The players are taking to the pitch in the Monumental for the biggest match of the weekend, and if you’re not fortunate enough to be able to watch, you can follow it right here on HEGS, where I’ll be attempting to update this post every few minutes with the latest goings-on in the match. Just open this story, and periodically hit ‘refresh’ in your browser.
River Plate 0 – 1 Boca Juniors (FULL TIME)
16:26 – The sides are still waiting for the match to start.
3 mins – No goals yet as Diego Buonanotte just fails to release Cristian Villagra down the left channel for River.
6 mins – Lucas Viatri is put through by Juan Román Riquelme for Boca, but he’s a mile offside and the move breaks down.
7 mins – Straight up the other end of the pitch, and from a throw and a Buonanotte cross River get the ball into a dangerous position not once but twice just outside the six yard box. It ends up smothered by Boca ‘keeper Javier García.
9 mins – Buonanotte gets the ball in space, but shoots from long range when a pass might have been the better option. García gets down to save.
10 mins – Hugo Ibarra, storming forward from right back for Boca, smashes an equally silly attempt wide.
11 mins – Matías Abelairas gets to the touchline for River and sends over a deep cross that García looks anything but confident about, but eventually gathers to clear.
13 mins – Boca are pressuring with Hugo Ibarra being given a lot of space wide right whilst his team press forward on the left. So far it’s been end-to-end, but no clear chances created yet by either side…
16 mins – River move forward down their right but Buonanotte is dispossessed by Fabián Vargas. As Boca break, Jesús Dátolo loses it on the left and Radamel Falcao García gets a chance to run at the Boca defence, but it comes to nothing.
17 mins – Vargas gets forward with the ball but is tackled just outside the River box by Eduardo Tuzzio.
18 mins – Falcao hits a low shot from well outside the box that García can’t hold, and the ball almost creeps in, coming back off the post.
19 mins – good work down the Boca left by Dátolo ends in a cross to no-one at the far post. Viatri applauds his team-mate, possibly sarcastically.
20 mins – from the next bit of play, Augusto Fernández for River hits a right-footer wide along the ground from outside the box.
21 mins – Buonanotte is on the floor after a desperate tackle from Boca cinco Sebastián Battaglia, who’s booked for his troubles. Who had this time in the sweepstake? Free kick to River about 35 yards out, in the right channel. Abelairas will take it.
24 mins – Abelairas’s free kick having come to nothing, River try their luck down the right but Battaglia this time does a better job of getting the ball from Buonanotte, and Boca start knocking it about in the midifeld. River get it off them, give it away again, get it back, and Battaglia fouls Buonanotte near the halfway line. Abelairas tries his luck through the middle, and after a bit of a scramble with Santiago Salcedo and Falcao both lurking following a long shot from River left back Cristian Villagra, García eventually holds the ball. He’s not looking comfortable when challenged.
25 mins – a 30-yard attempt from Gaitán is comfortable smothered by River goalie Juan Manuel Ojeda. Still no real chances yet – just shots from long- and middle distance.
28 mins – Riquelme comes to life for the first time, some beautifully intricate footwork carrying him into the River box past at least two challenges, but the ball eventually escapes him following a challenge from Oscar Ahumada, and River clear.
30 mins – after Riquelme’s directed a bit of Boca pressure, moving the ball from side to side and looking like they might break through River’s backline, Ahumada wins the ball and sends River onto the counter. Fernández and Abelairas combine but Boca clear, and win a free kick on the left wing 25 or so yards out…
32 mins – Which goes behind for a corner, held by Ojeda. Whilst challenging for it, Boca’s Gabriel Paletta and River’s Gustavo Cabral clash, and don’t look too happy with each other when Boca win another corner a minute later.
37 mins – Falcao drops deep but loses the ball and Boca try to counter. River are ready for them though, and the end result is another weak shot from distance from Ibarra, easily saved by Ojeda.
38 mins – Vargas is down near the halfway line after a clash of heads with Ahumada. The little medical van thingy is on and the players who aren’t being treated take the chance to drink some water.
41 mins – Riquelme’s cross-pitch ball for Ibarra evades the right back and goes out for a River throw on the halfway line.
42 mins – A reversal of roles: Riquelme dumps Ahumada on his backside as the River cinco runs onto the ball.
43 mins – Abelairas sells Buonanotte seriously short with a forward pass, but El Enano wins it back and goes past two challenges but can’t get his shot off. A bit of a fuss immediately afterwards as Buonanotte is clearly bodychecked on the 18 yard line by Battaglia, but the ref doesn’t see it.
First-half stoppage time: Dátolo screws a left-footed shot wide from just inside the River box. Ojeda takes the goal kick, and that’s it for the first half. Not bad stuff from either side, but nothing especially good either, no clear chances created. Buonanotte, Abelairas, Battaglia and (eventually) Riquelme have been the key men in the first half.
