River Plate secure Libertadores final berth despite narrow defeat
Boca Juniors-River Plate: Copa Libertadores semi-final (second leg)
Copa Libertadores holders River Plate are back in another final after edging out arch rivals Boca Juniors in a tense and gutsy clash at La Bombonera.
Fielding the same side as the first leg, Marcelo Gallardo's took a 2-0 lead into the game and it took an 81st minute scrambled goal from Hurtado to generate any doubt that it would be anyone other than the side from Nuñez who would secure a place on the Santiago de Chile Libertadores final.
River's game-plan worked almost to perfection with Boca rarely troubling Franco Armani and Gustavo Alfaro's side showing their shortcoming in hitting the target.
River march on and now face the winners of the all Brazilian semi-final as Flamengo face Gremio at the Maracana with the tie level at 1-1 from the game in Porto Alegre.
Tears in the stands and another compelling Super Clasico comes to a conclusion. River march on and Gremio or Flamengo await in the one-off Copa Libertadores final in November.
The home fans applaud their side as River celebrate. Boca supporters will now wonder what would have happened if they had only struck the first goal earlier in the contest.
Armani grabs the ball and goes to ground.... the whistle sounds and its River Plate who stake a place in the Santiago final.
Nerves palpable at La Bombonera as it seems that time is ticking down and Boca Juniours out of the 2019 Copa Libertaodres.
Zarate takes, floated in ...Armani saves from a Izquierdoz header.
Boca win a free kick as the fans pray in the La Bombonera stand.
River just happy to whack the ball down the pitch as they win yet another free kick which they are in no hurry to take.
Martinez carded for time wasting
River in no hurry to take a free-kick for a pull. One minute less for Los Milionarios
We're into the 90th min. There will be six minutes of added time.
Ball falls to Lopez and the Boca No. 20 dinks the ball over Armani's crossbar
Scocco carded too for River
Boca go close as Zarate finds Buffarini who heads just wide.
Ignacio Scocco on for Matías Suárez (River)
Boca going for broke now as River are on the ropes. 5' of normal time left at La Bombonera.
Armani saves well as Boca launch a lightning counter.
Tension high now at La Bombonera as tackles fly in
Goal stands.... it was messy but the Boca fans don't care.
Hurtado it was who bundled the ball home
Gooooooooooooooooooool ...Boca get their goal
Into the final 10' we go and still boca forge. MacAllister floats the free kick and Boca score
Perez for River carded for a foul on Salvio.
Flamengo or Gremio await the winner of tonight's first semi-final. At present it's River Plate fans who are planning their November trip to Santiago.
Zarate over the ball too. It's the sub. who takes but a poor effort as Armani gathers.
Spinola fouls Almendra. Danger here for River as MacAllister lines up. Too far for a shot ?
Tired legs on display at La Bombonera. Boca still forge looking for that all important opener. River have been extremely solid at the back it has to be added.
Boca ... 16 shots, just 2 on target !
Tevez booked for a foul on sub. Diaz
Casco off-Diaz on (River)
River break well and it needs a vital challenge from Izquierdoz to clear the danger.
Pratto on for River with Borre making way.
Boca's problem this season has been scoring goals with many of the league wins coming via 1-0 scorelines. That inability to hit the net will (may) be their undoing in falling at this semi-final stage of the Libertadores.
Zarate into action almost immediately but his shot is easily gathered by Armani in the River goal.
Alemendra off-Zarate on (Boca change) & Abila off-Hurtado on ...double Boca Jrs. change.
Tevez fouled and Boca win a free-kick half way inside the River half.
Absolutely no let up from the home fans as they drive their men on. River have weathered that initial second half push from the home side.
Boca on top possession-wise
- 45% 54%
- 63% 37%
- 52% 47%
- 37% 62%
- 42% 57%
- 35% 64%
- 67% 32%
- 47% 52%
- 55% 44%
- 61% 38%
Mas puts the ball inches wide for Boca. The flag was up as the home side push looking for that key opening goal.
