Boca Juniors face off against River Plate on Sunday in this Superliga season’s Superclásico but the fierce rivals look destined to meet in the Copa Libertadores semi-final, one year on from their historic final showdown, after Boca cruised past Liga de Quito on Wednesday evening.
A 3-0 win last week in Quito had all but booked Boca’s place in the last four, barring a collapse at La Bombonera, and Gustavo Alfaro is far too cautious a coach to allow that to happen.
So it proved as Boca kept Liga de Quito at arm’s length to play out a goalless draw and progress. Not that there weren’t chances and incident.
Lisandro López missed the clearest chance of the opening 45 minutes, heading wide unmarked from a corner but the first half’s major talking point was the horrific leg break suffered by Christian Cruz when blocking a Carlos Tevez shot.
Though no where near as serious Boca had injury problems of their own with Eduardo Salvio and later Ramón Ábila picking up knocks that look set to rule them out of the weekend clash with River.
The pair’s replacements went close to giving Boca victory on the night with Sebastián Villa rattling the crossbar when dashing in behind and Franco Soldano badly screwing a shot wide when one-on-one with Adrián Gabbarini.
Ultimately it didn’t matter and Boca now wait to see if River Plate finish off Cerro Porteño in their quarter-final. Sunday’s Superclásico with first team players probably missing on both sides will serve as a dress rehearsal for a semi-final that will stir up all of the explosive passion that was on view last November.
— CONMEBOL Libertadores (@Libertadores) August 29, 2019