Football news - Juan Quintero stunner in extra-time helps River down Boca in dramatic final
Copa Libertadores final second-leg, Santiago Bernabeu - River Plate 3 (Pratto 68', Quintero 109', Martinez 120+2') Boca Juniors 1 (Benedetto 44') (River win 5-3 on aggregate)
A stunning strike from Juan Quintero helped River Plate defeat Boca Juniors 3-1 (AET) and 5-3 on aggregate in the final of the Copa Libertadores.
The second-leg, moved to the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid following clashes in Argentina, saw a tense opening-half before Dario Benedetto put Boca ahead with a fantastic touch and finish on the break.
River hit back in the second half thanks Lucas Pratto's fine finish to round off a nice move but with no further goals meant the game went to extra-time.
River Plate's Lucas Pratto (2-R) celebrates with teammates after scoring against Boca Juniors during the second leg match of the all-Argentine Copa Libertadores final, at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, on December 9, 2018.Getty Images
At this stage Boca were down to ten-men thanks to a red card for Wilmar Barrios and they found themselves behind on the scoresheet as well when Quintero's fantastic hit from the edge of the area beat Esteban Andrada.
And the Boca goalkeeper was caught out in the dying seconds as he pushed higher up the pitch, only to see substitute Gonzalo Martinez score into an empty net to seal victory.
Was the decision to send off Wilmar Barrios the right one? It was the moment upon which the whole match turned. Social media exploded with fans claiming Barrios should have stayed on, with others making the argument that the Colombian was fortunate to be shown a second yellow and not a straight red. Did the referee see a stamp from Barrios? Was it that his studs were slightly raised in the tackle? It’s a decision that will inevitably be picked apart back in Argentina in the coming days and weeks.
Referee Andres Ismael Cunha Soca shows Wilmar Barrios of Boca Juniors a red card during the second leg of the final match of Copa CONMEBOL Libertadores 2018 between Boca Juniors and River Plate at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on December 9, 2018 in Madrid, SGetty Images
MAN OF THE MATCH
Juan Quintero (River Plate) This will be remembered as the Quintero final. His strike in extra time ultimately gave River Plate a historic win, and what a strike it was. The Colombian playmaker found the top corner with hardly any backlift, lashing home the strike before Esteban Andrada could even react.
Copa Libertadores Final - Second Leg - River Plate v Boca Juniors - Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain - December 9, 2018 River Plate's Juan Quintero celebrates scoring their second goalReuters
But Quintero’s performance was about more than just his goal. His introduction off the bench gave River a level of control that they had lacked in the first half. Quintero helped pull this game in the favour of his side.
11’ Almost an own goal! Very close to a calamity. Maidana's sliced clearance at the near post scoops up and almost catches out Armani. River Plate were relieved to watch that flash over.
44’ GOAL! River Plate 0-1 Boca Juniors: A breakthrough! It's Boca Juniors who have taken the lead on the night and in the tie! Benedetto's touch slipped him past Maidana and he finished with aplomb past Armani who was left stranded by his absent defence!
Dario Benedetto of Boca Juniors celebrates with teammate Cristian Pavon after scoring his team's first goal during the second leg of the final match of Copa CONMEBOL Libertadores 2018 between Boca Juniors and River Plate at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on DeGetty Images
68’ GOAL! River Plate 1-1 Boca Juniors: An equaliser! What a passing move that was from River Plate! Boca Juniors were sliced open by the slickness of the play from their rivals and the ball was cut back for Pratto to finish into the gaping net with Andrada at his near post.
92’ SENT OFF! A big moment in this match, in this tie. Could this be a turning point? Barrios has been shown a second yellow card and Boca Juniors will have to play with 10 men. His studs were showing.
109’ GOAL! River Plate 2-1 Boca Juniors: River Plate have taken the lead in extra time and what a strike it was! It's Quintero! Is that the goal to win it? There was barely any backlift on the strike from Quintero, but he lashed a strike into the top corner of the net! Wooft! Sensational!
118’ Gago has gone off! Oh dear. Boca Juniors will now finish this match with NINE men. Barrios' red card reduced them to 10 and now Gago has injured himself. He walks down the tunnel.
120’ Off the post! Can you believe it?! Inches away from being the most dramatic of equalisers for Boca Juniors! It was Jara with the volley, but it strikes the outside of the post! So close. Agonising.
121’ GOAL! River Plate 3-1 Boca Juniors: That's the goal that settles it! River Plate have won the 2018 Copa Libertadores! Andrada was up for the corner kick, the clearance was made and Martinez sprints the whole length of the Boca half unopposed to score into the empty net!
River Plate won Copa Libertadores for the fourth time in their history (1986, 1996, 2015, 2018).
No player made more tackles (five) in tonight’s Superclasico than Nahitan Nandez.
Wilmar Barrios was sent off for the first time as a Boca Juniors player. He also became only the second Boca Juniors player to be sent off in a Copa Libertadores final (after Ruben Sune in 1979).