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River Plate win the 2018 Copa Libertadores!

River Plate win the 2018 Copa Libertadores!

Mon, Dec 10, 18

River Plate win the 2018 Copa Libertadores!

FULL TIME SCORE

River Plate: 3 (Pratto 68'' Quintero 109'' Martinez 122'')

Boca Juniors: 1 (Benedetto 44'')

 

River Plate have defeated Boca Juniors 3-1 (5-3 agg.) in an overtime thriller in front of 72,000 fans at the Bernabeu in Madrid to mark one of the most momentous games in the history of the game. Juan Quintero's stunning extra-time strike helped River Plate come from a goal down from the start of the first half, to record a historic victory over 10-man Boca Juniors in Madrid and win the Copa Libertadores. 

 

 

The Copa Libertadores is the showpiece club competition in South America, equivalent to the Champions League in Europe, and there were several household names in attendance at the Bernabeu, including Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Juventus' Pablo Dybala.

It was the first time in the 58-year history of the Copa Libertadores that the two great Buenos Aires rivals have faced each other in the two-legged final, with the first leg, on 11 November, ending in a 2-2 draw. 

The build up to the game after the postponement in late November may not have been centred around the Argentines brand of football, however the final proved to  be one of the most exciting games of the season. Both teams attacked with intensity and aggression and the drama played out until the very end. River battled to come from behind and ensure it went to extra-time, and then Barrios' sending off changed the dynamic of the game. Boca were left with 10 men on the pitch, forced to change tactics but never failed to give up. 

Gonzalo Martinez sealed victory, 5-3 on aggregate, at the death with a tap in after Boca's entire team had poured forward in search of an equaliser, giving River a fourth Libertadores title and denying Boca a record-equalling seventh

Spanish police had mounted the biggest ever security operation for a soccer match in the country, deploying over 4000 personnel including more than 2000 police officers.

The security costs were countered by a considerable windfall for the city, which local government officials put at an estimated minimum 55 million euros.

 

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