Bitter Superclasico rivals River Plate and Boca Juniors to meet in semi-finals of Copa Libertadores just months after attack on Boca team bus that forced final to the moved to Madrid
- River Plate and Boca Juniors will meet in the Copa Libertadores semi-finals
- It comes months after their controversial final in the same competition
- The second leg was moved to Madrid after River fans attacked Boca team bus
- River booked their semi-final spot with a 3-1 aggregate win over Cerro Porteno
Bitter Argentine rivals Boca Juniors and River Plate will meet in the semi-finals of the Copa Libertadores – just months after their controversial final.
Reigning champions River overcame Paraguayan team Cerro Porteno 3-1 on aggregate in the quarter-finals to set up the mouth-watering rematch with their Superclasico foes.
River took a 2-0 first leg lead into Thursday night’s second leg thanks to goals by Ignacio Fernandez and Rafael Borre in Buenos Aires last week.
River Plate players salute their fans after advancing to the Copa Libertadores semi-finals
Nicolas De La Cruz scored the crucial goal in the second leg against Cerro Porteno
River wrapped up a 3-1 aggregate victory and now play rivals Boca Juniors in the semi-finals
River earned a 1-1 draw in Paraguay to complete a 3-1 aggregate success over Cerro Porteno
But they quickly saw their advantage halved in Paraguay when former Borussia Dortmund forward Nelson Valdez put Cerro Porteno ahead on the night with a glancing header.
River secured their passage seven minutes into the second-half when midfielder Nicolas De La Cruz blasted home on the volley.
It came after Boca had secured their passage to the semi-finals 24 hours earlier with a 3-0 aggregate win over LDU Quito of Ecuador.
The first leg of the semi-final is scheduled for River’s Estadio Monumental on October 1, with the return at Boca’s Bombonera on October 22.
The victors are set to play one of Brazilian duo Gremio or Flamengo in the final, scheduled for November 23 at the Estadio Nacional in Santiago, Chile.
Fans of Cerro Porteno do their best to create an intimidating atmosphere ahead of kick-off
Despite the smoke and noise, Cerro found their 2-0 first leg deficit too difficult to overcome
River fans try and make themselves heard at the General Pablo Rojas stadium in Asuncion
Last year’s final saw the second leg moved to the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid after the Boca team bus was attacked by fans of River ahead of the second leg.
A number of Boca players were injured by smashed glass from the windows and by inhaling pepper spray, leading to widespread condemnation and the moving of the game to Spain.
River won the second leg 3-1 after extra time to secure a 5-3 aggregate triumph.
Last year’s final ended in chaos when River Plate fans attacked the Boca team bus
There were clashes between River fans and riot police after the second leg was suspended
The second leg was switched to Real Madrid’s Bernanbeu and River won the tie