Arch-rivals Boca Juniors and River Plate to meet in Copa Libertadores final after Boca overcome Brazilian club Palmeiras in semi-finals
- Boca Juniors drew 2-2 with Palmeiras to secure place in Copa Libertadores final
- Argentine side led 2-0 from first leg and Ramon Abila extended their lead
- Brazilian hosts reacted with goals from Luan and Gustavo Gomez to lead 2-1
- But Dario Benedetto steered Boca into the final with second-half strike
- Boca will now take on their arch-rivals River Plate in final later this month
Boca Juniors will face arch rivals River Plate in the final of South America’s Copa Libertadores for the first time after a 2-2 draw with Brazilians Palmeiras in Wednesday’s semi-final, second leg saw them advance 4-2 on aggregate.
Ramon Abila got Boca’s opener after 17 minutes when he side-footed home a low cross before Luan equalised for the home side seven minutes into the second half after he fired a powerful shot through the goalkeeper’s legs.
Gustavo Gomez put the Brazilians ahead from the penalty spot on the hour mark but Dario Benedetto, who scored both Boca’s goals in the first leg in Buenos Aires, drew the Argentines level in 69 minutes with a low shot from 25 metres out.
Dario Benedetto leads the celebrations after Boca Juniors overcame Palmeiras to set up a Copa Libertadores final against their bitter rivals River Plate
Boca drew their second leg with Brazilian club Palmeiras 2-2 to advance 4-2 on aggregate
Ramon Abila celebrates scoring Boca’s first goal at the Allianz Parque in Sao Paulo
Abila’s early goal in Sao Paulo put the Argentines 3-0 ahead on aggregate and in firm control
The result comes a day after River Plate knocked out holders Gremio to qualify for their first final in three years.
The final will be played over two legs, with the first match being held at Boca’s Bombonera stadium on November 7 and the return leg on November 28.
Gustavo Gomez (right) celebrates putting Palmeiras 2-1 ahead but it wasn’t enough
Gomez reduced the aggregate arrears to 2-3 but Boca remained in control of the contest
Dario Benedetto scored a second for Boca to give them breathing space after Palmeiras led 2-1
Fireworks greeted the two teams above the Allianz Parque ahead of kick-off on Wednesday
The Palmeiras supporters created a ferocious atmosphere by lighting green smoke flares
Palmeiras fans created a passionate atmosphere but it wasn’t enough to see them through
The last time the two Buenos Aires clubs met in the Libertadores was in 2015 in a match was abandoned at half-time after Boca fans attacked the River players in the tunnel with pepper spray.
River went on to win that year’s Libertadores, their third and last triumph in the competition. Boca last won the title in 2007.
This year’s final will be the last with home and away legs before it shifts to a one-off game at a neutral venue.
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