River Plate win Copa Libertadores by beating Superclásico rivals in Madrid

River Plate win Copa Libertadores by beating Superclásico rivals in Madrid

River Plate won the Copa Libertadores by coming from behind to beat rivals Boca Juniors 3-1 in extra-time of their controversially rearranged final in Madrid.

Juan Quintero all but settled a keenly fought encounter at the Bernabeu with a stunning strike after 109 minutes before Gonzalo Martinez broke away for a third, securing a 5-3 aggregate success, in the dying moments.

River Plate win Copa Libertadores by beating Superclásico rivals in Madrid

Boca had taken a first-half lead through Dario Benedetto but River hit back through Lucas Pratto and Boca's hopes were badly hit after Wilmar Barrios was sent off early in extra-time.

River ended the match victorious but the saga of this final, postponed and moved to Spain after Boca's team bus was attacked by rival fans in Buenos Aires, may not be over.

Boca failed to get the fixture suspended at the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Saturday but their attempts to have River disqualified could continue.

Boca were much the better side early on and almost went ahead when River's Jonathan Maidana sliced a clearance over his own bar. The ball rebounded off players from the resulting corner and fell to Pablo Perez shot at Franco Armani.

Boca's next opportunity also came from a set-piece after Benedetto drilled a shot into the wall. The ball broke for Perez on the right but his goalbound effort was deflected over.

River thought they should have had a penalty for a push on Milton Casco but Boca threatened again through Lisandro Magallan and Carlos Izquierdoz. Armani also had to be alert to punch away a dangerous Sebastian Villa cross in front of Benedetto.

Gonzalo Martinez shot well over for River, who then squandered another opening before Boca broke to take the lead. In a breathless passage of play, Boca goalkeeper Esteban Andrada gave away the ball but River failed to take advantage and Cristian Pavon released Benedetto with a brilliant throughball.

Benedetto skipped over a challenge from Maidana and showed great composure to beat Armani.

River were much more positive in the second half.

They pieced together a good move soon after the restart as Pratto teed up Ignacio Fernandez but he shot narrowly wide.

River continued to dominate but without creating clear-cut chances until Pratto swept home the equaliser after a fine move in the 68th minute.

The game then became scrappy with frequent stoppages and drifted into extra-time, which got off to an explosive start when Barrios earned a second yellow card for a poor challenge on Exequiel Palacios.

River proceeded to dominate possession and their breakthrough came early in the second extra period. They pieced together a series of passes and Quintero struck with a ferocious shot from the edge of the area that went in off the underside of the bar.

Boca responded by sending on Carlos Tevez, the former Manchester United and City forward.

River had a scare almost immediately as Camilo Mayada went close to heading into his own net but Armani reacted quickly.

Leonardo Jara hit a post for Boca in a frantic finish but they were punished for throwing men forward as River broke to score a third through Martinez in stoppage time.

PA

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