Published: Mon, December 10, 2018
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Thousands of Boca and River fans set for Copa final in Spain

Thousands of Boca and River fans set for Copa final in Spain

Boca took the lead through Dario Benedetto but Lucas Pratto equalised before Juan Quintero and Gonzalo Martinez both scored in extra time to win a fittingly dramatic contest for River.

"Hopefully we will enjoy some of the atmosphere that we would have had with the match in Argentina", said Nacho Sorroche, a Boca fan who lives in Madrid.

Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann and Diego Godin were among the 62,200 in attendance.

Over three hours later, fans of Boca Juniors landed and were escorted by the police to a subway station.

The game was moved from Argentina after violent scenes around River Plate's El Monumental stadium saw the second leg postponed on November 25th after the Boca team bus was attacked by stones and other missiles by River fans.

Inside the stadium, a vacant block of seats will act as a buffer between the two sets of supporters.

The shame was only that the operation was not as thorough 15 days ago and that a minority chose to take advantage.

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Not only have the teams had to fly across the Atlantic Ocean, but each club has only 5,000 tickets for its Argentina-based fans. The fear had been most of those buying would be tourists and neutrals, but the atmosphere suggested different.

Real Madrid are planning further negotiations to sign talented River Plate midfielder Exequiel Palacios, according to president Rodolfo D'Onofrio.

When that was rejected, Boca went to Conmebol's court of appeal, which backed the initial decision. The supporters cheered when the bus arrived and players waved to them.

The Copa Libertadores Final between River Plate and Boca Juniors will be played on December 9 in Madrid, Spain, at Real Madrid's stadium.

River had been inferior but improved. Boca know that they will have to score at least once to have any chance of winning the trophy but that is often helpful for teams in that position as they know what they have to do. Their last victory in the competition came back in 2007 and they will feel another triumph is overdue.

River: The club is still without head coach Marcello Gallardo, who is suspended for both legs of the final.

Martinez ran the ball into the empty net and River's substitutes and staff all poured onto the pitch to begin the celebrations.

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