A game that had been singled out as one of the highlights of the last 16 finished without goals and with few real chances for either team. Racing Club and River Plate drew their Libertadores first leg 0-0 in Avellaneda, leaving the return match scheduled for August 29 poised on a knife-edge.
River played the entire second half with 10 men when captain Leonardo Ponzio was sent off for a second booking a minute before the break. A player down, Marcelo Gallardo's team sat back in defence and played for the draw in order to keep their fate in their own hands in the Monumental.
Racing were unable to make inroads even with their numerical advantage. One of the few clear chances fell to substitute Cristaldo, who saw his header stopped by Franco Armani in the final minutes of the game. It was the best chance for La Academia, who fell short of finding the goal that would have given the Avellaneda team breathing space in the second leg.
On Wednesday, August 29 it will be all or nothing in the Monumental. River will be obliged to win to take their place in the quarter finals, while Racing can go through with a score draw and another 0-0 will lead to a penalty shoot-out. The winner will face Independiente or Santos in the last eight.