Boca, River battle to 2-2 draw in 1st of two Copa Libertadores final matches


Boca Juniors and River Plate battled to a 2-2 draw in the first match of their two-game Copa Libertadores final series on Sunday.

Ramon Abila and Dario Benedetto scored for Boca, while Lucas Pratto and Carlos Izquierdoz - the latter on an own goal - scored for the visitors.

Abila scored in the 34th minute at La Bombonera stadium in Buenos Aires to get Boca - the home squad, coached by Guillermo Barros Schelotto - on the board with a powerful shot that was deflected by goaltender Franco Armani right back to the shooter, who fired again, this time for the 1-0.

However, just a few moments later River's Lucas Pratto received the ball deep in the area and managed to fire the tying shot into the net.

In the final minute of first-half play, a free kick by Boca's Sebastian Villa set up a header into the top left corner of the net by Dario Benedetto to put their squad over the top going into the break.

In the 61st minute, it was Boca defender Izquierdoz who knocked a misguided header into his own net, thus handing Matias Biscay's squad its second equalizer, and there the score remained through the final whistle.

The South American Soccer Confederation (Conmebol) said earlier on Sunday that officials led by Chilean referee Roberto Tobar inspected La Bombonera and gave the go-ahead for the arch-rivals to play the first leg of the Copa Libertadores final.

On Saturday, Conmebol, South American soccer's governing body, had suspended the match - originally scheduled for 5 pm on that day - due to heavy rain in the Argentine capital.

The second leg of the series will be played at River Plate's Monumental Stadium on Nov. 24.

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