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Quintero gives River Plate a historic Copa Libertadores

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An absolute screamer from the Colombian in extra time against Boca Juniors, gives River Plate the Copa Libertadores at the Bernabeu.

After so much drama during the last couple of weeks with the Copa Libertadores final, Sunday finally arrived with Boca Juniors and River Plate playing a very anticipated match at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid.

The tension was quite evident after so much talk that was barely related to football, the loser from today’s match would live with that stigma of losing this final against the hated rival forever.

The stadium was filled with people who were impatiently waiting for the match to begin, many football personalities attended this match and watched it from the VIP rooms inside the Bernabeu.

People like Antoine Griezmann and Lionel Messi were spotted in there as none of them wanted to miss this final. Even a Juventus contingent attended the match with Cristiano Ronaldo nowhere to be seen, but Dybala and Bentancur were part of that expedition.

All the players who were playing the match didn’t seem comfortable, having this final in the city of Madrid was already pretty weird in the first place and it was going to have to take a little getting used to.

Both squads started this match with a 2-2 aggregate after the draw from the first match at La Bombonera, both sides were literally starting with no advantage.

The first half was a huge reminder of how massive the difference between European and South American football really is, with several interruptions in this match and much less fluidity throughout the whole 90 minutes.

The first half was more dominated by Boca Juniors and their ability to prevent River Plate to create spaces and link passes in midfield, they were waiting for a lost ball to get a chance that could give them the initial advantage.

This moment came near the halftime whistle, as skipper Pablo Perez recovered a ball, served it to Nandez and the Uruguay international saw Dario Benedetto making the move for a pass between the lines.

As soon as ‘Pipa’ intercepted the pass from Nandez, he only needed a single touch to position himself alone in front of the goalkeeper and bury his shot to the right bottom corner.

Boca Juniors was winning it thanks to another crucial goal scored by Benedetto, ‘Pipa’ had now scored in both semifinal matches and both of the final games.

The second half would be more fluid for the fans, for River Plate as well.

The ‘Millonarios’ took control of the ball during the second half, they were able to control the ball for extended periods of time and managed to create more opportunities due to how tired the Boca Juniors players were.

After several opportunities in which River was denied by the defense, a chance finally appeared for Lucas Pratto before the 70th minute, in which he was able to finish a collective effort in which Exequiel Palacios produced an exceptional skill that gave Nacho Fernandez the chance to assist Pratto.

Lucas scored his fifth Copa Libertadores goal in this fashion, he became the tournament’s top scorer with this one.

It was only fitting that the world’s longest football final in history would go to extra time, fortune was better for River Plate as Wilmar Barrios got booked for a second time at the start of the first extra time and left Boca Juniors with 10 players.

This advantage was all that River needed, the critical moment of the night came from Colombian Quintero’s left foot in the form of a potent screamer from outside of the box that went in through the top corner for River Plate’s goal that gave them the trophy.

At the end with Boca playing with 9 after Fernando Gago’s injury, Martinez sealed the result with an easy goal with no goalkeeper to stop him.

River Plate is the worthy and historic Copa Libertadores champion after beating Boca Juniors 3-1 (5-3 ag.).

What did you think about the whole drama of this Copa Libertadores final between River Plate and Boca Juniors? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.

 

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