The superclásico is upon us! You’ll find the starting XIs (with a little confusion over which full backs are on which side of the pitch) in the story below this one, but right here is the place to be if you want to follow the match with HEGS. Click ‘read more’, and keep refreshing throughout the game – I’ll be posting updates every few minutes.
Long-term HEGS readers will have noticed that the logo for this year’s super coverage looks a bit better than last year’s. Thanks to Juze1980 on the Hasta El Gol Siempre Flickr photo pool for the photograph I’ve used for it – click here for his original.
Boca Juniors 1 – 0 River Plate (FULL TIME)
15:20: And they’re off. Boca start the match. You’ll have to bear with me during the opening stages as the video card on my PC is playing up and all I can currently see is a green square on the screen. It had to happen today, didn’t it…
10 mins: So far Boca have had the edge in possession in front of the home crowd, with River sitting a little further back, but the hosts haven’t yet found a way through.
13 mins: A ball over the top puts Palacio through for Boca, but Carrizo comes out well to save from him. Corner to Boca…
GOL DE BOCA! Sebastián Battaglia gets the better of his marker from the corner to head Boca into the lead. The super is up and running…
17 mins: Dátolo is fed down the left by Riquelme, but the cross comes to nothing. Boca are still applying pressure on the visitors, looking to capitalise on the early lead.
27 mins: River win a corner but it’s cleared and played quickly up to Palacio, who skins one defender before forcing a corner from Cristian Villagra. Riquelme takes it, to no avail.
30 mins: A counter from River sees Alexis Sánchez cut in from the left and fire in a right-footer, but it’s a daisycutter and Caranta collects easily.
32 mins: A bit of handbags between Radamel Falco García and Claudio Morel Rodríguez after the River forward, running onto a long ball, kicks Caranta’s legs. The Colombian gets a booking for his troubles, which will rule him out of River’s next league game.
35 mins: Ten minutes to go until the break, and there’s a sense that River are beginning to settle now. The midfields of both sides are being largely bypassed, but the league leaders are starting to look a little more dangerous on the counter.
38 mins: Free kick to Boca, after Martín Palermo was grounded in an aerial challenge in the right channel, about ten yards outside the box. A cross-cum-shot from Riquelme isn’t picked up by anybody, and drifts out for a goal kick.
40 mins: This is slightly better. An exchange of passes between Sánchez and Ortega looks promising for River, but Boca clear and counter through Pablo Ledesma, who feeds Palermo. The final ball, intended for Dátolo, runs through to Carrizo in the River goal, but the game’s getting a little more entertaining…
44 mins: As the half draws to a close, the ball’s on the floor more but there are plenty of stoppages. Diego Buonanotte’s muscled off the ball a couple of times in quick succession, and as we tick into stoppage time Palacio has a shot from range – straight into Carrizo’s arms.
HALF TIME: An underwhelming match so far, with Boca leading – as they did this time last year in La Bombonera – thanks to an early goal from a midfielder. Diego Buonanotte hasn’t got on the ball as much as River boss Diego Simeone would no doubt like, but in spite of the deficit he might not be too disappointed with how his side have dealth with the threat of Juan Román Riquelme. For Boca’s part, they’ll be needing to press on for a second in the second half as the visitors up the intensity, if they’re to avoid the same fate as last season when River improved drastically after the break to claim a draw.
16:30: The sides are finally back out after the break but don’t appear in any rush to get the second half underway. Thankfully for all present, it looks like a glorious day in Buenos Aires. Things finally get underway with River’s kick off.
46 mins: River are applying some serious pressure early on. Within 75 seconds of the restart they’ve made three incursions into Boca’s penalty box, so far fruitlessly…
50 mins: River still pressure and what little of the ball Boca have had in the final third has seen them lose it and River counter. Ariel Ortega goes down under a challenge from Caranta in the box, but the ball had already run out of play and there wasn’t much of an appeal for the penalty.
52 mins: One such counter sees Riquelme lose the ball on the edge of the River box and the visitors exert enough pressure at the other end to win a corner, taken by Buonanotte but cleared at the near post.
54 mins: Boca’s first attempt of the half, Rodrigo Palacio blazing into the stratosphere from 30 yards.
