to be very smart. I need all the players; see how they recover and last minute we'll see how we go," Gallardo told River's official website following Sunday's win.

"There are players who stand out because the quality of each is different but when the whole operation achieves a good talk about how good the team.

"The mentality is strong and the desire to want to play well too. Good to end a round with a good win and performance."

The winner will play either Estudiantes or Penarol in the quarters.

Estudiantes were 2-1 winners over Uruguayan side Penarol in the first leg.

But Penarol - unbeaten in 12 matches at home in all competitions - will take plenty of confidence into Wednesday's fixture, with Estudiantes only able to register one win in seven competitive games.

Two-time champions Boca Juniors must overturn a one-goal first-leg deficit if they are to advance to the last eight.

Boca were beaten 1-0 by Paraguayan outfit Deportivo Capiata in the Argentine capital last week.

Rodolfo Arruabarrena, however, insisted Boca will be doing all they can to qualify when the two teams meet in Paraguay on Thursday.

"We had the intention of getting a result at home and did not but we have to go find the result away from home," Arruabarrena told reporters after Sunday's 3-2 win at Godoy Cruz.

"We know it will be tough but we will go and try."

Meanwhile, Paraguay's Cerro Porteno travel to Lanus on Tuesday protecting a 2-1 lead.

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