Palacios (River) carded for impedeing Marcone to get up from the surtface.
Both cards of the night awarded to home players.
Card for Marcone for a trip
Boca have no choice but to go for it. The clock ticks down and one goal will really put the cat among the pigeons.
Good spell of play from Boca as they probe moving the ball around with poise and purpose but the River looking well organised and disciplined.
MacAllister again to take, cleared by Lopez.
Salvio fouled and MacAllister steps up, fine delivery from the No. 8 as Palacios fouls Tevez for a dangerous free-kick for Boca.
Great work from the leaf blower team at the break with little or no confetti left on the pitch. Arbila is unlucky to lose his footing as he tries to shoot.
The sides are on the pitch as ref. Sampaio sounds his whistle to start the action. River start the action.
Gallardo certainly the happier of the manahers at the break.
Pensive Boca coach Alfaro leaves the pitch at the interval.
An early goal now vital for Boca and Alfaro if they want to proceed in the competition.
Plenty of intensity and not so much on the free flowing football front which is generally the tonic for a Super Clasico. The better (half) chances have fallen Boca's way but River Plate do look comfortable and seem to be in control of the situation.
The whistle sounds and River Plate are now just 15' away from securing a place in the 2019 Copa Libertadores final.
First card of the night as MacAllister collides with Perez.
Salvio heads over as the fourth official signals 3 minites of added time.
MacAllister fires another free which Armani palms wide. Enzo Perez almost bags an own goal and once again Armani is on hand to tip over. Nervy here for River as Boca push.
River go close but the flag is up after the men in white slide the ball around. The game management and implementation for Gallardo's side is doing enough so far.
Into the final 5' of the half. Little offered from Abila and Tevez for Boca in an attacking capacity.
Boca win a free and MacAllister grabs the ball. His deliveries have been a source of threat for River so far tonight. Once again Mas latches onto the ball and heads wide.
The handball just before Salvio slotted the ball in the River net.
De la Cruz shoots as Casco was free on the wing for River. Poor decision making from the Uruguayan.
15 fouls a piece tells much about the pattern of the first half.
Boca do well moving the ball out of the back with a neat passing move. Salvio fires on goal but the ball is cleared by the men in white.
Plenty of stoppages in the game now with foul after foul interuppting the flow of the action.
The moment ref. Sampaio rules out the Boca goal.
Andrada is in no-mans land but fortunately for the Boca stopper the ball is cleared from danger. River the more composed of the sides with an apparent nervy edge to Boca's play.
The ball did ricochet of Mas' arm and the ref. made the correct call. Unfortunate for Boca and Salvio who stuck the ball in the net.
The ball is in the net but the whistle has already blown.... A handball apparently?
Another River corner as Santos Borre sees his shot deflected.
Better from River with De la Cruz instrumentak in all their attacking play.
Nice De la Cruz vs. Buffarini battle emerging on the left hand side.
Boca certainly having the better of the early stages with River pegged back. De La Cruz fouled by Buffarini to ease the pressure for the visitors. The Uruguayan himself takes but fires straight into Andrada's hands.
Salvio latches onto another MacAllister freekick but heads over
Armani collides with Tevez with the keeper coming off the worse
Abila into the side netting for Boca after a fine MacAllister freekick
A leaf blower in ticker tape removal pre game
MacAllister currently on loan at Boca from English Premier side Brighton and Hove Albion !
Montiel takes a hit with Mas claiming innocence.
MacAllister tries his luck from long range, the ball fizzes wide of Armani's goal with Tevez better placed for a pass.
Tackles flying in from the get go .... this is a game that is always high on intensity as Boca probe and it's the home side enjoying the early pressure.
"Dale dale dale Bo" is the chant at La Bombonera as Armani takes the first kick out of the night. Still plenty of white ticker tape on the playing surface.
