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FLAMENGO 2 - 2 RIVER PLATE

Real Madrid's Vinícius Jr benched for River Plate clash in Copa Libertadores

Criticism was drawn from fans and press as the young star failed to play a minute of the 2-2 draw, one where Mayada equalised with three minutes remaining.

Update:
Vinícius Junior, en el banquillo ante River
AFP

Last season's semi-finalists River Plate kicked off their Copa Libertadores campaign with an entertaining draw in Brazil, which was the story of the day in South America.

Camilo Mayada equalised with three minutes remaining as visiting River rescued a 2-2 draw against Flamengo in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday. And as the draw felt like a loss to the home side, one high-profile player could only sit and watch.

Twice pegged back Flamengo

Argentine giants River twice trailed and responded on both occasions in the four-goal Group Four thriller at Estadio Nilton Santos.

After a scoreless opening half, Henrique Dourado converted a 54th-minute penalty to put Brazilian hosts Flamengo ahead. Flamengo's lead barely lasted a minute as Rodrigo Mora glanced a header past former Valencia goalkeeper Diego Alves.

The home side were back ahead in the 66th-minute when Everton finished powerfully beyond Franco Armani but River were not done – Mayada scoring from distance during the closing stages.

Vinícius snub not popular

Real Madrid's Vinícius Jr did not make it onto the pitch and this decision from the manager to leave him out did not go down well. Many fans, as well as some media outlets, couldn't understand the decison.

"The wide men weren't playing well in an attacking sense," and "it was time for the kid [Vinícius] to come on because River Plate were worn out," were just some of the comments made during the game that eventually proved frustrating. 

Other Copa Libertadores results

It was not the only draw midweek, with the three other fixtures ending all-square.

Roberto Ordonez cancelled out Marcos Riquelme's opener as Delfin drew 1-1 at home to Bolivar in Group Two.

Nacional played out a goalless draw with Estudiantes in Group Six, while the Group Seven clash between Millonarios and Corinthians ended 0-0.

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