HT: River come out for the second half having made one change; Mauro Díaz is on for Santiago Salcedo up front. It’s the 17-year-old’s first super. Boca are unchanged, and have the kick off.
45 mins – it’s taken 13 seconds of the second half for River to have a shot from inside the box, Falcao combining with Buonanotte, whose shot from the right channel is wide of the near post.
48 mins – a free kick from wide on the right by Riquelme is cleared away and the shot that comes back in, from a long way out, results in a River goal kick.
51 mins – not much happening so far in the second half. River have just been awarded a throw which Hugo Ibarra’s taken exception to and had a few words with the linesman, taking care to keep his hands behind his back…
51 mins – IBARRA OFF! Héctor Baldassi shows the Boca captain a straight red card. Ibarra obviously used a bad word or two in his mild-mannered-looking discussion with the lino. Boca down to ten men and shorn of the man who’s been their most productive outlet down the right thus far.
57 mins – River break, Falcao pulls out to the left into the space Ibarra’s no longer covering. Abelairas feeds him and the Colombian cuts inside but sends an angled low drive into the side-netting. Since the sending-off River have started getting more men forward.
60 mins: ¡GOL DE BOCA! That came against the run of play. A free kick sent in by Riquelme which Viatri meets with his head from near the edge of the penalty area, and it loops up and over Ojeda into the far corner. 1-0 Boca.
63 mins: River substitution: Augusto Fernández makes way for Andrés Ríos. Immediately, from a free kick, Mauro Díaz heads inches wide as Falcao can’t quite get to the far post in time for an equaliser for the hosts. With Boca down to ten men, expect the rest of the match to be attack against defence.
66 mins – Buonanotte rides a tackle and feeds Paulo Ferrari on the right, whose cross to the far post is met by Díaz, who can’t get enough power on it to beat García.
67 mins – Vargas is booked for running into the back of Díaz as the River man carries the ball into the last third. Free kick to River from about 35 yards, which runs wide and Buonanotte’s cross is held by García.
69 mins – Another cross from the right is easily gathered by the Boca goalkeeper. He didn’t look this assured in the first half. Ríos tries to feed Ferrari with what’s very nearly a brilliant pass, but makes it just a fraction too heavy, and it’s a goal kick to Boca.
70 mins – the kick goes the length of the pitch, and a daft pass from Ojeda puts River left back Villagra in a spot of bother. Villagra’s clearance goes straight to Riquelme, who goes past Tuzzio before flashing a shot just past the post.
73 mins – a Riquelme free kick from the left is cleared and Buonanotte leads the counter, feeding Falcao who pulls to the right but can only win a corner. From that corner Díaz has a close range shot blocked but the pressure stays on the Boca goal until a Villagra cross is cut out.
74 mins – from the counter, Viatri tries to play Gaitán in but after an acrobatic attempt at a clearance from Ahumada, Ojeda eventually gets his hands on it. This is frantic stuff.
76 mins – a Boca free kick from that man Riquelme on the right touchline is headed away. Ríos finds Ferrari down the right for River but the full back is dispossessed near the corner flag and as they break, Boca get a free kick.
78 mins – changes for both teams. For Boca, Ricardo Noir replaces Viatri. For River, Leonardo Ponzio is on for Ahumada.
81 mins – Boca are marking very tightly now, and River are struggling to find that extra man. Ríos and Buonanotte link up beautifully as the latter peels off the left touchline, but he can’t quite get to Ríos’s final ball and Boca get it away.
83 mins – Ponzio goes through the back of Riquelme just inside Boca’s half and the visitors have a free kick. Boca subsequently play it down the left and win a corner thanks to Ricardo Noir.
84 mins – Boca substitution. Vargas is applauded from the pitch by the visiting fans to be replaced by Cristian Chávez. Riquelme tries a shot straight from the corner but it hits the crossbar and River break – to nothing. The ball’s out for a throw.
86 mins – Buonanotte steps round his man beautifully and exchanges passes with Ríos but on the edge of the area, he gets crowded out.
88 mins – a Boca free kick from about five yards beyond the left-hand corner of River’s box is easily held by Ojeda. Not sure what Riquelme was trying there.
89 mins – Buonanotte backheels it round Battaglia and gets taken out trying to get to it. The ref judges – I think correctly – that there wasn’t much the Boca man could have done to get out of the way. River have a corner cleared as we tick into stoppage time.
90 mins – for a second it looks as though the ref’s blown for a penalty to River after Falcao goes down, but it’s only a River throw…
That probably should have been a pen. As Falcao took the ball down Gabriel Paletta stepped across him and blocked him of whilst Julio César Cáceres cleared the ball. River continue to attack furiously as stoppage time ticks down and Riquelme gets dumped on the floor and actually laughs, he’s so surprised not to get a free kick.
FULL TIME: RIVER PLATE 0 – 1 BOCA JUNIORS