15' after the match was due to start ... it looks like we're finally ready for the football. The countdown again and we're off (finally)
The Boca-River fixture always able to throw up new surprises .... Fingers crossed that it's all about the football tonight.
Far from ideal preparation for the players who were tuned into a start some 10-12 minutes ago. Ref Sampaio still not happy as the leaf blower crew still do their thing.
Hang in there folks, the bulk of the paper is off the pitch and we'll be underway in a matter of minutes.
Away goals do count but we've no away fans tonight as per the bulk of domestic games in Argentina currently.
Don't forget, Boca trail River 0-2 from the first leg. A 2-0 final score for the home side would see us go to a penalty shoot out.
What a sight !
KO still delayed due to the quantity of paper on the pitch.
Leaf blowers being used by Boca employees to clear the ticker tape but still plenty of paper on the pitch. Kick-off held up until the surface is cleared.
Wilton Sampaio is our match official tonight
Boca staff endeavour to remove the pile up of ticker tape with one side of the pitch a see of white.
The teams emerge from the underground dressing room with a wall of sound in the Barrio de La Boca. Fireworks greet the side as the sides pose for the official pre-game pic.
Can the home advantage swing the tie for Alfaro's men. An early goal is vital for Boca's task tonight but an away goal for River would see the home side requiring four to progress !
Both teams in their classic kits this evening... Boca in navy and yellow, River in their white shirt with red sash....the way it should be !
La Bombonera is a sea of yellow and blue as ticker tape falls with the teams appearance on the pitch imminent. What a fabulous sight !
- 1 Franco Armani
- 28 Lucas Martínez Quarta
- 20 Casco
- 22 Pínola
- 29 Montiel
- 26 Ignacio Fernández Lobbe
- 15 Exequiel Palacios
- 24 Enzo Pérez
- 11 Nicolás De la Cruz
- 7 Matías Suárez
- 19 Santos Borré
and Gallardo's XI (same side as per the first leg)
- 1 Andrada
- 3 Emanuel Más
- 20 Lisandro López
- 24 Carlos Izquierdoz
- 4 Julio Buffarini
- 10 Tévez
- 5 Agustín Almendra
- 27 Salvio
- 23 Marcone
- 8 Alexis Mac Allister
- 17 Ramón Ábila
A reminder of the teams for tonight... first up .... Boca Juniors
Boca Juniors have been crowned Libertadores champions 6 times (last win 2007) with opponents River on 4 wins with Madrid witnessing the 2018 victory last December. Independiente hold the record for most wins with the Avellaneda based outfit on 7 triumphs (1984 being the last).
The official CONMEBOL team sheet.
La Bombonera wouldn't be complete without fans climbing up the chicken wire, so not one to disappoint, cue gratuitous pic.of one fan in action tonight ahead of the game.
A reminder that the winners of this first semi-final will face the winners of the all Brazilian semi-final where Flamengo and Gremio are tied 1-1 after their first leg.
Tonight's game is a high, high profile security affair for the Buenos Aires police with no-one wanting to see a repeat of the scenes that dogged the second leg of the 2018 final second leg at El Monumental.
To compound matters, Alfaro's side fell to their first defeat in the 2019-20 SuperLiga Friday last falling at home 0-1 to Racing.
Worrying stats for any Xeneize fans tuning in ..... Boca's 15 games this season have yielded just 16 goals. Only once have they scored more than two and it’s more than two months since they last managed two goals in a game at home.
Boca coach Gustavo Alfaro opts for Tevez and "Wanchope" Abila to lead the line a goal-shy Boca side.
Handy reference guide as to who will progress to the Santiago final from the official Libertadores social media account.
Don't forget there will be no extra time tonight. Should Boca win 2-0, then it's penalty kicks!
Kick-off in the Argentine capital is 21:30 (local time) or 02:30 CEST.
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the Copa Libertadores 2019 semi-final (second leg) as Boca Juniors face River Plate.