River Plate 1-1 Boca Juniors LIVE (3-3 agg): Latest score, team news and update from second leg of Copa Libertadores final in Madrid
- River Plate and Boca Juniors are set to go head to head at the Santiago Bernabeu
- The winners of the 2018 Copa Libertadores will finally be determined
- Fan violence outside the Estadio Monumental saw the second leg postponed
- Follow all the actions as it unfolds, live in Madrid, here with Sportsmail
The second and final leg of the Copa Libertadores will finally commence at the Santiago Bernabeu, with Boca Juniors taking on rivals River Plate.
Following an attack on the bus of Boca Juniors outside the Estadio Monumental, the fixture was postponed before being eventually moved to the home of Real Madrid.
With the scoreline finely poised with a 2-2 aggregate, follow all the action live with Sportsmail’s TOM FARMERY.
The noise is still deafening inside Santiago Bernabeu. We are underway in extra-time. Still, Carlos Tevez remains on the Boca bench. How odd.
Lucas Pratto celebrates after scoring River’s equaliser
Quintero moves the ball forward but he can’t advance any further before retreating. Nandez has just gone down for Boca.
A number of players on both teams are struggling with cramp. They will have to focus once again in a matter of minutes on playing for another half an hour as the full-time whistle is blown. It is going to be a big effort for either side to win this now.
A penalty shootout seems the most likely outcome now.
83min: The standard of this final has really dropped. Pinola, the River centre back, has just resorted to smashing the ball towards goal from 35 yards out. River continue to try and find a way to win this game before it goes to extra-time.
Boca are now holding such a deep line. They don’t have too much to worry about, though. River haven’t done enough to worry them. Fast-forward to penalties.
Boca fans watch the match back home in Buenos Aires
76min: It is River who are now looking the more likely of the two sides of winning this. Martinez and Fernandez have been electric on the left and right side. Boca haven’t been able to stop them cutting inside with the ball to create space and time for Pratto.
Boca have dropped off massively and it is up to River now to take advantage.
68min: Just when you didn’t think it would come, River have equalised. That finish was applied with some gloss. Pratto hasn’t been sharp all evening but saves his best for what it matters. He anticipates the ball coming towards him in the area, turns and sends the ball beyond Andrada. River are back in this as their fans celebrate with tears in their eyes. Special stuff.
River Plate fans celebrate their equaliser
RIK SHARMA AT SANTIAGO BERNABEU: ‘I had the fortune to watch Quintero a couple of times in the World Cup and without a doubt the Colombian has the ability to unlock Boca’s defence. River playing well in the second half with Boca seemingly content to sit back now.’
Boca Juniors’ boss Guillermo Barros Schelotto delivers instructions in the second half
61min: Abila comes on in Benedetto’s place. Boca are plotting their way to full-time with Benedetto having run himself into the ground. Abila will continue his fine form of hassling the River defence.
58min: Quintero comes on. Ponzio has been poor and River need more attack-minded players on the pitch. They have just over 30 minutes remaining and they still don’t look close to scoring.
Boca are cruising to the final whistle with their name looking certain to be etched on the trophy.
49min: Fernandez, on the right for River, is desperate to do something for River. It’s slightly unfortunate that when he does receive the ball he isn’t able to do anything with it. This time he charges forward, cuts inside but fires a left-foot over the bar. He had better options to his left but went it alone.
Javier Pinola of Argentina’s River Plate, top, clears the ball
Time to find out whether River can mount an unlikely comeback.
RIK SHARMA AT SANTIAGO BERNABEU: ‘Lots of lungs and lots of hearts but few brains so far in the Copa Libertadores final… I was just writing, until that brilliant, brutal breakaway from Boca. What a magnificent pass from Nandez to set him up, and both patience and poise from Benedetto to finish. The first moment of real quality so far, and the first goal.’
44min: It has been coming and finally Boca have the breakthrough they deserve. Benedetto gets through one-on-one with Armani, dropped his shoulder and slots the ball into the net. It was a clever finish and one that could end up with this final.
River really have so much to do now if they are to think about getting back into this tie. 2-3 Boca lead on aggreggate.
Perez came close to putting Boca ahead
35min: Boca have taken control here just as they did in the first leg. But there is a reason the first leg finished 2-2. Boca aren’t doing enough to take their chances and they also look a little vulnerable at the back. It must be noted that when creating chances they have also struggled. Pavon has been poor when trying to find the attackers… too often his passes have been intercepted.
The prize both sides are playing for
25min: This really has been a scrappy game of football so far. Neither side has really gained that much of a foothold and both are playing at a tempo they can maintain.
Some of the passing has been poor and the link play has been found wanting. This game is still waiting to burst into life.
Ponzio, meanwhile, is booked for a foul on Hernandez.
Cristian Pavon of Argentina’s Boca Juniors, left, and Gonzalo Montiel go up for a header
12min: Boca are finding some joy in playing direct. River aren’t able to stop them from cutting out their midfield. Perez so nearly profited from Boca’s instinctive play and River’s awkward positioning in defence.
The ball falls to Perez in the six-yard box but he can’t put enough power into his volley and Armani saves.
The River Plate fans enjoying themselves inside the stadium
8min: Boca’s defenders are not enjoying Perez and Pratto buzzing around them. Pratto in particular is having fun pressing the Boca defenders back. Indeed, Boca are having to play direct to be able to get out of their own half.
This game is still being played at a stupidly high tempo. A tempo that both sides will struggle to maintain.
3min: River Plate have settled well and Boca are struggling to keep pace. Magallan, the Boca centre half, goes in strong on Martinez and River win a free-kick outside the box.
Ponzio’s ball in, however, is headed away for a corner.
The River Plate players ahead of kick-off
Boca’s players emerge from the tunnel before the second leg of the final
Where the atmosphere is loud but not at all hostile. A huge occasion in Madrid.
RIK SHARMA AT SANTIAGO BERNABEU: ‘Lots of pantomime booing and whistling from the opposing sets of fans inside the Bernabeu as the teams are read out, but nothing untoward has taken place, thanks to the heavy Spanish police presence outside. It looks we’ll actually get a game tonight…
‘Two players to look out for – River midfielder Exequiel Palacios, whom Real Madrid are close to signing, gets an early opportunity to run out at the Bernabeu. And Boca’s Cristian Pavon was one of the few Argentina players who didn’t let themselves down at the World Cup. At 22 the winger has an exciting future ahead of him.’
It is the match that almost never happened. After last month’s problems outside Estadio Monumental in Buenos Aires, where the Boca coach was attacked, it was decided that the second leg of the final would be held at the Santiago Bernabeu.
And so here we are. Under half an hour away from kick-off and ready to witness the second leg of this much anticipated final between two rivals.
Stay with me for all the live action from Madrid as the two go head-to-head.
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