Carlos Tevez blasts decision to play Copa Libertadores final in Madrid

River Plate fans are seen ahead of the Copa Libertadores final in Madrid Spain REUTERS  Susana Vera

River Plate fans are seen ahead of the Copa Libertadores final in Madrid Spain REUTERS Susana Vera

Dubbed by media as the biggest fixture in the 127-year history of Argentine football, the nations two biggest club's were pitted together to renew their fierce rivalry within the South American equivalent of the Champions League.

In sporting terms, the final is finely balanced after a 2-2 first leg draw in Boca's La Bombonera stadium.

Sunday 9 December 1930hrs River Plate v Boca Juniors Football - South America - Copa Libertadores It's taken four weeks, a postponement or two, moving the game to another continent, with controversy aplenty, but we're finally getting to see the second leg of the Copa Libertadores final.

Around 4,000 police, 2,000 of whom are members of the Anti-Disturbance branch of the Spanish national police, will be on duty, more than for a match between Real Madrid and Barcelona or a Madrid derby between Real and city rivals Atletico. Some have travelled, including Agustin Giacone, one Boca supporter who arrived in Madrid on Wednesday.

The clubs had never faced each other in the Copa Libertadores final before. Their passage to the final has been similarly hard with big wins over Independiente, Racing Club and Gremio, and their coach Marcelo Gallardo knows that his team at least have the temperament to deal with the big occasion even if it's not the same off the park.

Both clubs were allocated 25,000 tickets, with 5,000 of those reserved for residents of Argentina. Only supporters of the home team were allowed in the matches in Argentina to avoid fan violence.

A similarly applaudable Lucas Pratto goal levelled things after the interval to secure an extra 30 minutes, and Wilmar Barrios' sending off handed River the initiative, as Quintero gloriously put them ahead and then Martinez rounded things off in the closing stages. After receiving a superb throughball from midfielder Nahitan Nandez, Benedetto cleared a defender and entered the area with only goalkeeper Franco Armani to beat, then calmly finished with a shot into the corner.

Almost 80,000 fans are expected at the Bernabeu on Sunday.

"It is important because it is still a final", added former Manchester City and Manchester United striker Tevez.

"There are more teams interested, but Real Madrid have the advantage".

With the victory, River Plate will represent South America in FIFA's Club World Cup this month.

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