River Plate Sunday defeated Boca Juniors 3-1 “at home” at Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu stadium for an aggregate 5-3 victory which earned them the Libertadores Cup title for the fourth time in their history.
Darío Benedetto had opened the score in the first half for Boca but Lucas Pratto equalised halfway through the second half to force a 30-minute tie-breaking extension during which Juan Fernando Quintero capitalised on his rivals' poor defending and weakened strength following Barrios' sendoff to make it 2-1.
And with Boca, by then down to nine players due to Fernando Gago's injury, out on an all-or-nothing last minute heroic quest, Gonzalo Martínez rounded up what had long before ceased to be a sporting event.
This second leg should have been played at River Plate's Monumental stadium in Buenos Aires on November 24, but an attack by River hooligans against the bus carrying the Boca team led to several postponements and the eventual rescheduling and change of venue.
Regardless of the outcome, this match brought shame to Argentine football and to its government, particuarly because it is hard to lose sight of the fact that President Mauricio Macri once was president of Boca Juniors.
River Plate have now qualified for the upcoming World Teams Cup in the United Arab Emirates and for next year's Libertadores Cup.