Boca Juniors 2-2 River Plate: Schelotto’s men held to draw in Copa Libertadores final first leg

Boca Juniors and River Plate drew 2-2 on Sunday in the first leg of their Copa Libertadores final in a thrilling game that took place a day later than scheduled due to heavy rain in Argentina.

Ramon Abila put Boca ahead after 34 minutes but Lucas Pratto equalised for the visitors less than two minutes later.

Dario Benedetto got Boca’s second just seconds before halftime but Carlos Izquierdoz put through his own goal after 61 minutes to leave square things up. 

Ramon Abila peeled away in wild celebrations after giving the hosts the lead against their rivals on Sunday

Lucas Pratto got River Plate back on level terms almost immediately with a well taken finish in the first half 

Lucas Pratto got River Plate back on level terms almost immediately with a well taken finish in the first half 

Boca Juniors' Dario Benedetto bent a superb curler past Franco Armani to restore their lead just before the interval

Boca Juniors’ Dario Benedetto bent a superb curler past Franco Armani to restore their lead just before the interval

The River players bundled in the corner of the pitch after taking levelling through Carlos Izquierdoz's own goal

The River players bundled in the corner of the pitch after taking levelling through Carlos Izquierdoz’s own goal

Boca went on the offensive and turned to Carlos Tevez. The former Manchester City and Juventus star looked lively and showed great vision to pick out Benedetto on his own in the area.

The goal was gaping but Benedetto hit his effort straight at the keeper, leaving the tie in the balance heading into the next match. 

The second leg of the final, South America’s equivalent of the Champions League, will take place at River’s Monumental stadium on November 24. 

The River Plate supporters descend on the Antonio Vespucio Liberti Stadium in their numbers before the match starts

The River Plate supporters descend on the Antonio Vespucio Liberti Stadium in their numbers before the match starts

Boca Juniors' fans hold up yellow and blue inflatables to show their support ahead of the Sunday's first leg clash

Boca Juniors’ fans hold up yellow and blue inflatables to show their support ahead of the Sunday’s first leg clash

The Boca supporters let off yellow flares in the stands as they gear up for kick-off against their rivals River Plate

The Boca supporters let off yellow flares in the stands as they gear up for kick-off against their rivals River Plate

‘It was the game that everyone expected, tough with lots of fight,’ said River Plate defender Javier Pinola. ‘Small details could have led to a win but we fought hard and a draw was the fair result.’

The match was an end-to-end affair worthy of the occasion, the first time Argentina’s two biggest clubs have met in the Libertadores final.

With away fans banned from derby games in Argentina because of violence, Boca, who won the last of their six titles in 2007, played the first leg in front of their own fans in a sold out Bombonera stadium.

River were also hindered by the absence of their coach Marcelo Gallardo from the stadium, who was banned for disobeying a suspension during the semi-final win over holders Gremio.

Leonardo Jara (left) slides in to a 50-50 challenge with Gonzalo Martinez (right) during the first half on Sunday

Leonardo Jara (left) slides in to a 50-50 challenge with Gonzalo Martinez (right) during the first half on Sunday

Boca Juniors' head coach Guillermo Barros Schellotto screams instructions to his players from the touchline

Boca Juniors’ head coach Guillermo Barros Schellotto screams instructions to his players from the touchline

Boca Juniors' goalscorer Abila (right) competes for the ball in the air with River Plate's Javier Pinola (left) 

Boca Juniors’ goalscorer Abila (right) competes for the ball in the air with River Plate’s Javier Pinola (left) 

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