Copa Libertadores Final 2018, 1st leg
November 10, 2018 -- The Copa Libertadores, South America’s premier club competition, reaches its climax. The showpiece final will be contested in two-legged home-and-away format between fierce Argentinian rivals Boca Juniors and River Plate, in Buenos Aires. The second leg takes place on November 24.
Boca Juniors and River Plate are two of the most successful teams in Argentine football, inspiring fierce rivalry both on the pitch and among rival supporters, creating one of the most competitive derbies in world soccer. Matches between the teams are known as “Superclasico”. Boca Juniors have won 88 of these contests, River Plate have won 81, and 77 games have ended in a draw.
The rivals have met before in the knockout stages of the Copa Libertadores, South America’s equivalent of the UEFA Champions League, but never in the final. Their most recent meeting came in 2015, when River Plate won the Last 16 tie in controversial fashion. The second leg match was abandoned at half-time after Boca fans sabotaged the protective tunnel that prevents the players being hit by missiles as they enter the pitch, and targeted River players with tear gas that hospitalised several players. As a result, River were awarded the victory and went on to lift the trophy.
Both legs of the final will be contested in front of home fans only, as a result of recent clashes between supporters. With CONMEBOL looking to establish a one-match finale in the competition from 2019, the fiercest rivalry in South American football could be set to dominate the headlines for years to come.