River Plate booked their place in the Club World Cup 2018 after beating Boca Juniors 3-1 in the second leg of the CONMEBOL Libertadores final at the Santiago Bernabéu. Their opponents were Al-Ain, the local champions, who were playing in their home city.
The first key moment in the match went against River as Al-Ain won a corner. Berg reacted quickest at the near post and his header squeezed through the legs of Franco Armani. Three minutes in and the United Arab Emirates side were in the lead.
However River reacted fast to the early setback and struck in lethal fashion. Lucas Pratto's initial effort was saved but in the aftermath it fell to Rafael Santos Borré who made it 1-1.
The Colombian striker doubled up five minutes later to put River 2-1 ahead and give the traveling fans something to cheer about.
Early in the second half Al-Ain found an equaliser though Caio, who twisted and turned inside the box before beating Armani at his near post. Pity Martínez had a golden chance to put River ahead but his penalty came crashing back off the crossbar. It finished 2-2 and there were no further chances or goals in extra time.
In the penalty shootout it came down to who was the more accurate. Enzo Pérez took the last of the five penalties and saw his effort saved by Eisa. River Plate will now battle to earn third place at the Club World Cup.