SUB FOR RIVER: Augusto Fernández replaced Nico Sánchez on the right of midfield
55 mins: A glorious piece of skill from Riquelme almost sets Palermo through in the box but El Loco is blocked out by the last man.
58 mins: Ortega crosses from the left, Falcao nods down for Abelairas, whose run spotted by Julio César Cáceres – Boca’s Paraguayan centre back is playing well against his former team, but River have improved massively since half-time.
59 mins: Riquelme brings the ball down in the River area and evades three challenges before turning and screwing a shot just wide. It seems to have been deflected – Boca have a corner, taken short and River are on the counter…
60 mins: …which ends with a shot from Eduardo Tuzzio that’s about as good as you’d expect from a centre back with a nosebleed having a go from 30 yards out.
(At this point I’ll just express my sympathy with those of you who watch Fox Soccer Channel and have to put up with this idiot commentator every weekend. What an annoying man.)
61-63 mins: Referee Gustavo Bassi, allegedly a boyhood Boca fan, goes out of his way to prove how even-handed he’s being today. Riquelme is tripped outside River’s box, but the whistle isn’t forthcoming. A minute or two later River counter and another shot goes narrowly wide. It’s heating up…
64 mins: Dreadful and then superb from Carrizo. First he makes a cock-up dwelling too long on the ball to almost allow Palermo to take it off him, and seconds later turns away a cross from Boca’s left wing which was arrowing straight onto Palermo’s head.
65 mins, SUB FOR RIVER: Buonanotte off for Uruguayan target man Sebastián Abreu.
67 mins: Palacio wins the ball in the midfield and sets off towards River’s goal, supported by Palacio – Tuzzio gets the block in and clears, only as far as Palermo – who looks like he’s controlled it with his hand – who drives in a shot, straight at Carrizo. Boca have the edge again.
69 mins: Corner for Boca after a shot from range from Palacio is deflected well wide. It’s taken short again and Palacio sends over an absolutely abysmal cross to give Carrizo a goal kick.
73 mins: A link-up between Augusto Fernández and Ortega doesn’t quite come off, and Caranta collects the ball. Mauro Rosales is about to come on for River but the ref stops the game so that Juan Román Riquelme, who’s suffering from cramp, can be treated. Román will have to be replaced.
75 mins, SUBSTITUTIONS: Ariel Ortega makes way for Rosales for River; Riquelme is replaced by not Leandro Gracián, but Christian Chávez. Interesting decision from Ischia. It’s a little bizarre from Simeone as well, given that Ortega’s been alright today whilst Falcao up front has been rather quiet.
78 mins: Corner to River after a swift counter, and Claudio Morel Rodríguez will need to be replaced by Boca after getting nowhere near either Rosales or the ball when trying to win it on the edge of his box. It looks like he’s aggravated his knee injury again. This will be a problem for Boca, who defend the corner with ten men but get away with it.
81 mins, DOUBLE SUB FOR BOCA: Jesús Dátolo, who’s been slightly worse than useless today, is replaced by Alvaro González for Boca. Morel is replaced by Facundo Roncaglia.
84 mins: After a frantic attack from River, Abreu rises above everyone and powers a header narrowly over Caranta’s crossbar. River really should be level now.
86 mins: Boca are defending with all but Palacio and Palermo in their own half, as River flood the box and try to work their way through. Rosales almost gets onto a knockdown from Falcao, but it’s cleared.
A minimum of three minutes stoppage time has been indicated.
88 mins: Chávez breaks from midfield and blazes a powerful drive inches over the bar as the game ticks into the final minute of normal time.
90 mins: In stoppage time, Palacio wins a free kick near the right-side corner flag for Boca, who will take their time over it…
91 mins: A free kick to River after Palacio launches into Villagra as the latter attempts to clear. Predictably, Carrizo has some difficulty getting a ball to take it with.
93 mins: With what should be the last action of the match, Palacio hits one wide.
FULL TIME! It’s been a long wait, but after four long years, Boca Juniors have finally beaten River in La Bombonera again. A frantic second half but the visitors couldn’t find a way through, and the Clausura title race now couldn’t be more open – River lead, Estudiantes are level with them, and Boca move to just one point behind, and played Estudiantes next week.