Emotion, the match evenly balanced and passion at its highest. That was how the first leg between Boca Juniors and River Plate in the CONMEBOL Libertadores was played out. They drew 2-2 at La Bombonera and everything will be decided at River's El Monumental stadium this Saturday. On the 24th November at 20:00GMT the second leg will take place to crown a new Libertadores champion.
🏆 The most desirable trophy in South America will have a new owner this Saturday.
🤔 Who will emerge victorious: @CARPoficial or @BocaJrsOficial ? #CONMEBOLLibertadores pic.twitter.com/SQMT69yaUj — CONMEBOL Libertadores (@TheLibertadores) November 19, 2018
How it's shaping up
This stage is different to the Last 16, Quarter Finals and Semi-Finals as the away goal rule doesn't come into effect. This means that if the two sides are level on aggregate after 180 minutes an extra 30 minutes will be played. If neither side is able to take the lead by the end of those additional 30 minutes the winner will be decided by a penalty shootout.
On the road to title number..
This will be the first time that two Argentinian sides have disputed the CONMEBOL Libertadores final. For Boca, this is their 11th Libertadores final and they have more final appearances than anybody else (Peñoral have been in 10 finals). If Boca are able to secure another triumph they will move equal with Independiente at the top of the all-time list on seven titles.
River are in their 6th Libertadores final and their second in the last three years. They will be trying to lift the crown for the fourth time and move up in the all-time winners list themselves. They would be equal with Estudiantes (4) but remain behind Independiente (7), Boca (6) and Peñoral (5).
Different paths but with one similarity..
Boca and River have reached the final in very distinctive ways but with identical results. Both sides won 6 matches, drawn 5 and lost just 1. However Boca scored more goals, 21 to 14, but conceded more than River, 9-6.
River dominated their group and moved onto the Last 16 as the fourth best first-placed team. They remained unbeaten until they lost to Gremio in the first leg of the semi-final and have knocked out three former champions along the way in Racing, Independiente and Gremio.
Boca only just managed to get out of Group H. They finished second in the group and needed Palmeiras to beat Junior in the final set of fixtures to secure their place in the next stage. In the knockout rounds they have been the most impressive side: they've won 4 matches and drawn the other 2, scoring 13 goals along the way. Here are all the goals from both sides on their route to the final:
🎥🏆 Relive the best moments from the 2-2 draw between @BocaJrsOficial and @CARPoficial in the first leg of the #CONMEBOLLibertatores Final 💥 pic.twitter.com/KgoN8sGGUZ — CONMEBOL Libertadores (@TheLibertadores) November 11, 2018