How was the long and sad night of the river campus in Al Ain



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The face of Marcelo Gallardo was a summary of the deception. Early in the morning of Al Ain, the historic consecration against Boca in the Libertadores final was part of an indelible past, but in that incessant necessity it passed into the background. River wanted to reach the final of the Club World Cup, but should be content to play the game for third place. And for Doll's ultra-competitive head, the penalty shootout against Al Ain was nothing short of unforgivable.

Not even the screams of encouragement and the words of gratitude from the fans in the lobby of Hili Rayhann, the hotel where the squad stayed, were able to soften that mixture of anger and pain that the coach and the players will leave the race for days. Perhaps, this uncomfortable feeling evaporates when you arrive next Sunday in Buenos Aires, where the fans booked a warm welcome which will include the opening of the Monumental to celebrate the obtaining of the Liberators against the Mouth.

It's four in the morning in Al Ain and about 40 River fans try to digest the bad drink by chatting in the hotel's armchairs. More than seated, some are directly packed: they never thought that an unknown Arab team could take away their hope to be the first Argentine team to win a World Cup of Clubs.

Earlier, when the team returned from the stadium, they were grateful to the players in a way that seemed more genuine than forced, despite the sadness of the penalty shoot-out defeat of Al Ain after drawing 2-2 in overtime.

"River, River I love you, I take you inside, from my heart, thank you for this joy, to win the Mouth, to become champion", the fans sang for the soccer players and for the technical team. Shaken, the players barely managed to raise their hands in return.

The countenances and the gestures showed that, at least until the hours passed, the feeling of frustration will remain, less by the forms of fall, which ultimately went to the penalties, which by the fact of having lost to a team little less than unknown and a country without a tradition of football like this.

Unlike previous days, when all the team found it difficult to get to sleep for the time difference of seven hours with Argentina, this time the surveillance of the majority had to do with the unthinkable result against. As they said Infobae members of the campus, Many managed to sleep after 4 am, a little because of the adrenaline of the game but more for the result.

Near the entrance to the room where the school was eating, Rodolfo D & # 39; Onofrio, Matías Patanian and Leonardo Astrada, who came as columnist for the ESPN television network, They tried to find explanations for stumbling. Patanian, who is not part of the leadership but is very close to her, was seen singing as a fan in homage to the campus and gave a warm hug to Gallardo at the entrance of the delegation to the hotel to return stadium

So River president was seen in the hall with smiling faces, away from the success that was in the stadium during the final stretch of the match and especially after the penalty lost by Enzo Perez.

A fan who is seen on all the trips made by River officials tried to convince the more offensive supporters who paraphrased Gallardo: "Come on, come on, let the news do not cover the story". He said this in a high, almost shouting tone and in a way that put him in the role of spiritual and spiritual support of the rest.

"Now you have to go sightseeing in Dubai", he said resignedly, a fan who still had in his head the white and red turban that was bought to go to court. The sporting aspect was in the background and more than one fan lamented for having gone through a great economic effort to be here with the team. "That's it, the most important thing, that was to beat Boca, we did, this was a yapa," he tried to console her another adventurous companion.

Already early in the morning, a member of the technical team said in passing, revealed: "If it is a teaching of all this, it is that at the highest level you have to be always on top of the football and physically.We were not and in football these things can happen. "

The micro-road to Abu Dhabi, after lunch, reserved a landscape with many mountains of sand, exotic as the unexpected defeat against the surprising and enthusiastic Arab team.

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