River Plate Beat 10-Man Boca Juniors 3-1 (Agg 5-3) To Clinch Copa Libertadores

Tanuja Saikhom | 2 months ago

River Plate claimed the Copa Libertadores title for the fourth times after defeating their fierce rivals Boca Juniors 3-1 in an extra-time thriller. They won 5-3 on aggregate at Madrid’s Santiago Bernabéu on Sunday night two weeks after the violence and failed reschedules. The first leg final between the two Argentine clubs played on November 11 in Buenos Aires resulted in a 2-2 draw.

Boca posed the threat when Dario Benedetto netted the first goal with a speedy bound, beating the River defenders at the half time.

As players of both sides continued to deliver weighty attack each other, Lucas Pratto struck the equalizer off a decisive pass from Ignacio Fernandez in the 68th minute, bringing River back into the game.

When extra time came, it was thought that the game would end with a penalty shootout. The Boca were reduced to 10 men in extra time after Wilmar Barrios received a direct red card for sliding into Exequiel Palacios.

In the 109th minute, Juan Quintero turned the game around for a 2-1 lead when he struck into the roof of the net with his famous left-foot.

River notched their third goal in injury time when Gonzalo Martínez raced up to the box through two Boca defenders, giving his team a surefire Copa Libertadores title.

The second leg final, originally scheduled for November 24, was postponed and shifted to Madrid after the fan violence in Buenos Aires. Several Boca players were injured when their team bus was attacked by River fans.

The result of the match means River are the fourth most winners of Copa Libertadores finals. Independiente, another Argentina’s side, is the top winner of the competition with seven titles.