River Plate were crowned Copa Libertadores champions at the Santiago Bernabeu after a 3-1 win against Boca Juniors on Sunday evening.
The second leg of the Final was played at Real Madrid’s stadium after fan trouble forced the original match to be postponed two weeks ago, and the decision was consequently made for it to be moved 6,000 miles away from Buenos Aires.
That allowed football to take centre stage and the Final was finely poised at 2-2 from the first leg, with away goals not applicable in the Copa Libertadores.
Lucas Pratto’s second-half equaliser for River took the game into extra time, and former Real Madrid target Juan Quintero came off the substitutes’ bench to fire the designated hosts ahead in the 109th minute.
Gonzalo Martinez then made sure of a 3-1 River victory at the death as Marcelo Gallardo’s side won the Copa for the second time in three years, also qualifying them for the Club World Cup, where Los Blancos will be waiting for them.
"I didn’t give my goal too much thought. I received the ball, found space and took the shot,” Quintero told Fox after the game.
“I worked on the way I shot yesterday and it’s a goal that has to be celebrated. It was a very difficult game.
“We knew Boca were a very tactical and physical team, but we worked until the final whistle.
“Our true colours began to show and from there we made a difference. We deserve this triumph and now we must celebrate it.
“There’s 25 of us. The 11 who play and those who come on must always be prepared. I have to congratulate my teammates. It’s a prize for everyone and we deserve it.”
However, they may have their title revoked as Boca’s appeal to have their arch-rivals suspended is still being processed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
River Plate 3-1 Boca Juniors (AET, 5-3 agg.)
Pratto 68, Quintero 109, Gonzalo Martinez 120 (RP) Benedetto 44, Barrios sent off 92 (BJ)
River Plate: Armani; Montiel (Mayada 74), Maidana, Pinola, Casco; Ponzio (Quintero 58) Ignacio Fernandez (Zuculini 111), Enzo, Palacios (Julian Alvarez 97), Gonzalo Martinez; Pratto
Boca Juniors: Andrada; Buffarini (Tevez 111), Izquierdoz, Magallan, Olaza; Nandez, Barrios, Pablo Perez (Gago 89); Villa (Jara 96), Benedetto (Abila 62), Pavon
Referee: Cunha (URU)