Boca Juniors book Copa Libertadores final spot against River Plate

Source: Xinhua| 2018-11-01 11:38:59|Editor: Yang Yi
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SAO PAULO, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) -- Boca Juniors set up a tantalizing Copa Libertadores final against their Argentine rivals River Plate by completing a 4-2 aggregate victory over Brazil's Palmeiras here on Wednesday.

Ramon Abila and Dario Benedetto struck either side of goals from Palmeiras pair Luan Garcia and Gustavo Gomez as the sides drew 2-2 in their semifinal return leg at Palmeiras' Allianz Parque. Boca won the first match in Buenos Aires 2-0.

The final will be played over two legs - home and away - on November 7 and November 28. It will be the first time that the famous Buenos Aires rivals will meet each other in the decider of South American football's top club competition.

Boca will be aiming for a seventh title while River are hoping to win it for a fourth time.

"We're delighted to reach the final. It's an important objective that we've had since the start of year," Boca coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto said. "It's well deserved. Now we have to rest, recuperate and prepare for the first match next Wednesday."

Palmeiras, who needed at least two goals on Wednesday to take the semifinal into a penalty shootout, took the initiative in the early minutes.

Bruno Henrique found the back of the net in the 11th minute for the hosts but the goal was ruled out for an offside in the build-up after referee Wilmar Roldan consulted the video assistant referee.

Ramon Abila then gave Boca a 3-0 overall lead by tapping in at the near post after Sebastian Villa's cross.

Luan Garcia pulled a goal back early in the second half by latching onto Felipe Melo's headed flick and thumping a first-time effort pass goalkeeper Agustin Rossi.

Minutes later Carlos Izquierdoz clattered into Palmeiras midfielder Dudu inside the penalty box and Roldan did not hesitate to point to the spot. Gustavo Gomez coolly converted the penalty for the hosts as Boca suddenly looked vulnerable.

But Palmeiras' flicker of hope was short-lived. Dario Benedetto capitalized on sloppy defending by the Brazilian side to drill an angled long-range effort past goalkeeper Weverton and put the result beyond the doubt.