River Plate hosted Nacional in the first leg in the quarter-finals of the Copa Libertadores and managed to get a 2-0 win. The home team set up in a 4-3-3 with a lot of fluidity. Matías Suarez, the right winger on paper, moved inside plenty of times which allowed right-back Gonzalo Montiel to make an overlapping run. They played in a lot of crosses, most of them were inaccurate, which was not the best game plan but in the end they managed to get two goals. River Plate were very sloppy in the passing, especially in the first half. This did not help in possession at all and gave Nacional the chance to get into possession on River Plate’s half.
- A1 – Very good, could play higher
- A2 – Strong potential to play higher
- B1 – Good, strong player at level
- B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level
- C – Average for their level, re-watch
- D – Below average in this match
- Nationality: Colombian
- Age: 22
- Date of birth: 25-05-1998
- Club: River Plate
- Career: Millonarios, Sevilla, Karpaty, River Plate
- Position: Attacking Midfield
- Secondary position: Left Wing, Right Wing, Second Striker, Central Midfield
- Preferred foot: Right
Jorge Carrascal played in a free role on the left in the home match against Nacional. The Colombian showed good variation in his positioning and moved inside at the right times. The left-back, Angileri, wasn’t the brightest player in attack which sometimes held Carrascal back to play certain combinations in the tight spaces with the left-back. When dropping deeper while sticking close to the sideline, Carrascal showed mature signs as he often played safe passes towards his teammates instead of attempting a dribble, which is something that he improved on a lot. He knew when to take risks and when to not take risks.
He moved into space between the lines very smart in a few occasions and scanned well before receiving which allowed him to make good decisions and turning the right way. His first touch and ball control is excellent and he always seems to control the ball well. When receiving the ball in the half-space, Jorge Carrascal would often look to play either a through pass or to play a one-two with the striker but he did not manage to pull the latter off since Rafael Santos Borré often looks to make runs in behind. I think that Carrascal would be even more dangerous when there’s a striker that likes to play with his back to the goal to play one-two’s with the wingers or attacking midfielders.
The Colombian youth international proved once again that he is a magnificent dribbler and used good skills, feints and even flicks to get past his opponent. He kept aware of what happened around him during his dribbles and never ran into busy areas when he did not have the space to do so. Carrascal also made some runs out wide from where he cut away from his opponent two times before putting in a floated cross to Santos Borré and Matias Suarez. However, his crossing can improve as he did not manage to find his teammates at all. Also, his cross passing was not the greatest and it is something he needs to improve on.
Jorge Carrascal also took most of the corners which got into decent areas and he showed a good kicking technique with his corners, but his technique in the crossing passing can do with some improvements. In defence, he was way more active than in previous matches I watched which is a very positive development. He was aggressive in tracking back and really tried to recover possession and managed to do so on a few occasions. His sprinting speed also looked impressive when he chased after a ball when a corner got booted clear by the River Plate defender. He had a 10m deficit but managed to close the gap down.
Overall, Jorge Carrascal was the best player on the pitch on the night and it will be interesting to see if he finally can conquer a place in the starting line-up.
Rating – A1
I have said plenty of times that I would like to see Jorge Carrascal playing for Ajax since he would solve some problems in the attacking midfield and left wing position. He would suit the playing style very well and even though he is still quite raw, he’s developing well and clearly working on his weaknesses.